Galapagos Snorkeling

You may have noticed John has recently visited Galapagos and we’ve been documenting his journey and photography for the last fortnight. What we kept quiet is that Simon went too. They split up once there to experience different expeditions and this is the 1st of 3 accounts from Simon…

An early start today and out after breakfast at 7am for a landing to Galapaguera on San Cristobal Island. It’s an excellent location to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The walk was 6 km both ways using a well trodden path with variants of difficulty under foot but flat most of the way. 

I was thankful I’d packed my light weight walking boots as there were members of the group who only wore those without ankle support? Something to think about before leaving home! We were reasonably successful and saw around 7 or 8 on route. They were amazing creatures and easy to spot. They are quite timid and recoil in to their shells if you get too close, maybe because they were hunted so much in previous years by the 100,000s by Islanders and seamen. 

We saw a lot of Mocking birds which are extremely territorial and males will challenge other fellow male Mocking birds it they happen to stray in to their patch. Although Partly cloudy today the heat didn’t let up and there were a few red faces during and after the walk even after putting 30 protection on heads and faces. Galapagos are on the equator so we must take every precaution or face the consequences.

This afternoon was the highlight of the first day by far. Our first snorkel dive at Cerro Brujo on San Cristobel Island. It’s a wide beach with, sea lions, Marine Guana, various birds, some endemic. We used the ships equipment which was first class. Those who had not snorkeled previously were assisted in every way. Wet suits were optional as the water to some was cold compared to say Caribbean, or Europe in sometime but to be honest and clear I was warned about the chill this time of the season (November) but I’ve swam in Cornwall (UK) in the summer and compared it wasn’t that bad. 

Saying that I chose to hire a wetsuit on board as we were snorkeling for up to 1.5 hours and wanted to enjoy the experience without getting cold. I chose right. We entered the water from the sandy beach. Today the sea was a little cloudy close to the shore but a few metered out it was a lot clearer and we saw some amazing fish of all sizes and colours. I had my GoPro with me which was easy to use whilst swimming around. It was amazing. Those who have been on board for the last 10 days have said you think this is good wait for the other locations where you can swim with sea lion pups and see sharks in their natural environment – bring it in as I’m hooked already after today!

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