Friday 9 February 2024

Galapagos journals Day 11

Dear diary,

Today was our tour of the lava tunnels and it was awesome! We saw loads of things so I'll just start straightaway. We set off in our boat happy and excited, and our first encounter made us even happier! We had just gone round a rock with a few birds on when we suddenly spotted a large splashing. As we got closer, we realized it was a large group of Golden Cownose rays so we quickly put on our snorkels and got in the water.

As I swam up to the rays, I saw them "fly" through the water using their "wings" to move and watched in awe as they swam near us unafraid and questioning. It didn't take me long to follow them and I swam near them as they glided about swimming around and under us and by the time I got back into the boat, I felt really and truly lucky!

Our next stop was a snorkelling bay where we also saw some amazing things, starting with seahorses! The two seahorses were clinging to the floor of the bay and looked scared.

Nearby, in the murky waters an octopus was lurking in a crack in the mossy floor. We barely glimpsed it as it ducked back down into the crevasse and was swallowed by darkness.

Behind every corner, in every passage, a giant sea turtle would loom out into the light of the passage way as we moved on searching for sharks until at last we saw it. In an underwater cave, a shark with two clear white tipped fins was lay sleeping. We watched it for a long time until a turtle approached from the back and startled us out of our wits! Cheeky turtle!

When we got back on the boat, before we left the bay, we saw a penguin getting ready to dive in the water so we stopped for a while and saw it flop into the water with a splash! It was very cute.

But the excitement continued because as we drove to the lava tunnels, someone spotted a large shape in the water. It was a mystery to what it was until a manta ray swam up next to our boat, and then we spotted another two. Our guide explained that the manta rays swim very fast and we might not be able to see them if we jump into the water but we got our gear and dived in. I never managed to catch up to it but Dan did, and luckily, he got a really good video of it! You can tell how fast he was swimming to try and get close enough...

Our last stop was the lava tunnels we swam through the tunnels and saw loads of turtles but the fun bit was swimming and exploring the tunnels! I loved diving under the arches and bobbing around underneath the high ones! Then we went for a short walk and got the obligatory photo standing on a lava arch! It was really fun and I love how many things there are to see in the Galapagos!!

On the way back Dan and Ioanna saw a whale but as the side of the boat it was on was crowded I couldn't get a good look. Oh well, I can't have everything my way!

Before I go I want to make a shout out to Ioni, Margret and Sallie for commenting so much and being so supportive!!


  1. Can it get any better? It's great that you are keeping up the diary so frequently. It's going to be the size of a book. Terrific underwater footage, well swum Dan, and the rays are beautiful to watch. Shame about missing the whale but there's still time. What sort was it? love to you all, Sal xxxx

  2. Ah Orestis you're making me too jealous now, that underwater footage is amazing!! I want to be there too! Makes me question my choices to be swimming in the grey, murky 8 degree waters of Newhaven. Oh, and I think that must have been your birthday turtle who popped by - he promised he'd say hello but he is a bit shy 😅

  3. Hi Ioni. Thanks for my present! But my teacher taught us to say tortoise not turtle! We saw plenty of giant tortoises yesterday too but sitting under bushes not swimming in the sea.