On our way down to the wharf we stopped in to a shop to enquire about snorkelling trips to a well known spot on Isabaela - Los Tuneles - for the next day. They told us they had no spots tomorrow, however they did have 2 spots left on the trip today, that was leaving right now... We deliberated for half a minute and then decided to jump on the boat.
The people in the store made some calls and within 30 seconds a guy was there picking us up in his ute and taking us down to the dock.
Getting on that boat was the best decision we've made to date on our trip. Hands down. You’ll see why.
The trip was from 8:30am to 2pm and included planned snorkelling at 2 different locations and a walk around on the lava tunnels formed during the last ice age.
As soon as we left the harbour after the days briefing from our guide, the captain opened the engines and we began to fly west around the bottom of the island bouncing over some decent size swells. The first stop was at Union Rock, where we took some photos of the nazca boobies and sea lions lazing about on the large rock formation.
From the boat we could already see lots of turtles sticking their heads out of the water to catch some breath. We were super excited and jumped in the water with the go-pro ready to go.
At this stop we found reef sharks, turtles, fish, sea horses, eels, octopi and much more!
There was so many animals around it was awesome!
I’m not going to go into too much depth about the snorkelling site as I feel the photos speak much louder than words for this one.
The captain killed the engines, and we jumped in again and swum around with the huge creatures. Some of them must have had a wing span of at least 5m!
This was incredible and the absolute highlight of our trip so far. At one point there was at least 4 of these amazing animals around me. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling but it was so beautiful to see them in their natural habitat.
Around this time of year (March-April) the islands have lots of manta rays off the coast as they gather to breed. However it is still rare to come across them, the ocean is a huge place!
The boat headed on for another 5 minutes before navigating through the entrance to "Los Tuneles”. Piloting the boat here was a little sketchy because of many submerged rocks and a reef with some 4 foot waves breaking over it.
We jumped in the water again (still both grinning like idiots) and got to explore the outskirts of this area. Here the water was much clearer due to the sand bottom, and we got to see some larger fish, some awesome swim through tunnels, penguins and sea lions sunning themselves on rocks, and plenty of blue footed boobies.
We still got to explore a little on foot, crossing several natural lava bridges, seeing plenty of large sea turtles swimming by underneath us, and were able to take plenty of snaps of the comical blue footed boobies. One little guy was even practicing his mating dance for us, which was about on par with watching Sean dance.
Many thanks to Rosedelco - our company for the tour, for showing us an awesome time. The guide, captain and crewman helped us to find absolutely every animal we wanted to see (and more), with the minimal disturbance and maximum respect possible to these awesome critters. The lunch of fruit, bikkies and a sandwich wasn’t bad either!
This day has set a seriously high standard for the next 8 months of our trip.. I don't know how anything will compare!