The Galápagos is home to many unique species. Some of them live on land but in my opinion the water owns an even wider diversity of life. With this said, we were going on a boat to an island called Santa Fe. This is where we were going to go snorkeling. We were going on a day trip and we started on Santa Cruz, then went to Santa Fe where we would go snorkeling two times. Then we would come back to Santa Cruz and snorkel once and also take a walk to see marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies.
We arrived at Santa Fe and put on wetsuits, snorkels, life jackets, and flippers.
The water was at the most twenty feet deep. Our guide was the first one ready out of the eleven of us. He sat on the edge of the boat, put down his mask, put in his snorkel and flopped into the water. Everyone followed. I was the last one. There I was sitting on the edge of the boat, shaking. One, two, three, jump. Those words never did anything! Finally the guide gave me his hand and I jumped in. I soaked up the water like a dry rag. The water spilled in from my legs and my neck and not one single part of me was dry. “You are dry?” The guide asked. “Not at all.” I mumbled, but out loud I answered the opposite. I put the snorkel I my mouth and put my face in the water. Fish! Thousands and thousands of fish. A large group of them swam past me and I looked over. They were dark, shiny blue with a yellow stripe in the middle. Many other fish passed and what surprised me was that I found something different in each of them.
I finally gave up trying to fight the cold so I swam back to the boat and had a break. We drove the boat about ten more minutes to the next spot. It wasn’t too long but we still got a snack. There were Oreos and juice, which gave me a good energy boost. We arrived at the next lagoon where we are going to play with sea lions. Since I was so freezing cold at the last spot, I put on a spare wetsuit under the other to be extra warm. Like the last spot, everyone jumped in before I did. I sat on the edge again, waited for two or three seconds, then plopped myself in and swam to where the rest of the group was. To my surprise, the water was very shallow. I could stand flat-footed on the bottom.
The water in front of me twirled and I looked. A baby sea lion, only two feet away from me flipped and jumped and I realized that it was coming closer and closer. I tried to stay on the rock that I was standing on but the current was too strong and I slipped. I flipped and twirled as much as the sea lions did and after that a sea lion hit me with one of its flippers.
After a few more minutes we swam to a different spot in the lagoon to find sea turtles. Two turtles were side by side and I could see them clearly. Again the water soaked through me, chilling me to the bone, and I climbed back into the boat.
After everyone got in the lunch was served. The guide joked with us that we wouldn’t have lunch unless we caught it and he cast two fishing rods into the ocean. Within 5 minutes we had caught a fish – but we didn’t eat it! He saved it for the next day, as our food had already been cooked and prepared. The fish (tuna) tasted really yummy and gave me another energy boost.
After lunch the boat took off at high speed across the ocean. You could see only water in every direction. We drove for an hour and finally arrived at Santa Cruz. We jumped out of the boat and walked ashore. Loads of marine iguanas greeted us as we tried to find our footing across the bumpy volcanic rock. They would sit on the rocks to get warm and once their body temperature reached a certain level they would head toward the water to eat.
Sitting on a large rock on the shore were two blue-footed boobies. Their blue feet looked so odd, against the black volcanic rock and their white bodies. They looked at us curiously as we approached, but didn’t seem overly concerned.
After our short walk around the shore we headed back out to the boat and drove out a few meters into the lagoon. It was time for our final snorkel. Our guide was hoping to see some sharks this time. Instead we were happy to find another pair of sea turtles who swam close to us for quite some time.
Snorkeling in the Galapagos was an amazing experience. The wildlife is so abundant and comes so close to you. Just make sure you have a warm wetsuit because the water is cold!