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Friday, May 12, 2017

Galapagos Grandure - Life in the Sea

We spent a lot of time in the water. Snorkeling was a major part of our cruise, one day we went in three times. The water is very salty and I don't know that my hair will ever recover, despite the numerous rinse offs I did after getting back on board.

The amount of sealife was incredible. I hate to say it, but it kicked the Great Barrier Reef's ass. (Admittedly, the coral was more colourful and abundant in Australia.) At times we were surrounded by schools of tiny fish that were as curious about us as we were about them.

Fishies, fishies everywhere!

Galapagos traffic jam

This little guy photo bombed me!

We got to swim with so many different creatures. When we swam through the channel of Kicker Rock, we got to swim with man-sized sharks for the first time. I had a moment of concern when a sea lion was chasing a shark towards me. I saw the mouth and the white belly, but the sea lion herded him away before I could panic. It was amazing how patently unconcerned I was about swimming with the much maligned creatures.
Kicker Rock - the space on the left is where we snorkeled
Shark week has nothing on us!
Sea lion (head on right) chasing the shark

Our biggest wish was to swim with Manta rays and we were extremely lucky to be able to do so. Off an island called Chinese Hat (so named for its shape) the coral was blooming and we got a few moments with these giants of the sea. Another opportunity appeared by Pinacle Rock later the same day.

Mantas weren't the only rays in the ocean though, we got to see Golden Rays, Spotted Rays, Eagle Rays and Sting Rays. We even saw some of the big boys lounging around an undersea cave.
Eagle Ray
Spotted Ray
Golden Rays
School of Eagle Rays

Sting Rays
These fellows are about the size of a patio table
I can't remember the names of all the fish we saw, but I think the most memorable school was the dolphins that played with our catamaran as it skipped through the water. It's really hard taking pictures from the boat, especially when it's bounding over the waves, but here's what we managed to take.

 Up next are the amazing birds. That will be a photo and video heavy blog as well. 

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