Snorkelling at Champion Islet – 3 April – Santa Cruz Western Itinerary
Written by: Ramiro Tomala (Expedition Leader)
Even though it rained on us the whole day yesterday, nature decided to cooperate with us in every other aspect. We got to see a tremendous amount of wildlife above water but especially underwater.
Snorkelling at Champion Islet: “It Was Teeming with Sea Life”
Today we went snorkelling at Champion Islet. Even though it was raining and many of our guests were not too sure whether they wanted to go out or not, we managed to convince many of them to join us on the snorkelling expedition. Finally, we left the ship with three zodiacs full of some rather hesitant explorers. Despite the presence of rain and fog, we continued onwards and, after a few minutes, managed to reach our destination. Once we arrived, we all started getting ready to jump into the water with our snorkel gear and flippers. Our journey and preparation was all worth it, for as soon as we got into the water, the Galapagos’ amazing intrepid animals immediately started swimming all around us – above, below, in front, and behind. It seemed like they were everywhere.
Sea Lions Doing Their Dance
As we got into the water, we could observe a plethora of young and adult sea lions that were at least as curious about us as we were about them. We decided to get a little closer to them and reciprocate their curiosity. The young ones were quite pleased with our presence and they were so eager to show us how much better they could swim and dive! They certainly gave us a lesson on how to swim and play around.
Many of the baby sea lions were intrigued by our cameras and even our snorkels. We attempted to follow them for a few minutes but soon we realized that they are far better equipped for marine life than we would ever be. We had a few young explorers on our zodiacs and I think the youngsters were the ones who enjoyed it the most.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
The sheer variety of sea life made us feel as if we had our heads placed inside a massive fish tank. We didn’t know what to pay attention to first. Green pacific sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, king angel fish, yellow tailed surgeon fish, damsel fish, coral and sea stars filled up nearly every corner of our goggles. Our vision was flooded by the colors and shapes of so many animals and objects that it was hard for us to focus on all of them at the same time.
Every time we tried to start following the fish, the sea lions would try to steal our attention once more, forcing us to look at them! The moment we started playing with them, however, the sea turtles would start to swim by and float with us, also hoping to be photographed by our explorers. It was like being surrounded by dozens of celebrities that wanted to be photographed by their fans – us humans!
The site we visited had a strong current but, despite the tugging and pulling of the water, we all managed to swim, snorkel and enjoy the aquatic life below.
What a way to end a great Galapagos expedition!