This was our first snorkle in the Galapagos. Our experience with a disposable underwater camera was nil, and we wound up with a whole roll of thumb shots and partial body shots of fast moving sea lions. But it is those playful sea lions that make this place so special. The babies and females swim alongside you in the shallow, clear water, winding around you and coming up behind and surprising you.
It was all fun and games with pretty fish and sea stars until we rounded the corner and found a small school of sharks. Fortunately they were low and lazy and did not mind us swimming above.
Devil's Crown is a sunken volcanic crater that is now used for a shallow snorkeling area. Our original plans were to snorkel around the outside, then come in to the shallow center, but the water ws very rough and the swells high, so we only snorkeled inside the crater, which in itself was still an excellent time.
Because the day was sunny and the water shallow, it was easy to see the brightly colored fish. Many sea stars sat on the bottom while sea lions plotted their surprise 'attacks' on us, where they come up from behind and swim under you and blow bubbles in your mask. The more you startle, the more fun it is for them as far as we can tell.
Santiago at the Black and Beach
We went here on a cloudy day and the water was quite cold. We got dressed on the beach and walked in from there after our walk along the tidal pools. This place was packed with tourists, but once we were in the water looking for fish, you lose awareness of people unless you purposely look for them. The unique animal at this snorkel for us was the fur seal. They are as quick as the sea lions and swim as close and also enjoy the element of surprise.
Snorkeling at Chinese at was unique in that the sea turtles were close to the surface so you could see them better. The best part was the penguins zig-zagging around us. We saw five or six during the hour of snorkeling, so there are not a lot, but when we did see one it was amazing.