When we weren’t on land experiencing the fauna and flora of the Galapagos islands we spent a lot of time enjoying the underwater marine life.
Most days would start with an island walk and include plenty of opportunities to snorkel for an hour or so in different places. The trips back and forth to the boat on the Zodiac were always fun and a good way of cooling down but getting into the water proved the best relief from the 30 degree heat.
Before going to Galapagos I had only snorkelled in the Mediterranean so this tropical underwater world really blew my mind! The shoals of fish were immense, not to mention the sheer variety of fish to see.
We had taken an underwater camera with us but it wasn’t up to much any more. Lots of our group used GoPros and after seeing the quality of the pictures I kinda wished we’d got one – even if it did mean adding yet more weight to my huge camera bag!
Below are some GoPro videos capturing what we saw on some our snorkels; taken by Jon Opprecht one of our fellow passengers on the Galapagos cruise. Cheers Jon
We managed to see three species of shark on our trip: White tip reef shark, Galapagos shark and Hammerhead shark.
We got very lucky seeing this juvenile hammerhead from the boat.
We saw a few types of ray including Spotted eagle rays 3m in size and swam within metres of them. Didn’t get any photos as we left the underwater cam back on the boat. It was nice just to experience this without thinking “get that shot, get that shot”
Where the sea reached the volcanic coastline you would see lots of Sally lightfoot crabs “Grapsus grapsus”, nothing special for the western coast of the Americas but they amazed us. I loved the vibrant colours of the crabs against the black volcanic rock. While our group watched seals play in the water I was elsewhere on my hands and knees photographing Sallys in different poses.
OK lets get them over and done with….. The seals of Galapagos.
They are cute, they are everywhere and they smell quite bad. We enjoyed their playful natures, especially when they joined us on a swim or snorkel. But saying that, we are fairly used to seals in England so the crabs get my vote over the seals any day 😉
Another of Jon’s videos above.
One day while waiting at the beach for our Zodiac to come and pick us up we watched a Marine iguana swimming with a seal not far behind. To his surprise the seal grabbed his tail and started pulling him back. The poor guy was swimming and not getting anywhere. He eventually managed to swim to the side while the seal still had his tail in his mouth. It was all play, no Iguanas harmed.
We just loved the aquatic life of Galapagos, something we will always remember.