Santiago: Puerto Egas … Snorkeling & Beach Time

Monday, 9 July (Part IV)

First the snorkeling.

I can’t tell you much about it since I didn’t participate.  Mui’s not much for words.  His succinct description often consists of three words: “It was great.”  He did say a few more words when he came out of the water this morning: “Boy, that water is cold!”  Not that it stopped him from staying out for the duration of the snorkel!  He was certainly glad that I had nagged him into buying a full body snorkeling skin to wear under the long-sleeved, short-legged wetsuit.  (I refrained from saying, “I told you so.”)

All geared up, Mui’s ready for his first-ever cool-water snorkel.

I can’t get Mui to put pen to paper (yeah, I write enough for the both of us).  He takes underwater videos, though.  Here’s a two-minute video he put together for our — yours and mine, that is — virtual snorkeling pleasure.

(The IDs are from the marine life guide in the cabin; but it turned out to be inadequate, so we resorted to the internet, too.  If you disagree with any of the IDs, drop us a comment so that we can make corrections.)

Enjoy the sea lion and the colorful fish!

OK, now that Mui’s in the water, let’s move onto my time on the beach.

As great as the walk to the grottoes was (post here), my favorite part of the morning was the time I spent on the beach while most everyone else was snorkeling.

Why?  Well, it wasn’t because I saw anything I had not already seen earlier in the morning.  The time on the beach was my favorite, because the TIME WAS MINE, AND MINE ALONE.  At my own pace.  Stopping when I wanted to stop; for as long as I wanted to stop.  Sitting quietly and spending time with one species or another.

So, here’s a photo essay of MY TIME!

these sea lions were snoozing here when we landed two hours ago; nothing has changed.

In a cove nearby, I find two more sea lions.  Yes, they are sleeping too.

This poor sea lion was hounded by point & shooters and had to find respite in the ocean.
There’s nothing wrong with using a P&S camera; but people … we’re here to enjoy
the wildlife without changing their behavior … please be considerate of them.

I have to admit that the hounding worked in Mui’s favor.  When I saw that the sea lion was headed towards Mui, I called it out to his attention.  That sea lion he was swimming with in the video … this is the one.

snorkelers, look up; there’s a brown pelican flying over you.

Immature Sally Lightfoot Crabs don’t have the brilliant colors of the adults.
the dark coloring serves as excellent camouflage against the lava rocks.

Yellow warblers are like a ray of sunshine on this drab day.

lava lizards — male (above) and female (below).

Sea lions sleep right side up or upside down — it doesn’t seem to matter to them.

The far end of the beach from the snorkelers and pangas.  I have this area to myself entirely.

I find the textures of the eroded cliffs fascinating.

This is the best I can do with the ghost crabs on this beach; they have an amazing
sense of motion and scurry down into their burrows at the slightest vibration.

I'm afraid I have another series of marine iguanas to share with you.  Sorry about the clipped claws; I was keeping an eye on the waves coming ashore and not paying full attention to my composition :-)

All too soon, it was time to head back to the ship.  Mui was amongst the last to leave the water, and we dallied as long as we could.  But when it was time for the last zodiac to leave, we had no choice but to embark it for the short ride to the Xpedition.

As a brown pelican looks on, the zodiacs start heading back to the Xpedition.

back aboard, snorkelers rinse their wetsuits before giving them to a naturalist to hang.
the snorkel bag, with the rest of the gear, is also rinsed before being hung to dry.

A great morning; a great first landing.  Now to get a bite to eat and rest before the afternoon excursion.  Another island awaits us.


  1. what a great adventure..both of you doing what you love to do!!!

  2. Maybe Mui doesn't do any writing, but the video is great! Now I don't have to snorkel myself.

  3. Splitting up occasionally brings double the pleasure. I could watch this awesome Sea Lion encounter over and over. Nothing fits the human and sea lion form quite so well as water, mesmerizing to observe! The Diveskin might have saved somebody from a bad case of frozen nuticals.
    What a morning!

  4. Sizi, karı-koca, TV için seyahat belgeseli hazırlamaya çağırıyorum.

  5. Tranlation of Sis's comment: "I invite you, as a husband and wife team, to make documentaries for TV."

  6. I'm so enjoying your photos and blog of your trip, brings back lots of fond memories. It looks like you visited many areas that we didn't, but of course that's the 'conservation plan'. You certainly saw a larger variety of birds than we did, I think it may have something to do with the time of year, we went in November.

  7. [re-posted fm CC]
    More great photos == thanks!!

  8. [re-posted fm CC]
    What great underwater pictures....what kind of camera did you use for those....hope we have such great sitings when we go in March.

    1. Hubby used a Canon S-95 P&S that has video capability; we purchased the separately-sold underwater casing to go along with it.

  9. [re-posted fm CC]
    Your piccies are fantastic - we go in January and can only hope we'll be able to get ours half as good as yours. How deep was the water during your snorkels - we're not very confident swimmers but are planning to do at least a couple of sessions.

    1. The deepwater snorkels are just that, in deep water and you go off the zodiac. The ones from the beach are in shallower water, and you can stay as close to the beach as you want, but you'll see more if you venture a little further out. If I remember correctly, there were buoyancy vests available, but wearing them wasn't mandatory, so Mui did not use one.

  10. Stunning photos, and such a vivid snorkeling video...almost makes me want to plunk down a chunk of change to upgrade my little ol' point-and-shoot!

    1. Kat, the underwater videos were taken with a Canon Powershot S95 -- a P&S.

  11. I'm wondering how well my GoPro camera would work in a situation like this. It's something I hadn't considered before but now I'm trying to figure out how I could test it! As for the "clipped claws" in your marine iguana shot, all the better because it really brought the attention up to that great mug of his! What great details in that face!


  12. Okay, after a week of intensive labour I've finished the selection of photos and the video compilation of my Galapagos trip.

    The video is on Youtube, direct link:
    it can be viewed in HD 1080 pixels.

    Photos can be viewed at:
    click on online photoalbum and then on the Galapagos tortoise.