TRAVEL: Snorkeling in the Galapagos

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Snorkeling provides one of the best opportunities to watch wildlife in the Galapagos Islands.

Travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann, told KRON4’s Marty Gonzalez the more time you spend wet, the better.

So let’s jump in.

It’s hard to keep track of who you are swimming with off of Isabela Island. This was Dana’s first glimpse when she hit the water. It was turtle soup. She couldn’t really move. So she just floated, and when Dana finally had an easy out, she took it so she wasn’t quite as much in the turtle thick of it. But the turtles truly didn’t seem to care. There were a whole lot more of them, than there were people in the water.

Dana strongly recommends using wet suits. Along with keeping you warm, they offer protection against everything from simple cuts and scrapes to jellyfish stings.

They’re big and they move fairly slow, so turtles easily grab attention when snorkeling. But there were plenty of other distractions.

The biggest being the sea lions. They move with grace and speed in the water, and in many respects their playful nature might remind you of a puppy. But that said, they’re big puppies. Females typically run in the 165 pound range, males can hit 440 pounds.

Galapagos tours are controlled. Cruise ships hold a maximum of 100 passengers. Dana’s  wasn’t full, so there were 60 to 70 passengers, broken up into smaller groups before getting into the water. On almost all of her days exploring the islands, she never saw another ship, so when you’re in the water, the human factor is fairly limited.

That said, visitors have to be responsible. You don’t go chasing sea lions, especially the large bulls. The young ones that want to play, are going to show you they are curious. Go Pro cameras are fun to take a nip at. They have to wonder where these things came from all of the sudden. And I do think it’s important to point out, my camera is on a stick that’s a good four-feet long. Dana is not as close as the video may make it seem.

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