Galapagos Day 2: Torpedoed by a Booby.

Galapagos Islands Travel Blog

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Sea lion goes airborne in the harbor.

 

Today we met up with the cruise ship that will be our home for the next four days, called the Seaman II. In addition to a covered teak deck and a large sun deck, there are 8 cabins for 16 passengers, a large dining room with a bar off to the side, and a "living room" near the bar with a huge sectional sofa. Our room is on the upper deck and surprisingly spacious, and has a private bathroom with a shower. Everything is neat as a pin and in tip-top shape. So far so good!

Since our hotel was right near the pier we boarded the boat early, before the other passengers had arrived from the airport. There was one couple already on board -- Gavin and Sibella, Australians -- who were in the middle of the 8-day cruise option.

Sea lions can be found on every flat surface!
We were given lunch, then we went to the top sun deck to wait for whatever would happen next. In a short time I managed to get fried... better break out the sunblock!

Meanwhile, the other passengers boarded, ate lunch, and then the boat set off to our first destination, called Sleeping Lion Rock. This was a big volcanic rock jutting from the ocean, inhabited by grasses and birds, with dozens of sea lions lounging around the perimeter. Our naturalist, Daniel, pointed out the Nazca Boobies (birds), and there were also many of the ever-present Magnificent Frigatebirds circling overhead. Daniel called them "pirates" for their tendency to follow the boat.

Our next stop was Lobos Islet for snorkeling. We rented gear, including a much-needed wetsuit (the water is about 65F).

My new playmate.
I hadn't been in the water five minutes when I heard a muffled splash next to me and looked over to see a bird torpedoing through the water! It was a Blue Footed Booby after a fish -- he missed the fish but managed to nearly give this tourist heart failure. I was a little slow with the camera but did manage to capture his bubble trail and I got a shot of him flying off (without a catch, by the way. Daniel said they have to make a lot of dives to catch one fish.)

About a minute later Steve spotted a sea turtle, which Daniel identified as a Pacific Green. Already this snorkle adventure was better than most of the dives we've done on this trip! And it didn't end there... we also saw three sting rays, and Steve saw a shark, but it swam off quickly.

Then suddenly, I saw a big-eyed brown monster swimming straight for me, playing a game of underwater chicken! I was really startled.

The end of an incredible day.
.. what the heck is it...?! A SEA LION! The playful youth swerved to miss me at the last moment, then circled me several times with the agility of a gymnast. Steve said he nibbled on my fin too! I was so excited I nearly swallowed my snorkle. Life does not get much better than playing with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands.

Back on board, Daniel (who BTW is a Galapagos native and has been a naturalist for 19 years) gave us a briefing on tomorrow's excursions. We also made more formal introductions with the other guests. In addition to the Aussies, there is a couple from London, and all the others are American and know each other through work. After our meeting we had a pretty good meal (plenty of veggies :^) and good conversation at the table. I like our group and am looking forward to the next four days.

GREAT DAY. My visit to Galapagos could end right now (god forbid) and I would have had a fantastic experience. And there is more to come!



sassylassie22 says:
I'm so jealous! I would LOVE to snorkel with sea lions! I can't wait to visit the Galopagos Islands! :)
Posted on: Oct 03, 2008
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Sea lion goes airborne in the harb…
Sea lion goes airborne in the har…
Sea lions can be found on every fl…
Sea lions can be found on every f…
My new playmate.
My new playmate.
The end of an incredible day.
The end of an incredible day.
View of a rainbow over the harbor,…
View of a rainbow over the harbor…
Sea lion at play.
Sea lion at play.
Taking a Zodiac to our cruise boat.
Taking a Zodiac to our cruise boat.
Hitchhiker!
Hitchhiker!
Our new home for four days, the Se…
Our new home for four days, the S…
Our room on the Seaman II.
Our room on the Seaman II.
About to get a fish.
About to get a fish.
Sleeping Lion rock.
Sleeping Lion rock.
Magnificent Frigatebird over Sleep…
Magnificent Frigatebird over Slee…
Nazca Boobies.
Nazca Boobies.
Sea lion at Sleeping Lion Rock.
Sea lion at Sleeping Lion Rock.
San Cristobal Island.
San Cristobal Island.
A Frigatebird follows the boat.
A Frigatebird follows the boat.
Our ride to the snorkel excursion.
Our ride to the snorkel excursion.
Booby bubbles!
Booby bubbles!
Off he goes, empty handed.
Off he goes, empty handed.
Pacific Green turtle.
Pacific Green turtle.
Steve the shark hunter.
Steve the shark hunter.
Sting ray!
Sting ray!
Another sting ray.
Another sting ray.
Running circles round the tourists.
Running circles round the tourists.
He swam all over and around me.
He swam all over and around me.
I wasnt enough fun, so he took of…
I wasn't enough fun, so he took o…
Our naturalist, Daniel, gives us a…
Our naturalist, Daniel, gives us …
Meeting the crew.
Meeting the crew.
The days end.
The day's end.
Galapagos Islands
photo by: Melboorn