Snorkeling was a focal point of the trip – even for the water shy, who soon were enraptured by the colourful inhabitants of the crystal clear water: angel fish, parrot fish, yellow tailed graits, surgeon fish, , sea urchins, white tipped reef sharks , sting rays, and chocolate-chip star fish (yes, that is their name). Jumping off the
into the deep, crystal clear water for the first time to snorkel , I expected balmy bath like water but I yelped like a sea lion once I hit the ice-cold water even though I had a wet suit on. Currents from the Antarctic explained not only the delightfully tiny Galapagos penguins, but also were the reason many in our group were wearing two wetsuits at once. We had our picture taken with the Galapagos penguins as we snorkeled around Tagus Cove, on the western side of Isabela Island. We snorkeled with penguins, white tipped sharks, sea turtles and sea lions, and came face to face with the giant tortoises which are the signature animals of the islands. Hundreds of dolphins swam alongside our ship one evening and another day as we crossed the Bolivar Channel we spotted seven Bryde whales just off the bow.