While the weather was initially very cloudy, it is now sunny and hot. The 360 degree tour takes us around the whole island. The morning has already brought us wonderful moments with sea turtles and sharks.
We stop several times by boat at the coast. On a steep wall we can see boobies.
Blue-footed boobies and red-footed boobies. A romance between members of both species would have to result in a purple-footed booby, I reckon.
Tips and costs for the Galapagos Islands can be found on this page.
We make a stop at a huge crack in the rock face that we can drive into. The waves disappear into cracks and thunder rumbles inside the rock.
Light water vapor hangs over the surface here. The water is bright turquoise and clear. You can see many meters down to the bottom. It’s a magical place.
During the trip we also get to know the other group members. Leon is of course an unusual and sweet passenger.
Especially the four boys from Israel have a lot of fun playing with Leon and entertaining him.
Not far from the crevice we come to a natural gate. It is called “Darwin’s Gate” and forms a natural frame through which the Leon Dormido can be seen in the distance. The large rock is visible through the haze on the horizon.
And then it is time. We reach the Leon Dormido, the “sleeping lion”, which is also called “Kicker Rock”. Two rock needles rise up and down here. This is where the hammerhead sharks are supposed to be.
Snorkeling is on a different level at Kicker Rock as we are out at sea and not close to shore. The waves are extreme. Whoever disappears here, remains disappeared.
It goes into the deep blue, clear water. It is significantly cooler here than on the coast. Cheers to the wetsuit. I see the wall of rocks rising into the dark depths and disappearing there.
Corals and anemones colonize the rocks and form a habitat for small colorful fish. My heart is beating loudly. At any moment a huge hammerhead shark could suddenly shoot out of the blue nothingness in the distance. And then I actually see the outline of something big in front of me in the water!
But it’s just a sea turtle gliding gracefully through the water. The light falls on this beautiful creature and outlines all the fine lines in its skin and turtle shell.
Again I see movements, but they are fish coming towards me in a small school. My head is playing tricks on me, but the vision is only good to a certain extent.
Again I see a turtle. And another one. And another one. Three, four, then five turtles. Some swim right on the surface, others drift in the depths.
I hear one of the group yell, “Sharks! Shark! Shark!” Finally! Where? I swim towards him and look down. And sure enough, there I see the shape of a big shark! I paddle my fins as fast as I can and catch up with the fish, but they’re fast too.
Then I can also recognize the concise shape of the head. It really is a hammerhead shark. And not just one, next to this one another swims. It’s maybe only eight meters, but in the water it really clouds the view.
Sara asks the guide how it was in the water. He replies, “Your husband keeps separating from the group. He keeps swimming away alone, it’s dangerous. You have to tell him to stay with the group.”
The sharks scatter and I have to choose which one to follow. Hammerheads like to dive down to the deep sea and rarely come close to the surface. The sharks also sink down and come up again and again. It’s an incredibly impressive experience. They sharks also don’t care about what’s happening above them. There is no longer any trace of my initial excitement, apart from the breath-taking impression.
But now that I’ve circumnavigated the larger of the two Sleeping Lion sea stacks, it’s time to get back to the boat, Sara and Leon, and begin the journey to the harbor in the light of the setting sun. The end of our stay from San Cristobál has come. It’s time to change islands. We’ll take the tiny ferry and cross over to La Isabela.