A trip to Tortuga

Written by Brian, class of 2019, Biology major

Today the Galapacats took a boat ride to Tortuga and snorkeled off the coast. The rain held off and the sun was shining. The boat ride was a little choppy, but once we got there we saw the thing most people have been waiting for: manta rays. Almost everyone has wanted to see a manta ray, especially Sarah because it’s her spirit animal! Needless to say, the sight was mesmerizing and majestic. We saw multiple of them (upwards of 7), which is apparently very rare! It was another amazing day in the Galapagos, and even a milestone in some of our lives. Below is a picture of myself (Brian) next to a manta, taken by our professor Greg. I was about 10 feet away from it, and I am 5’7″, so you can see how large the mantas are!

The first time I had ever snorkeled was on this trip (not counting practicing in the Bates pool), and I love it. At first it took a little getting used to, but by the time we were on the trip to Tortuga, I was very comfortable and able to focus on the wildlife instead of breathing. One thing that I love about snorkeling is the water covering your ears while you can still breath. It is a very peaceful feeling, almost like being in a sensory deprivation tank and being able to see tropical fish at the same time! Also, snorkeling here is amazing because the wildlife will come right up to you (sometimes you need to back up to give them space) and you can get a close look at the animals in their natural habitat. I may not see so many wonderful things in the United States, but I still can’t wait to break out this snorkel gear any time I can.

It took a little bit for the realization of where I was to sink in, but now that it’s hit me, I still can barely believe it. The wildlife and biology of the Galapagos is so amazing, no pictures or words could do it justice. I wish we could be here for months instead of weeks. I know that I’ll be coming back here one day, hopefully multiple times!

Brain and manta ray - Tortuga