There are literally no words that adequately describe that feeling when you slip into the cool water at the end of a long day and realize a ‘bucket list’ experience is unfolding around you. Awesome? It’s overused. Fantastic? Trite. Thrill of a lifetime? Yawn. I’m not even going to try.
We had sailed from Isla San Fransisco over to San Evaristo and dropped anchor as the sun was starting to get low in the sky. The water looked tempting so I got my snorkel gear on and slipped into the sea for a refreshing swim. Underwater it seemed a little darker than I thought it should be based on what I had observed from the deck of Galapagos. Anchored by some tall rocks to the west, I thought maybe the sun was already casting shade onto the water near the boat. I was wrong.
As I swam toward the stern of the boat I realized that what I had thought was the shadow of rocky cliffs was actually moving. And it was coming toward me. The shadow was huge, dark, and undulating and my adrenaline gave a big shout out to my brain. “Shit! What the hell is that?”. There’s that brief moment of almost-terror when you are faced with something as yet unidentified under the water. Especially big stuff. Big dark stuff.
As it happens I did not get eaten by a great kraken. Instead I got a good 45 minutes swimming with hundreds of Mobula rays! And even better, Mike saw them, grabbed his snorkel and got in, too. So we both spent a surreal almost-hour swimming with these graceful creatures who couldn’t have cared less they were sharing their sea with us. I had my camera and even though the water had a lot of particulate and the sun was low in the sky, I got some acceptable, even spooky, images to help us remember this very best of evenings. Shock and awe, folks. Shock and bloody awe.
More spooky Mobulas
While the Mobulas were the star of the show, here are a few more photos from San Evaristo and also from Isla San Fransisco, where I finally saw Conger Eels! Known as Cortez Garden Eels, these were another species for my Sea of Cortez Underwater Wildlife Bingo card. Take a look at those faces!
S/V Galapagos, Standing by on Channel 22a; back up in the Sea of Cortez where the weather is fine, the humidity is lower, and the snorkeling is way better than the Pacific Coast. Making our way north to Puerto Peñasco and still deciding our plan for the next year.