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Published: February 4th 2013
Today we had our first day of rain, even though this is considered the rainiest month of the year. It actually came as somewhat of a relief as we had suffered some painful sunburn at the beach the other day.
We went on a full day snorkeling tour nevertheless, and boarded the boat at about 0900. We had another fantastic national park guide, Raul, who gave us a multitude of information throughout the day.
Our first stop was Isla Lobos where we saw many frigates and blue foot boobies. We stopped for a snorkel along the rocky shore and were soon being buzzed by sea lions who were dive bombing us, doing flips and other acrobatics under water. Our anxiety was up from the incident the previous day, but our guide reassured us that these sea lions were merely just playing with us. Once we relaxed and realized we weren’t going to get our face bitten off we had an incredible time watching the lions.
After Isla Lobos we went out to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), which is the iconic trademark of San Cristobal. Leon Dormido is a sheer walled tuff cone rock island
that has eroded in half. The waters were dark and ominous, as the depths are 60-80 ft. here, and the visibility quite poor at 20 ft. because it was filled with plankton, and some vicious little jellyfish. We hoped to be lucky enough to see some Hammerhead sharks here, as it is one of the more common hangouts for them in the archipelago. Raul joked that we would probably see Galapagos sharks who are vegetarian because they only eat vegetarians. I had never heard of this species of shark before, so we both assumed that perhaps they were like the Whale or Nurse sharks, and did eat mainly plankton, not so.
Once in the water we saw perhaps 50 sharks, ranging from White Tips, Black Tips, and numerous Galapagos sharks. They are attracted in the area of the channel between the two rocks because of the strong current and shelter. We also saw a few very large turtles, Golden Rays, and the biggest Eagle Rays I have ever seen. We had lunch at Puerto Grande beach, and then returned again to Leon Dormido in hopes of seeing a Hammerhead. We never did get to see one, but
we saw such a multitude of other sharks it was hard to be disappointed. I finished the day spreading some of Dad's and Grandpop's ashes in the channel of the rock. I am happy that they could be swept into the Humboldt current and visit all the islands as I did.
Once we were back at the hotel Dennis googled the Galapagos Shark, and found that they are “active predators…are bold and have behaved aggressively to humans, and thus have been regarded as dangerous. Diving unprotected is not advisable in areas where they are abundant. Excited Galapagos Sharks are not easily deterred.” Thanks Raul.
All in all we were able to see all the main species of animals the Galapagos has to offer except the Hammerhead, the Magnificent Frigate, and the Red Footed Booby. A perfect reason to return again one day.
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