December 14th 2017

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Ocean Adventures in the Galapagos Islands Ocean Adventures in the Galapagos Islands Ocean Adventures in the Galapagos Islands

 

Continent: South America. Country: Galapagos. City: Galapagos.

Ocean Adventures in the Galapagos Islands

By Edwina Lonsdale

Everyone has a place they dream of visiting. For many years mine was the Galapagos Islands, and when at last I got the opportunity to visit, it really was a dream come true.

The ideal way to explore the islands is of course by sea. The only vessels permitted in the Galapagos are those with Ecuadorian registry, and they fall under the auspices of the National Park whose responsibility is to conserve and preserve this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The park guardians limit the number of visitors to any location at any one time, and ensure an approved guide is on board all vessels. As a result, it is easy to sit on a beach and witness scenes which must have been almost identical one hundred, one thousand, or conceivably one million years ago: marine iguanas sunning themselves on the lava rock formations, sea lions frolicking in the surf, frigate birds circling overhead ready to steal a tempting morsel from an unsuspecting booby, pelicans flying low in formation, like a fleet of lumbering bombers, and brilliantly coloured red and blue sally lightfoot crabs scuttling across the sand. 

We were amazed at the fearless animals, reptiles and birds, who blink an incurious eye in your direction before continuing with their daily lives. Sea lions flop against each other on sandy beaches or in shallow rock pools, whilst pups run up and down in search of playmates, trying to entice a companion into the shallows for a romp. Once in the water, these graceful creatures come into their own, as agile as any ballerina, and to watch them catch and ride a wave, or leap and play in the foaming surf, is a great joy. Meanwhile the dinosaur-like marine iguanas pile on top of each other or slump across the rocks as they warm themselves sufficiently to brave the waters, en route for the offshore algae beds where they feed.

Nearly everyone can snorkel, even if you are not a very strong swimmer. In the water you can expect curious sea lions to come and show off how very much better they are than you at swimming; admire shoals of beautifully coloured fish, exploring underwater caves and drifting past sea urchins, starfish and anemones; or see a flock of penguins ‘fly’ beneath you; watch the gentle turtles paddle up to the surface to take a breath, before sinking beneath the waves, or the amazing sight of a group of rays swimming in formation.

I went to the Galapagos expecting to have an amazing time, but nothing prepared me for just how extraordinary these islands are – they will change your perspective on the world and you will come home feeling as if you have starred in a David Attenborough documentary.

 

Edwina Lonsdale | Managing Director

Mundy Cruising plc 

50-51 Wells Street

London. W1T 3PP

Tel: 020 7399 7670 | Fax: 020 7399 7671 

Web: www.mundycruising.co.uk  

www.mundyadventures.co.uk

 

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