Thursday, April 11, 2019

Swimming with Sharks and Sea Lions

I found out from three separate sources that it wasn’t albatross viewing season so we decided to forgo going to Espanola Island and do the 360 tour around San Cristobal which circles the island (ie. 360 degrees).

This tour is a long one so we were at the  Galápagos Eco Fishing tour office at 7:00am. There were nine of us on this tour; a young Swiss couple, a German couple and three guys who spoke Spanish. The guide had his ten year old son with him.

Our first stop was Kicker Rock which is a massive rock formation in the middle of nowhere. John said he has never swam in water so deep. It seemed to go down forever. No one wore life jackets.

It was awesome. Here we were swimming with sharks and a number of sea lions. It was so cool having the sea lions swim under and around us. I think I got some good video.

We all stayed with the guide. The current was a bit strong and I had a bit of trouble keeping up sometimes-  I was tired after that snorkel.

The boat next went over to Witches Hill which is a rock formation not too far from Kicker Rock. We got some great pictures of Kicker Rock through the tunnel at Witches Hill. It is called Witches Hill because the top looks like the profile of a witches face.

Heading to our next stop we found our boat surrounded by a large school of dolphins. They were jumping all around us. 

We stopped at another beach for a bit of snorkelling. I snorkelled and John walked around the beach. He said a bird came out of nowhere and flew directly towards his head. If he hadn’t ducked, the beak would have been firmly implanted in his forehead. 

Continuing around the island, we stopped at Punta Pitt for some fishing. I was quite relieved when no fish were caught. I know it’s hypocritical that I like eating fish, I just don’t want to see them killed.

As we rounded the island, the sea got rough...really really rough. It felt like we were often airborne. Everyone was looking a bit green. The Swiss couple was especially looking bad. The man ended up getting sick over the side of the boat.

Then we stoped in a sheltered bay for lunch. We all ate a bit but no one seemed particularly famished.

Going ashore, the guide walked us around the area and then took us to a snorkel spot that was filled with sea turtles. John must have done something to piss off the animal gods because while snorkelling a jellyfish stung him in the forehead. No one else was stung, just John. Within a half an hour the stinging sensation had gone away. 

Most of the passengers had taken a Gravol and many fell asleep for the very rough two hour ride back to the harbour where we started.

Despite the rough waters on the one side of the island, this was a excellent tour. I never felt rushed and our guide was knowledgable and entertaining. You could tell he loved what he did. I would strongly recommend Galápagos Eco Fishing Tours.

We ended our evening having a beer and watching the sunset with the sea lions.

I wasn’t in the mood for anymore seafood so John and I went to the grocery mart and picked up pasta and sauce to cook back at the hostel. Unfortunately, what I thought was sauce turned out to be ketchup. Most of our dinner went into the garbage. Thank goodness we weren’t too hungry to begin with.

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