Yesterday I drove to La Paz to snorkel with the lobos marinos (sea lions) on Isla Espiritu Santo. I arrived by 9:30, but the tour company was closed (in retrospect due to the high wind from the north). So I hurried to the first place I could find and just made the boat launch. It was a very small panga with seats for 5 guests: a middle-aged couple, an elderly couple, and me. I was stuck on the bow seat and subject to the most extreme bouncing on the waves. I thought it would be a 40-minute ride (as advertised on the other tour website). Every time we approached a point, we hung a left and kept going north. After 4 hours of being bounced around and slammed, the elderly couple understandably begged to turn around. So we did. No snorkeling with the sea lions for us.
Take-home lesson? Before booking a boat trip, ask yourself three questions:
1) How long will the journey take in the current weather?
2) How big is the boat (e.g. how much will you be tossed about by the waves)?
3) Where will I sit?