Day 7: Bartolome Island - Swimming with Galapagos Penguins!! Playing with Sea Lions

Bartolome Travel Blog

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Molting penguin and me - give me some love!

We had sailed to Bartolome the night before and quickly jumped into the panga (dinghy) for a sunset view of the penguins around Pinnacle Rock.

 

On Day 7, we hiked to the top of the cone that is the major fixture of Bartolome. There is little vegetation on the young island, only a few pioneer plants, but spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and other islands. 

 

After the short hike, we returned to boat and walked to the northern beach to see tintoreras (white-tipped reef sharks) right at the water's edge. 

 

Then, the real fun began, as we snorkeled on the southern beach with Galapagos Penguins and Sea Lions.  I saw a couple penguins on the rocks, a couple torpedoing through the water, and one molting on the rocks.  They're really cute, only grow to about 50 centimeters max, and pair up for life.  When one of the pair dies, the other one usually follows closely behind from a broken heart.

 

I also had a great play session with jovial sea lions, which were wrestling and biting each other.  Even though you're not supposed to, I touched one of them in their tussling and its fur was smooth and soft.  There's something about touching animals you're not supposed to that gives such a thrill!

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Molting penguin and me - give me s…
Molting penguin and me - give me …
Penguin at night
Penguin at night
Sunset on Pinnacle Rock
Sunset on Pinnacle Rock
Penguins chilling in the morning
Penguins chilling in the morning
Penguins chilling in the morning
Penguins chilling in the morning
Penguin swimming in water
Penguin swimming in water
Pinnacle Rock
Pinnacle Rock
Top of Bartolome overlooking the i…
Top of Bartolome overlooking the …
Ladybug on wooden barriers
Ladybug on wooden barriers
View of Isthmus
View of Isthmus
Crater in water seen from top of B…
Crater in water seen from top of …
The hike up
The hike up
Lunar landscape of Bartolome
Lunar landscape of Bartolome
Pioneer cactus
Pioneer cactus
Sea lion hanging out on our boat
Sea lion hanging out on our boat
Dont bother me
Don't bother me
Sand dunes on walk to northern bea…
Sand dunes on walk to northern be…
Tintoreras in shallows
Tintoreras in shallows
A couple penguins
A couple penguins
Grooming time!
Grooming time!
Torpedoing Penguins
Torpedoing Penguins
Torpedoing Penguins
Torpedoing Penguins
Hanging out at the top
Hanging out at the top
Molting penguin
Molting penguin
Molting penguin and me
Molting penguin and me
Playful sea lion
Playful sea lion
Going for the fin
Going for the fin
Kissing sea lions?
Kissing sea lions?
Whos checking out whom?
Who's checking out whom?
Cruising along
Cruising along
Horsing (sea lioning) around
Horsing (sea lioning) around
Posing
Posing
117,189 km (72,818 miles) traveled
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Bartolome
photo by: aswold