Galapagos Sea Lion, Cousins Rock

The last time I dove Cousins Rock, one of the finer dive sites in the Galapagos Islands, I was set up to photograph sea horses. I rarely shoot macro, but on this trip I was burned out from two weeks of diving and swimming long distances (the currents are strong in the Galapagos Islands), and I planned to settle down on one of the ledges at Cousins and just shoot the sea horses. After a few minutes on the ledge, I felt a nudge on my shoulder. A young Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus californianus wollebacki) is laying down beside me, watching what I am doing. I had no idea it was there. It hangs out for a few minutes, playing with the smooth stones that are found on the ledges (probably left there by other sea lions), and finally leaves to swim up to the surface for a breath of air. A few minutes later there it is again, right beside me. It stayed with me like this for the entire hour-long dive. What a pleasant and mellow companion, willing to just hang out with me and relax! I eventually obliged it by taking its portrait, converted here to black and white.

Galapagos sea lion, Zalophus californianus wollebacki, Zalophus californianus wollebaeki, Cousins

Galapagos sea lion.
Image ID: 16395
Species: Galapagos sea lion, Zalophus californianus wollebacki, Zalophus californianus wollebaeki
Location: Cousins, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

More Galapagos sea lion photos, and photos from the Galapagos Islands.