Trip Report Galapagos Sky Review 21-28 Aug 2016

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judyo1

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I'm just back from this trip and since I use sites such as scubaboard to book trips, I feel obliged to provide a trip report for others to see.
To summarise in one word 'awesome'
in 5 words 'best trip I've ever done'.

I booked the trip through liveaboard.com, no problems there. The Galapagos Sky outfit can arrange your flights from Guancacil or Quito and this is what I did. They had representatives at the airport who seemed to make everything run smoothly.

The boat was full with 16 punters on board. A German & Austrian couple, 1 Brit, 1 kiwi and all others Americans. First time I've been on a dive boat with more women than men (just interesting, that's all) Four cabins downstairs, a floor with kitchen, tables and a lounge area used for dive briefings. Four cabins one floor up, along with the Bridge, several areas outside where you could sumbathe / enjoy a beer / admire the scenery / birds etc.

The crew were fantastic, friendly and helpful - particularly on the dive deck. Dive deck was easy enough to use, you geared up before moving onto the pangas. After a dive, weightbelts and BCD and fins were removed in the water... these were returned to the boat for you. Camera set up seemed good but I only have a gopro so probably not the best person to comment. After a dive the crew would help remove wetsuits, rinse them etc... After the first dive I thought 'this isn't necessary, i can remove my own wetsuit etc'. After 4 dives at Darwin in a day I was exhausted and very relieved to have my wetsuit pulled off me, be shoved into the shower, stepped out to a warm towel wrapped around me!!

Food - great. Breakfast buffet - plenty of fruit, cereal, toast and cooked breakfast. Lunch was buffet as well. Dinner (4 course) served by bar man Marco in a suit and bow tie, generous servings of wine / drinks as desired too. Dietary requests taken into account.

Boat comfortable with plenty of living space. We got woken each morning with a hot drink (of our choice) in bed. Room serviced several times a day.

The diving.... challenging, cold, currents but awesome. You dive off pangas, backward roll and negative entry. 8 divers per dive guide. Saw plenty - whale sharks on 4/7 dives at Darwin, hundreds of schooling hammerheads, Molamola, rays, red lipped bat fish, marine iguanas, sea lions, i was impressed with just how prolific the marine life was. Previously most of my diving had been warm water diving, but after I booked the trip I did some diving in NZ to 'learn' cold water diving... am very relieved I did. Some people struggled with conditions on a few of the jobs.

Dive Guides were Fabricio and Max. Fabricio has been guiding in the Galapagos since the mid 80s and I think is a living legend. He's an ecologist and gave impassioned talks on the geology flora and fauna and marine life of the Galapagos. He gave some evening talks on various subjects. Max was also an excellent dive guide, 'endemic' to the Galapagos, he could do a pretty good sea lion impersonation.

All the safety stuff there, safety sausages, dive alarms, Nautilus GPS units.

The overall service provided and diving was a notch above any other previously trips.... these guys might have ruined me for life!!! (will just have to come back...)
Cheers
 

drrich2

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Nice report; glad to hear of such a great trip.

About how many dives were offered?

Richard.
 
OP
J

judyo1

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Nice report; glad to hear of such a great trip.

About how many dives were offered?

Richard.
18 dives. Check out dive on first day, then 3-4 dives per day. Only 1 night dive. There were supposed to be 19 dives but for one group consensus was to do a 'above water' panga trip looking at bird life instead (we were too cold and had seen the Molamola which is what the dive was looking for). Also a panga trip around Wolf Island, excursion to Bartholomew Island and visit to Galapagos highlands to see the Giant tortoises.
 
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judyo1

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I guess other thing I should add for anyone contemplating it - a few of the people who hired their scuba gear on the boat weren't too thrilled with it - BCDs not right size / poorly fitting wetsuits. I felt it was worth the hassle of lugging my own gear round the world for and then lugging along for the following 2 weeks of my South American travels.
Cheers
 

DiveTheGalapagos

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Sky doesn't seem to have equipment these days, so it was probably out of a local dive shop. San Cristobal doesn't have decent equipment rental.
 

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