I don’t know how many of these posts in total that I’ll have, since there are so many pictures and stories I want to share! That’s why the titles of these blogs is not very inspired. Now, when we last left, I promised some video. Most likely, the underwater videos will be from Steve’s new GoPro, as the clarity and colors are gorgeous on it, compared to the ones I shot. However, the land videos will be from my Nikon.
As I hinted previously, we were absolutely thrilled to be seeing hammerheads so close. We had planned to dive in Galapagos, but then I had my little episodes of bends, and decided that the conditions there were not safe for me to contend with. Diving in the Galapagos essentially “guarantees” schools of hammerheads, as well as other sharks, but from quite a distance usually, as they’re skittish animals, and don’t like divers’ bubbles. Thus, seeing them right below us when snorkeling fulfilled a nearly lifelong dream.
Their heads and eyes are just so cool!
OK… on to other species. The next day we were to go snorkeling near a deserted island (Marchena), when the crew spotted dolphins on the way. We dropped into the water to find:
We were amazed and thrilled at the sheer number in the pod. I don’t have anything to compare their size against, to show you, other than to say that they’re huge! Later, I’ll share another video when they were in front of our boat.
The next day found us off the NW coast of Isabela island, after a nearly sleepless night due to a rough ocean crossing, then an anchorage that had us rolling back and forth very sharply in our beds. Our hike that day was cancelled because the waves were too high for us to land. It was a pretty interesting island to see from a distance -
Around lunchtime, we crossed the equator:
and celebrated with a countdown and pisco sours. This is Isabela island at the equator:
Many of the islands we visited on our trip looked like this. In fact, it was really weird when we encountered “civilization” of a town of 100 souls later in our voyage. Further down the coast of Isabela was a protected cove that had some of our neatest underwater encounters. We jumped in to find the water was remarkably colder than we had had previously. It was now 72 degrees, and on a later snorkel, registered 68 degrees. For those of you who probably snorkel in the Caribbean, the water there is close to 80 degrees. Jumping in literally took our breath away!
This bay gave us our first exposure to friendly and playful sea lions:
… a tropical penguin…AND… marine iguanas -
I couldn’t resist this photogenic crew:
This bay also treated us to flightless cormorants underwater. These islands are the only place in the world where cormorants evolved to be flightless.
This cove also had the largest concentration of green sea turtles that we had ever seen (note how shallow)
I don’t have a blockbuster finish for this post. Here’s one of the many sunrises we were treated to on our 0600 excursions -