Fewer pictures were taken today because we did a morning kayak ride, a late morning snorkeling trip and a zodiac ride. Next time we do the Galapagos Islands we will make sure to bring a Go Pro camera so we can take more pictures in the water when we are kayaking and snorkeling. We do have remarkable videos that the photographer took of our snorkel trips.
During our early morning kayak trip we were able to see several Blue Footed Boobies. They were all on the side of cliffs or on rock outcroppings in the water. While we were kayaking there were splashes every now and then like large rocks falling off the cliffs. It took a few splashes before we realized these were birds (Blue Footed Boobies) that were dive bombing into the water to catch fish. They would hit the water hard flying straight down, catch a fish in the large schools of Black Striped Salemas swimming in the water, and then slowly resurface a few seconds later. We also saw distant splashes further out to sea but as we looked more closely we realized these were Eagle Rays jumping out of the water. These rays would jump out of the water and spin around like they were giving us a show. We saw a few sea lions along the beach and one sea lion swam with us a little while as we paddled along. We spotted several pelicans, one heron and several other birds flying around as we enjoyed our first kayak trip.
Later in the morning we did our deep-sea snorkeling session (Silversea defines this as snorkeling from a zodiac in 10 to 40 foot water versus snorkeling off the beach). We were dropped off at the same spot we started our kayak trip and there were three sea lions waiting for us. We swam over to the sea lions and swam with them for about 10 minutes before we started swimming down the coast. You'll see a photo of Sharon with one of the sea lions. These sea lions loved playing with us and would dart around us, under us and sometimes even between our legs. At times they would swim straight at us and open their mouths which looked pretty aggressive at times, but they were just playing. They watched you and would repeat somersaults and twists in the water that you would do. As we swam away from the sea lions we found a large Manta Ray gliding through the water. Manta Rays are 3 to 4 times larger than a big sting ray. We followed it until it swam too deep to see it any more. We also found a very pretty, green sea turtle swimming along the coast. These sea turtles are 4 to 5 feet long with very distinctive markings on his shell and didn’t seem to be too concerned about having swimmers around him. Besides seeing hundreds of different types of fish, our group also saw an octopus, an eel and a shark. Towards the end of our snorkeling we came across a myriad of different colored starfish. They covered the bottom and were very different from the starfish we see in Florida or the Caribbean. It was an extremely enjoyable snorkeling trip.
While we ate lunch, our ship repositioned to visit Eden Inlet on Santa Cruz Island. In the afternoon we took a zodiac excursion to see some different areas from the coastline. Once again, we saw several blue footed boobies nesting along the coastal rocks. There were sea lions around as always. We went by a grove of mangrove trees and saw a few small sharks swimming around.
Greg and Sharon