“I am a biologist and when I retired, Galapagos was first on my bucket list. Even more than my curiosity about the unique wildlife on the islands was my keen interest to see the sea life in the ocean. Many of these species are so awkward on land, but profoundly graceful and powerful in the water. But I am a weak swimmer at best and was seriously worried about snorkeling in the cold, open ocean with its strong currents; I would not be in my comfort zone.

Giant tortoise eye up close in the Galapagos

© A. Sciambi

Joseline Cardoso, one of the Nat Hab Expedition Leaders, came to my rescue. She reassured me that she would take care of me. There I was in a full-body wetsuit, snorkel, prescription mask, fins and personal flotation device connected to her with a lifeguard ring as she pulled me along, sharing this amazing underwater world that she knows so well.

I got to experience firsthand the wonders of swimming with sea turtles, watching marine iguanas feed on algae, flightless cormorants diving for fish, as well as seeing schools of beautiful fish. A sea lion swam by so close that I could have touched his nose. I imagined him laughing as he looked at this strange creature who needed all this gear to survive in his environment as he effortlessly swam away.

Galapagos lava lizard on the head of a marine iguana

© A. Sciambi

To experience this diverse and dynamic ecosystem was jaw-dropping. I was very grateful that Josy made the extra effort to give me this phenomenal experience.”

— A. Sciambi   |   Classic Galapagos Photo Adventure   |   April 2017

All photos © A. Sciambi