These fuzzy, sweet animals are like the pets of Galapagos. Not in the sense that you'd want to put it on a leash and take it for a walk, but that these seals are very playful and lively.
When you're snorkeling, it's not uncommon to have a seal weaving through the water and swimming besides you. One of their favorites pastimes is zooming into the murky ocean, and then charging straight at you, veering at the last minute to the left or right once they see your startled look. Apparently, they really like the bobble-eyed expression snorkelers make through their mask when confronted with a charging seal.
Not only are seals charismatic in the water, but they are also common on land. Go to any beach in Galapagos and you'll see a brown, furry lump sunning itself on the beach. In the island towns, they can even be seen napping on the benches or laying in the street.
"Oh!" said the woman, as the seal hugged her legs. "I'm not your mother!"
It was with great difficulty that we left this hug-able seal.
That said, you don't want to be walking up and petting the seals. First of all, friendly as they may be, they're still wild animals. There has been more than one occasion where a seal has bit a hand that was wandering a little too close. Plus, it may or may not be illegal to touch them. The naturalists aren't even supposed to touch them when they get caught in the fishing nets and lay beached, but they free them anyways.
However, despite this seals are still a amazing to be around. Like water dogs, they'll play with both you and each other, and will make you never want to leave this small group of islands they call home.