Above: Sea lion coming up for air during our snorkeling excursion

It’s not just the birds that are tame in the Galápagos: As we returned to thePikaia I, our guide noticed some sea lions playing in the surf off nearby Mosquera Island. Our Zodiac made a detour, and in the shallow water off the beach we spent 15 unforgettable minutes snorkeling with these delightful animals. Graceful and inquisitive, the sea lions came within inches of us to inspect our face masks and cameras, and some even nipped at the tips of our fins. The sleek, furry creatures were as eager to play with us as we were to photograph them.

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