Total distance travelled: 47,017.6 kilometres (29,203.48 miles)
Our last day and a bit on board the Floreana, began with us getting off it as quickly as possible.
This was no emergency at sea (although we had completed a safety drill back at Floreana Island), but rather one last chance for the group to don their fins and masks, and again dip our head beneath the waves for one final snorkel.
We’d been advised that this spot was as popular with divers as it was with snorkelers, so it promised much, & a reasonable current meant we’d be tackling this in a bit of a drift manner.
The Zodiacs would drop us in the water, and we’d then float/swim back towards the boat, using the current for assistance.
First impressions of this place?
Well, have a look for yourself.
Beginning our swim relatively close to the island gave us the advantage that the water wasn’t terribly deep, although one didn’t have to travel too far from the shore before the bottom began to be a fair distance from the surface.
It also meant that the light was pretty good, so we were able to see most of the fish in full colour!
The disadvantage however was the fact that the surges within the water were far more noticeable, not such a big deal for when I was shooting video, but incredibly tough when trying to snap a few pics of the colourful locals!
So transfixed were we by what lay around and beneath us, that pretty soon Sarah & I realised we were lagging well behind the group.
It didn’t really worry us too much however, as we found ourselves having a wonderful time nonetheless.
Pretty soon we began to float/swim above some darker patches which we at first assumed were seaweed beds below.
Upon closer inspection however, it proved to be a living mass of fish, bunched together (I assume for safety), but simply sitting still on the ocean floor.
We swum above them and within them for a good while, but eventually we felt it time to move along, & in doing so we happened upon a lone sea lion pup, who very quickly disappeared from sight.
In time we gradually caught up to what was left of the group, with about half our number (total group size was 14) already out of the water and happily sunning themselves on the middle deck of the Floreana.
A small shark had been sighted by others, but it was either very elusive, or long gone by the time we got that close to the boat.
We did happen upon, along with David, another one of our posse from the boat, a very well camouflaged eel which kept us entertained for some time, as he’d disappear, then slowly reappear beneath a large cluster of rocks.
The icing on the cake for this great snorkeling spot, was the appearance of several Trumpet Fish, their patterned bodies seemingly shifting colour before our eyes.
Their otherworldly long bodies certainly only added to their mystique.
Eventually the last few of us (I think by this stage, only myself & Sarah, along with 2 others were left in the water) were called in by the crew.
It was a little disappointing having to drag ourselves from the wondrous sights only metres below, but we’d had a good hour or so in the sea, although in truth, it only felt like a handful of minutes!
Time does fly when you’re having fun.
* Our cruise on the ‘Floreana’ cost us $1,225.00 US per person for 5 nights/6 days.