Monday, 27 January 2014

Los Islotes: Swimming with the sea lions

Los Islotes
Now that was fun!

Headed out early (7:30am) from Ensenada Grande to get to Los Islotes before the tourist pangas. Arrived 8:30am to find a mini-cruise ship anchored, and ferrying zodiacs of potential swimmers. (This is the same mini cruise ship -- Safari Voyager -- that arrived into Ensenada Grande in the dark, and had generators and bright lights going all night; left early to get to Los Islotes.)
Turned out crowds were no problem, as they only did 2 zodiacs at a time, and they stuck together.

Safari Voyager anchored

We anchored Pelagia in 60 feet, then rowed over on the dinghy. Winds were very light with no swell. We stayed away from the crowds, and swam one at a time from the dinghy. Seems this worked well, as first David, then Michelle each had very inquisitive playful sea lions swimming with them. (Perhaps the sea lions preferred smaller groups?) Sea lions would come up to us, then suddenly veer away, or swim under us, and then turn and come back at us. They never touched us (nor vice verse). They seemed to like to roll and spin next to us, and seemed to like it when we tried to do the same, blow bubbles etc (anthropomorphizing here...). Great fun, but tiring.

Playful sea lions

This is from Sound Discovery:
We do not (yet) have an underwater camera, so we do not have any decent shots of the sea lions swimming with us. Our friends Clif and Giselle on SV Sound Discovery have some great shots on their blog:     Take a look!

After 1 hour, we pulled up anchor and headed north the 19 nm to Isla San Francisco.

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