by Dustin Adamson
Sometimes dives can all mesh together and seem the same. During one dive in the Galapagos Islands, I saw something I haven’t seen in almost 20 years of diving. Lizards underwater! I once saw an iguana in Bonaire swimming on top of the water. But nothing like this dive. This dive was special. On the West side of Fernandina island in the Galapagos Islands, there is a dive that specializes in seeing Marine Iguanas underwater. Being a very shallow dive, you don’t have to worry too much about your air consumption, or the currents that Galapagos is famous for. The only thing you have to worry about is a little bit of surge, and the bone chilling water of 56 degrees. I am a warm water diver yes….so that is bone chilling to me! The divemasters on our liveaboard were very conscious of the time of day to do the dive. They said that at the right time, the marine iguanas would all go into the ocean to feed on the seaweed. Looking at the beaches all you could see was large black blobs. Those blobs were hundreds of marine iguanas all lumped together soaking in as much heat as they could from the sun and each other. Once the time hit around noon. You could see thousands of them heading for the ocean. And before we backrolled off the dingy, you could see hundreds of iguana heads swimming around. We were lucky that day. Normally that dive doesn’t have very good vizability. But for us it was easily 80+ feet. Very Very rare according to the dive masters. And based on other videos I have seen on the internet, I would agree. We lucked out! The iguanas generally had no fear of the divers. The would calmly go about their hunt for food.