Espirito Santos Island - swimming with Sea Lions

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July 31st 2009
Published: August 7th 2009
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The property manager for Justin's parents condo invited the 4 of us to head out and explore the Espiritos Santos Islands off of La Paz. The trip was not cheap, costing about $50 USD. However, it was a lot of fun. Heading over, we attracted the attention of a pod of dolphins, which then proceeded to swim along side the boat and playfully jump right next to us. I enjoyed being right next to (6ft away) the airborne mammals.

Exploring some caves by boat were also on the itinerary. As we pulled out of the caves, we saw some 'flying rays' and went out to explore. These were really cool. I had no idea that rays could launch themselves out of the water like that. I had always envisioned 'flying' rays to be swimming along at speed and then lift out over the surface for second. These rays would go straight up, and clear the water by about 10 feet. I am not sure why they did it, but it was amazing to see them at it.

There were also some whales moving about, but we could not see any close up. Since they can hold their breath for so long, the time between when someone saw where one came up to breathe and we went over to the location was too long. The whale had already dived down to deep water.

The highlight of the day was swimming with Sea Lions. We were instructed to be careful around the bulls. If they got too close, we were to use our flippers and kick them in the face. Morgan was the only one that had to employ this defense strategy. Some may say he got too close to the bull and that it was not the bull that got too close to him. I really enjoyed heading out with my snorkel mask and swimming with the Sea Lions. We just pulled up to a rocky island that had a bunch of them there, and then jumped in. I got to about 6ft away from a Sea Lion 'couple' playing with each other. There were many different kinds of fish there, and there was one very large school that was so long that it looked like LA traffic lined up along an I5. Many times on of the Sea Lions could be seen swimming along the bottom.

We swung by a great little beach for lunch, which was two different kinds of Civiche on tostada chips.

The last activity was one that I kind of created for myself. On the way back, we met up with more dolphins, and got a little ahead of them. I decided to try it out and jumped in. It didn't work. I looked around under the water, but I could only hear them. Oh well. It was worth a go. The day was thoroughly enjoyable as it was.

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