Sunday, April 29, 2012

Swimming with the Turtles

We are still in the Galapagos and are pretty much getting our minds blown daily.  I am loving the trip and it’s hard to think of life off the boat.  It will be a shock when the live-aboard ends and we are forced to leave the Daphne!  I am pretty sure I will feel swells in my hotel room back in Quito, if you get my reckoning!  Today, we explored a lagoon in the dingy and walked upon a vast field of lava, but the best activity was, by far, the snorkel excursion in the late morning. 

Brad and Susie

Once all of us had our wet suits on, the dingy left the Daphne for what would be our coolest snorkel experience yet in the Galapagos.  For quite a long time, we motored until the dingy finally started to slow down.  For a second, I was confused.  Normally,  we snorkel in small bays or off of a beach, but in front of me was a labyrinth.  Hundreds of lava rock islands and boulders made up a maze of clear, and in places shallow, water.   At this time, the sun was under a cloud, the wind had started up, and I was a little intimidated at the thought of jumping in.  Nonetheless,  all of us were soon snorkeling around in the maze, and peaking into the underwater world.

At first, we were disappointed because a thick layer of murky water blocked our vision.  Andrew discovered that if you dive down, the visibility becomes amazing.  I did not believe him and was shocked to see the world around me come into focus as I skin dived.  As I looked, I was amazed at the sheer quantity of turtles I saw.  Around every bend I saw two or three gently swimming below me.  Towards the end of the dive, Andrew wanted to show me something.  After strenuously crossing a three foot long channel of about six inch deep water, I came upon a deep pool swarming with even more turtles!  The diameter of this pool was about twenty yards, and inside were at least twenty turtles.  My guess is that they entered through the channel at high tide, and when the tide fell, were stuck inside the pool until the tide rose again.  I was able to dive down and get some sick photos of some turtles hiding under a rock.  Sadly, we could not stay forever, and Efrain indicated to us that it was time to go.  Thus, we said goodbye to the labyrinth of turtles, and motored back to the Daphne.

I loved all the other activities our group undertook today, but the snorkeling was just fabulous!  I have never snorkeled in such an environment, or seen so many turtles!   I hope tomorrow is as good.

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!  

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