Behind the Lens: Growing up Alongside Galapagos Sea Lions

The Galapagos sea lions of San Cristobal’s La Lobería beach welcome observers from afar with their playful personalities, sand-dusted fur and iconic whiskered faces.

Filming these spirited creatures always jogs joyful memories for Silversea’s Expedition Filmmaker Jorge Prigann, who grew up here.

Growing up in the company of sea lions

“As a wildlife filmmaker, interacting with the sea lions is an experience of great joy. They are at complete ease and comfort when on land and have a playful and inviting personality, especially the curious pups,” says Jorge, who shot this footage on his Canon EOS-1D X camera and a 70-200mm lens.

“Growing up on the island, I’ve shared the same space [with them] ever since I was a kid and saw sea lions even before I saw dogs and cats. And right after my first lessons riding the bicycle, my dad took me to Lobería so I could practice, since it’s an easy ride.

“That was one of my first experiences of true joy as a kid, learning to ride a bike, having my dad by my side riding with me, and reaching the beach to watch the sunset while the sea lions lay on the beach peacefully.”

Galapagos sea lions are curious in nature
Galapagos Sea Lions are at ease on land and at sea/Lucia Griggi

Snorkeling alongside these fun-loving characters

Visitors to this location can find up to 150 sea lions of all ages and genders, and Jorge is lucky enough to have spent time in the water with them, which is when their fun-loving nature is amplified as they swim and frolic beneath the surface.

“It’s part of the usual activities to snorkel with sea lions and I have to say that sharing water with them is so special. They are most welcoming in their natural habitat and are probably the most friendly animal in the water. They are very playful and try to call for all of your attention, even sometimes scaring other animals around so you can focus mainly on them. It is one of the most unique experiences,” he says.

Being able to witness and watch as these animals flourish and grow into adult sea lions is also a special privilege according to Jorge.

“I think it’s wonderful that if you go to a certain beach you will watch them grow, and with time you learn to recognize them and see their differences – so you get to actually see and be part of their life,” he adds.

Galapagos sea lions are one of the most playful animals in the archipelago
Galapagos sea lions are very playful in the water/Lucia Griggi