Galapagos Diving & Humboldt Explorer Trip Report Aug. 30- Sept. 8, 2010

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Shasta_man

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Nice report. I got a good "feel" on what it's like to dive the Galapagos from your report: the waves, holding onto the rocks, ease of twisting an ankle. I guess the panga asks you to hand up weights before handing up the BC then entering?
 

Shasta_man

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Just watched the video: great view of the surge at about 6 mins into the video; people zooming by grasping for anything to hold on to. Those big schools are what I want to go for. The nudi at the end was kind of funny. Being a videographer myself, I can see how the editor was thinking all big stuff, sharks, whale shark and schools, only to remember, oh yeah, the little stuff with color! :)
 

rongoodman

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I did my first backward roll entries in a drysuit this summer up in Lake Ontario--every time, I'd end up feet in the air, struggling to get upright. It's worth it to be warm, though.
 
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tstormdiver

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Nice report. I got a good "feel" on what it's like to dive the Galapagos from your report: the waves, holding onto the rocks, ease of twisting an ankle. I guess the panga asks you to hand up weights before handing up the BC then entering?
Yes, once the panga came around to pick you up, you hand up cameras first, then weights, BC & Tank & then fins & Then climb into the panga using the ladder. Got lots of practice with equipment removal on the surface. It was very interesting in 10- 12 ft seas.


BTW, I tore the leg muscle in my hip, not the ankle, but it could have happened there just as easily.
 

Mossman

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Mossman, I WAS going to use a SP semidry, but it did not arrive until the week before we left (back ordered). I tried it on & it would not fit my upper arms to where we could get it zipped up without injuring me or damaging the suit. By then it was far too late to order a new one of a larger size to try. My LDS will order them, but does not stock them. We went by the sizing guidelines & generally they work well, I must just be of a strange body type :D, I dunno. I am not very tolerant of thick 2 layer wetsuits (they're much to confining) & that is all that my LDS has in their rental fleet, so yes, I was pretty much relegated to my 2 drysuits. I'm very glad I took both, after the wrist seal blow- out. If I hadn't, that would have put a serious crimp in my diving on that trip. The biggest negative, as mentioned above was the drag the suits had. It did make navigating in heavy currents difficult, but then I'm used to having my drysuits on when cave diving in high flow caves. Only that very strong up current that separated me & sent me to the surface, caused me problems that I could not surmount. The only other issue with the drysuits was the fact that when I would backroll out of the panga, I would land in the water pretty much completely upside down, so I would just straighten out & start kicking for the bottom. This would cause the residual air in the suit that I could not "burp" out to go to my feet, where I could not vent it, thus the need for the extra weight. After getting to depth, I would get myself upright & vent the suit, not really a big deal. Other than that, I was glad I had them, I was toasty warm for the whole trip, except for my last dive when the suit flooded.
Maybe foot valves are in order for your next trip?

I did envy the two drysuit divers on my last trip after the dives while the rest of us were pulling off our cold, cold wetsuits on cold overcast days with a cold wind blowing. I personally don't think the water temps in the Galapagos are cold enough to warrant drysuits, especially at Wolf/Darwin, but they sure are more comfortable back on board when it comes time to de-suit.

(My real peeve about wearing a drysuit for a week of diving is a male one: I need to shave my face/chin/neck stubble daily to get a decent seal, but the week I spent on the Horizon diving all day with a seal around my freshly shaven neck caused some really bad chafing by the end of the trip!)
 
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tstormdiver

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Maybe foot valves are in order for your next trip?

I did envy the two drysuit divers on my last trip after the dives while the rest of us were pulling off our cold, cold wetsuits on cold overcast days with a cold wind blowing. I personally don't think the water temps in the Galapagos are cold enough to warrant drysuits, especially at Wolf/Darwin, but they sure are more comfortable back on board when it comes time to de-suit.

(My real peeve about wearing a drysuit for a week of diving is a male one: I need to shave my face/chin/neck stubble daily to get a decent seal, but the week I spent on the Horizon diving all day with a seal around my freshly shaven neck caused some really bad chafing by the end of the trip!)

Ankle valves would have been very nice. I basically just squeezed as much air out of the suit as I could before the dive, & just tried to ignore the residual air that would go to my feet. I tend to dive with considerable squeeze on the suit anyway, so didn't even worry about putting air in the suit until I hit bottom; at which point I would usually just get a little vertical to move the air bubble back into the main body of the suit & then add a tiny bit to make it comfortable.

As for the temps, I was actually very comfortable the entire time, except for when the neck seal rolled causing the suit to flood. I got an earful from my buddy about cutting the dive short,... but hey, to last 35 min in 52 degree water (around Cousin's rock) in a flooded suit,..... I thought I did pretty good :D What ever happened to the diving mantra "Any diver may call any dive, at any time, for any reason,... no questions asked"????. For the most part, I regulated my temperature by the hood I wore. In the warmer regions I wore a light beanie hood. In the colder areas, I wore a full 5mm hood.

I would say my biggest problem with the suits was the possibility of the neck seal rolling. I have virtually no neck, so it rolls quite readily. That was certainly not the first time a suit flood like that has happened to me :shakehead:. Stubble causing leakage??? What kind of neck seal do you use? Usually with a latex seal, it is not a problem, unless its nearly full growth, but I can see where it could be an issue with a neoprene seal.
 
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