Fast sea lions

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In the afternoon we head to the side of Espanola to go and snorkel along the coast of the island with the steep cliffs. The water here is fairly calm and it is clear. Fortunately we have some wetsuits to keeps us fairly warm since the water around here is only around 20 degrees so you couldn’t be in for long without the wetsuits.

Reef at Isla Espanola

There isn’t a lot of colourful fish around here. What is amazing in these waters is the present of lot of sea lions. The sea lion swim in the water just playing around – and they make me feel so slow and clumsy. The sea lions are fast just rushing through the water at a speed which not even a Michael Phelps at his very best is anywhere close to matching.

Sea lions swimming at the underwater cliffs at Espanola

After a bit I spot a sea lion with a piece of seaweed. It is swimming around with it in the mouth and then drop it from the surface watching the seaweed slowly falling down through the water. The sea lion is clearly just passing time it has no intention of turning vegetarian and start eating seaweed. The sea lion playing with the seaweed goes on for a while – and unlike when the sea lions were swimming around quickly this is done in a slow pace so it is easy to watch the sea lion close by and enjoy the animal playing around.

Sea lion playing with seaweed
Sea lion playing with seaweed at Espanola
Sea lion playing with seaweed

I snorkel a bit further and then a sea lion decide to play with me. It is swimming around in the distance and then swim towards me with high speed right towards my face and then it turns around. If the sea lion hadn’t turned around last moment there is no way I would have been fast enough to avoid the sea lion. It repeats this swimming pattern several times so I can look at the animal for a split second every time it turns around just in front of my mask.

I say good bye to the sea lion since it is about time to go back to the boat and the 2-3 hours sail back to San Cristobal far away to the north.


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