Isla Isabela, Galapagos Swimming with Sea Lions

  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    The ocean at Puerto Villamil.
  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    The ocean at Puerto Villamil.
  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    The ocean at Puerto Villamil.
  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    The pier where the sea lions have taken over.
  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    This is as far as I can get today..
  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    At around 3pm, I decided that at high tide, it might be a good time to see if I could meet some sea lions during an ocean snorkel. There were none around in the hour I was swimming around and I was unable to appreciate the fish because I was mentally let down by not getting to hang out with sea lions and penguins. On the way back into the harbor there was a blond girl swimming around. She seemed to be following something. I headed in her direction and all of a sudden a sea lion swam towards me head to head. I panicked initially and when we did not make contact I regained focus. Well, it turns out that a wild Galapagos sea lion is pretty much just a water dog. Judging by its size it was probably a teenager and all it wanted to do was play with us humans the ocean. It was amazing! It is incredibly thrilling to be snorkeling in the water with very good vision and a sea lion quickly comes at you like a game of chicken between two cars, and 30 cm from your face it darts out of the way and past you. Then it swims around your body and comes back at you again, stopping centimeters from your face where it just looks at you with huge as you both float there staring at each other. Then it teases you. Like a bully in the schoolyard who pretends to hit you to see if you will flinch, the sea lion in a staring contest with you quickly nudges his head forward at you and when you flinch, it just swims a lap around you. I am sure it is laughing. We played together for about 20 minutes. The sea lion and us humans seemed to be in a tie for how much fun we each had. It was a blast! The Galapagos Islands are special. This is paradise and probably the most uniquely special place the earth has to offer. What a day!
  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    Sometimes they just overtake the sidewalk and you have to get around them, feeling guilty for waking them...
  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    Sweet nap-time and sunshine....
  • Isla Isabela, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    Sometimes they just overtake the sidewalk and you have to get around them, feeling guilty for waking them...

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