Man vs. Seal: The Galapagos Islands

Galapago's Turtle

Back in 2002 we spent several days on a small boat in the Galapagos Islands, cruising around the mirage of tiny islands whose landscape had a mysterious, unconventional beauty.  Aside from their striking appearance, the Galapagos Islands were home to a variety of unique animals, many of which did not exist anywhere else in the world.  And, as we were soon to discover, many had quite the personality as well.

Our boat pulled up about 200 yards away from a deserted beach.  The islands were mostly covered with volcanic rock, so finding a beach was quite the discovery!  Luckily, our fellow boaters did not feel up to the swim to land, so we jumped into the freezing water and were off to the deserted island for some quality relaxation time, just the two of us.

As we settled down on the beach and appreciated our surroundings, a seal from off the shore poked his head out of the water and started making his typical barking noises.  Seals were quite common in the Galapagos, but most of them kept their distance, so we didn’t think too much of it.

Galapago's Booby

This seal, however, did not keep his distance.  He marched (as much as marching was possible with his two flippers) right onto the beach, and start making his way toward us.  His barking became louder and was clearly directed at us.  What transpired was a tireless effort to chase us off what was clearly this seal’s beach.  Although his flippers were no match for our quick legs, the seal did not let up for quite some time.  Eric and I were crying most of the time from uncontrollable laughter.  Eventually, the seal did tire, and let us off the hook.  Eric and I can now officially say that we’ve been chased by a wild animal and that we came out on top!

A deserted island, a tiny beach and a seal chase: a travel story that we both most certainly will not forget.

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