Chilly water seeps into my wetsuit and I adjust my snorkel and mask. I quickly glanced around underwater to check my surroundings. Yes, I am absolutely terrified of sharks, but that’s not the only thing I was looking for today. Frantically turning my head every few seconds, I was busy looking in front of me at the water’s surface, below me at the sea’s floor, and from side to side into the ocean’s vast open space. Let’s just say that I’m not exactly at ease swimming in the open ocean, so the anxiety was expected. All of a sudden, swimming directly towards me I spied a Marine Iguana.
At first glimpse, I froze; half in terror and half in utter amazement. They aren't the world’s most attractive reptiles, so as you can imagine I was not exactly eager to swim towards it with the same speed it was quickly approaching me. But there was something so fascinating about watching this spiny reptile wiggle back and forth underwater.
Before I knew it, the iguana veered to the side and started swimming down, tail whipping back and forth as it propelled itself towards a cluster of rocks. These unique iguanas, who can only be found in the Galápagos Islands, feed on algae growing underwater.
As I floated on the surface of the water watching marine iguanas swim around below me, I realized that this would probably be the only time in my life I would ever get to experience this. After all, this is the only place in the world where you are able to snorkeling with these reptiles.
Traveling to the Galápagos one gets to experience an incredible amount of intimate interaction with birds and animals. However, none stayed with me as much as my time swimming with dragons.