The ship sailed overnight, so when I woke up at 5:30 AM, the view outside was different. The sun rises at 6 AM on the equator and I was hoping for a nice sunrise. No such luck. It was foggy and cloudy, and I could barely make out the island of Bartolome, not far from where we were moored. There were several other boats moored in the bay, as Bartolome and Pinnacle Rock are one of the top sites to see in the Galapagos Islands.
As I quietly drank my coffee in the pre-dawn light, I watched and listened to the birds and scanned the still waters. I was the only person awake, alone on the aft deck of the boat. Then just 10-15 feet from the boat I saw a fin jutting out from the water, and as it moved closer to the boat I could see the large body of the shark. Shocked, I only got one decent photo, and even that one is a little blurry. Had I been ready, I would have gotten a better one, when the shark was much closer to the boat. I then saw a second shark, and it seemed like they were swimming together. I lost site of them for a while, when two members of the crew gestured to me from the fordeck. They were watching the sharks swim, now near the front of the boat. I took this to mean that this was a rare occurrence, because these guys do this every day, they have seen it all. The shark was fairly large, perhaps 8-10 feet in length. I didn't get a good look at the second one to guess the size. I couldn't help but remember the briefing session with our guide the previous evening. He explains that we would not swim/snorkel at the beach on the other side of the island because they were sharks. Rather we would snorkel off the beach where the boat was moored, joking that "sharks are not allowed on this side". I guess these sharks were breaking the rule. As the daylight increased, I could see the beach where we would snorkel, only a few hours later.