Swimming with Sea Lions in the Galapagos

 

This past summer, I fulfilled a life-long dream of traveling to the Galapagos Islands and witnessing up close a myriad of amazing birds and sea creatures. While scouting our Galapagos photo tour, I enjoyed 8 days on our small luxury boat, La Beluga, and was peacefully immersed in these magical islands and surrounded by creatures who weren’t afraid to wander or swim near me and say “hello.” It was beyond my wildest imagination.

Here I experienced nature and animals as I never have before, and yes, I felt like a little kid again—curious, smiling, laughing, playful and far, far away from my serious and busy adult world. It all started on day one when I was swimming in a bay and felt a touch on my leg. I turned around and within arms reach was a seal with its big brown eyes and adorable whiskers staring me in the face, wanting to play. So play I did. He disappeared and I dove underwater in search of my new friend, twirling around in a lame human attempt to mimic his graceful sea dance. The seal then grazed me with his flipper and I was ecstatic! I popped out of the water and screamed with delight to my new traveling friends in the dingy. I repeated this experience several times during the trip, including one cove swim where I was surrounded by a group of young seals showing off their speed and agility. I was so in the flow with my new friends that I did not want to climb back on board the boat, despite the insistent pleas of our multi-talented Galapagos guide, Juan.

My inner joyful child was stirred daily, whether I was chasing a school of brilliantly colored parrotfish or in awe of hundreds of dolphins encircled our boat at sunset, their high dives into the air like marine high fives to their awestruck human friends. Getting face to face with a giant lava lizard brought back memories of my first gigantic toad discoveries in my back yard—except this toad was fifty times the size. There was the morning where we swam in a cove in search for hammer head shark. I was not quite prepared for the experience, but ready to give it a whirl. When the huge creature swam below me in the murky waters, I let out a scream that brought me back to my ten-year-old-thrilled-for-the-first time state of fear and joy.

There were so many moments that took my breath away and brought me back to my days as a budding nature lover and world explorer—wandering across lava fields and then lying down to feel their texture and warmth, studying whale bones on a beachgetting eye to eye with a giant tortoise, my enthrallment watching an albatross take off and land gracefully or standing at the head of the Beluga as it glided across the Pacific ocean in the moonlight and then being lulled to sleep by the gentle rock of my seafaring home away from home. Every day was so full of unforgettable moments woven together seamlessly like a perfect symphony.

They say it’s never to late to have a happy childhood and my Galapagos experience confirmed that my inner child was not only alive and well, it can be revived to delight and transform my current reality and world view. I hope you will join me when I return to the Galapagos this August to co-lead our Galapagos Magic tour with photographer-filmmaker Ossian Lindholm.  Come cruise with us for 8 days on the luxury Beluga. Enjoy sunrises with seabirds and sunsets that will capture your soul forever. Come be a student of life and follow the path and fascinating story of Charles Darwin with our expert local guides who will be our amazing and inspiring teachers in the history, science, flora, fauna, geology and natural history of this exceptional region.

These pristine and exotic islands are a nature lover’s paradise and one of the most coveted destinations in the world. If you love nature and the sea, the Galapagos is a must on your bucket list! Now more than ever, we need places like the Galapagos to inspire us and restore our faith that man and nature can co-exist in harmony.

Come and play with me this summer on our Galapagos photo tour! We’ll snorkel, explore, learn, and cherish this incredible place together. While photographic instruction is the theme, the tour is perfect for all levels of photographic interest. You do not even need a fancy camera—we are so close to the animals that an iPhone or a simple camera can capture it all. Throughout this very special adventure, your camera/iPhone simply becomes your third eye. You’ll learn how to better view and capture this rare destination up close and keep hundreds of memories forever in your heart (and on your phone or computer drive)!

Each day, you’ll take excursions to the best places at the best times—and with the Galapagos’ most expert naturalists. You’ll experience Darwin’s discoveries up close, witnessing the incredible story of natural diversity and how it helped shape scientific history.

You’ll not only capture amazing photos on this tour, you’ll gain an appreciation of the incredible diversity of Ecuador’s incredible natural world, thanks to the exceptional guides who are passionate about their country. So get ready to become a kid again, play in paradise, and experience the adventure journey of a lifetime.

See you on deck!

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