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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Galapagos Photos and Videos, Part 2

Here are more photos (and videos) from our Galapagos trip.  This time, they're mostly water-related.  We went snorkeling most days on the eight-day trip.  The water was as cold as 61 degrees Fahrenheit.  That's cold!  We did have wet suits, but as the name implies, you get wet.  So getting in was quite a shock every time, as ice cold water streamed down your back, and into the suit along your wrists and ankles.  Happily, once we put our masks in the water and started looking around, we would be distracted from the cold pretty quickly.  

Thanks to my friend Rob, who lent me his underwater point-and-shoot camera. I loved it. My first time taking photos underwater.  Almost everywhere we snorkeled, we ended up seeing lots of sea turtles, very close up. 



Rob's camera could also take video.  In one spot, we were literally surrounded by sea turtles feeding on algae on the bottom.  It wasn't very deep at all, and you had to be careful not to run into one turtle swimming past behind you while watching another turtle.  



I love how gracefully they "fly" through the water.  They do look like they're flying.


On Fernandina Island, the sea turtles share the area with huge colonies of marine iguanas.


Marine iguanas evolved in the Galapagos to take advantage of the plentiful underwater algae.  Since they're cold-blooded reptiles, they warm up on black lava beaches, then slip into the cold water to graze. They can stay down for up to an hour at a time, eating algae off the lava bottom.  Here's one who's just entered the water on his way to diving down.  They swim with their arms and legs dangling loosely, and undulate their whole body and tail to move through the water. 


Here the turtles and iguanas share the same area.  This iguana swam right toward me like I wasn't even there.  I got a little worried he was going to run right into me. 
Here's an iguana munching on the algae on the bottom.  




Iguana on the bottom video.



Another flying turtle vid.  It's so hard to hold the camera steady, since the waves are washing you back and forth all over the place.



A couple of other underwater shots.  This is a cool-looking fish called the heiroglyphic hawkfish. Great name for a cool fish. 


We saw schools of these yellow-tailed sturgeon fish wherever we snorkeled.  


There were lots of big starfish, almost a foot across.  I loved the pattern on this one.  Looks almost futuristic and sci-fi to me.  Like it's displaying the polygons of a 3D model of a starfish.  








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