As I mentioned in my last post, the highlight of snorkeling in the Galapagos, for me, was definitely the sea lions. And the snorkeling near Floreana (I believe on the Champion Islet), was one of the most outstanding snorkeling stops we had. Not only was the water crystal clear, but we these little pups came out to play!
They love to twist and turn and chase your flippers. They seemed to be very interested in flippers….such interesting and adorable creatures. Again, do I need to repeat my warning? Do not provoke, bother, or try to TOUCH said sea lions. Obviously.
I’ll do a separate post on Galapagos gear, but I did wear a Patagonia shorty wetsuit. I still got cold. And rash guards here are a MUST, just to protect you from the sun. You are on the equator, don’t forget. I think I was looking for starfish in the picture, but who knows–it’s fun to dive down just to see what’s down there. I’ve gotten much better at popping my ears on the way down, so mainly restricted by my awful ability to hold my breath–embarrassing for an ex-swimmer. One of our guides was an expert free-diver, and it was amazing to see him dive down and just “hang out” with the sea life for a bit.
Floreana is one of the few populated islands on the Galapagos, though we didn’t go into “town”, we could see lights as we approached the night before. Floreana is best known for the “Post Office Barrel” where British whalers used to leave messages for those coming after.
These days, the barrel serves as a fun novelty: if you are passing through, you review the postcards in the barrel and find one or two that you can hand deliver. For us, it was easy, since we live in DC and there were multiple cards addressed there. I was always a sucker for the “postcard chain game” that seemed to bee big when we were kids–where you were supposed to send a postcard to the first person on the list and so on–though they always failed. So this was fun.
It was blistering hot on Floreana, and we were all excited to be off the mainland and back to the boat in the evening.
Our boat crew–on the Nemo III–was fantastic, as was the food. Given I’m a sucker for towel art, napkin art, and other such things, I just melted over our daily fruit animal creations. I mean, a giant tortoise complete with a Sally Lightfoot crab on top?! Yea, so cute. I’m a relatively picky eater, and was a bit concerned about the food on the boat. But not only was it delicious, it was healthy, plentiful, and well prepared. It wasn’t gourmet or fancy, but it was just what you wanted after a long day swimming and hiking. There were always tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and various sources of protein. I was super impressed.
Next stop? Santa Cruz to see the giant tortoises!