Swimming with penguins

27-JAN-11: Isla Bartolome

Katie and I spent some time before arriving at Bartolome reading the manual for our underwater camera (our early attempts had been dominated by blurry and overly green shots). Apparently, there was a setting for underwater pictures that took out the green and set the ISO high enough to reduce the blur. It worked pretty well, but nothing changed the difficulty of holding the camera still.

This was the best snorkeling of the trip. It wasn’t the clearest water, it wasn’t the biggest variety of fish. It was one thing, and one thing only. It was Galapagos penguins, about a dozen of them, swimming and eating right around me for nearly the entire time I was in the water.

2011-01-27 penguin

They didn’t care that we were around them in the water. They didn’t even care if we touched them. Or more accurately, if they touched me (it’s against the law to t touch the critters, but they can touch you all they want). I had my hand in front of me, and one of the little guys swam right past me, brushing the tips of my fingers as he went.

The only thing I wish is that one of them would’ve paused in front of my camera just for few seconds. I have an insanely awesome shot of a penguin looking right into my camera. Except that the shot was blurry b/c the camera had focused when the penguin was a second further back.

Katie spent the dive sitting on the beach: her foot and ankle hurt too much.

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