Galapagos Islands - Day 2 - Snorkelling with sea-turtles and sneezing marine iguanas at James Bay

Santiago Island Travel Blog

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More sleepy sea lions at Santiago island

This was probably the highlight of the whole Galapagos island trip for me.  Our guide Ruben wisely elected that as soon as we touched down in James Bay we head out snorkelling. The reason for the wisdom is that as we came to the end of our snorkelling time a cruise ship with about 100 people began to disembark to snorkel the same area, I suspect that might scare some of the wildlife off so suddenly I was even more content with our smaller 16 person boat.

Now back to the snorkelling, did I mention it was absolutely incredible!  The first highlight has to be the sea turtles, these guys just cruise through the water without a care in the world.  You can see why they are portrayed the way they are in Finding Nemo :) It's quite easy, and a bit mesmerising, to glide along next to them as they plod along.

Male sea lion keeps on barking away
  Then of course a couple of sea-lions show up so I'm faced with age-old dilemma of 'do you follow the turtle or the sea-lions'. You know how it is ;)  I think you get the idea though, lots of colourful fish, a sting ray or two, watching a turle feed on the moss off the rocks, more sea-lions.  Just mind-blowingly good really :))

As the mass of cruise ship passengers started roll in, in scenes reminiscent of the start of Saving Private Ryan, we hiked away from that side of the island to go searching for marine iguanas.  Sure enough after not too long we just found piles of them sunning themselves on the rocks.  They also have this quirk where as they process the water they've taken in the previous swim, they sneeze it out, all over the other marine iguanas.  So there is just a pile of very still iguanas, sneezing all over each other!  Crabs get in to the mix too, crawling on the marine iguanas to feed on their shedding skin.  The iguanas don't care though, I don't think they care about much!

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More sleepy sea lions at Santiago …
More sleepy sea lions at Santiago…
Male sea lion keeps on barking away
Male sea lion keeps on barking away
I think this is a sea-lion push up
I think this is a sea-lion push up
Awwww look at the wee baby
Awwww look at the wee baby
I call this pelican-crab wall
I call this pelican-crab wall
Up close and personal
Up close and personal
I may be in the middle of the Gala…
I may be in the middle of the Gal…
After snorkelling, on to the other…
After snorkelling, on to the othe…
Marine iguanas sneezing all over e…
Marine iguanas sneezing all over …
Again, they dont care if you get …
Again, they don't care if you get…
Everyone just points to the sun to…
Everyone just points to the sun t…
A sea turtle pops up to say hi! No…
A sea turtle pops up to say hi! N…
Now a fur sea-lion, marine iguana …
Now a fur sea-lion, marine iguana…
OK, OK, well get off your island …
OK, OK, we'll get off your island…
Turtle having a moss meal. Mmmm mo…
Turtle having a moss meal. Mmmm m…
Cruisin with the turtle
Cruisin with the turtle
Sea-lion says hi
Sea-lion says hi
Poses for the camera
Poses for the camera
Hi there!
Hi there!
Which to follow ? The turtle or th…
Which to follow ? The turtle or t…
More turtle swimming time, can you…
More turtle swimming time, can yo…
Another sea-lion turtle combo
Another sea-lion turtle combo
The turtle doesnt really care tha…
The turtle doesn't really care th…
Ill get in for the close up...
I'll get in for the close up...
There it is, close up time
There it is, close up time
One more glance from the sea-lion …
One more glance from the sea-lion…
Santiago Island
photo by: portia