Galapagos without liveaboard : is it worth it ?

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

kurtisenbecker

Registered
Messages
23
Reaction score
2
Location
Edmonton, AB
# of dives
100 - 199
There is a wealth of great advice here and if you don't mind I would like to ask a question. I am going in May and unfortunately I can not dive a live aboard. I have 2 day trips booked off of Santa Cruz but I am having difficulty with Isabela. The tour company that I am going with have told me that the dive companies on this island are unsafe and thus they will not do business with them. Can anyone recommend a dive shop on Isabela? I would really like to dive Tortuga when I am there and I have to arrange this on my own. Thanks.
 

kurtisenbecker

Registered
Messages
23
Reaction score
2
Location
Edmonton, AB
# of dives
100 - 199
Brilliant! Thank you rick. I will get in touch with them very soon, I am very excited about my trip. How warm were you when you were diving? I get cold easily and usually wear a full wet suit even in the tropics so I am wondering about this trip. I will using a 6mil with a hood and gloves, good enough?
 

rickthompson

Contributor
Scuba Instructor
Divemaster
Messages
136
Reaction score
14
Location
Coral Gables, Florida, United States
# of dives
200 - 499
Depends what time of year. Most outfits will recommend a 5-7mm with hood and gloves as necessary. I was there last in March diving and I was comfortable in a 3mm (6mm on core) open-cell freediving suit with integrated hood. I was only doing 1-2 dives per day, however, I'm planning on returning this spring to do a liveaboard and will bring a drysuit as I get cold easily especially on repetitive dives. Really comes down to personal preference but I'd imagine 6mm with hood should be sufficient. you may want to bring an additional vest or baselayer you can add if necessary.
 

kurtisenbecker

Registered
Messages
23
Reaction score
2
Location
Edmonton, AB
# of dives
100 - 199
I am going in May but from the sounds of it the 6mm should be good. I will take my vest/hood combo with me as well to make sure that I stay warm. I don't want to have my temperature detract from the enjoyment of the dive. Thanks a lot Rick, I really appreciate the advice.
 

kurtisenbecker

Registered
Messages
23
Reaction score
2
Location
Edmonton, AB
# of dives
100 - 199
Hello Rick, just flew back from the Galapagos yesterday. I did 3 dive days, one on Isabella and two off of Santa Cruz. The Isabella dive with Tito was by far the best dive of the 3. I saw a Giant Manta, loads of Hammer heads, a few Galapagos sharks and a school of Barracuda that staggered the mind. I was blown away by what I saw. Tito was a relaxed dive master and seemed very knowledgeable. He managed to get us on a dive boat run by another company but that did not matter since we did our own thing anyway. The viz was about 10-12 meters which was not so bad and we did not have to work very hard since the current pushed us along. I have done a number of drift dives now but that was the first time that I ever experienced surfacing and not being able to see the boat!

Thanks again for the hooking me up with Tito.
 

kurtisenbecker

Registered
Messages
23
Reaction score
2
Location
Edmonton, AB
# of dives
100 - 199
Oh ya, I dove a 6mm wet suit, vest/hood and gloves. This was the perfect combo for me in these waters. My last two dives were not as good as the Isabella dive because the viz was about 7-8 meters, the worst one about 4-5 meters. The other thing that I learned diving here was the mineral content of the waters. I was more buoyant here than any other place that I ever dove. I had to increase my weight by quite a bit in order to get my buoyancy correct.
 

DiveTheGalapagos

Contributor
Messages
612
Reaction score
98
Location
Ecuador
Anyone who says the central islands (daily dives) can offer diving nearly as good as the north (Darwin & Wolf on a liveaboard) is selling, not telling you the truth. It is true that upon occasion you can get lucky and see a school of hammerheads (never thousands) or mantas or eagle rays or even a whale shark, however, never in the abundance you will find as a given in the north. I've often said they are like 2 different destinations. Compared to other dive locations in the world (sea lions, turtles, white tipped reef sharks, rays, garden eels, etc) the central islands are pretty great. But compared to the north, diving the central islands pales in comparison. But, no matter where you dive in Galapagos, it makes you want more.
 

kurtisenbecker

Registered
Messages
23
Reaction score
2
Location
Edmonton, AB
# of dives
100 - 199
As I mentioned on a earlier post I did 3 dive days in the Galapagos. The dive I did with Tito to Tortuga was by far the best dive of the 3. The viz was only about 10-12 meters but I was very lucky to see everything that I did. The dives off of Santa Cruz were not even close to my first dive. The first dive day (Gordon Rocks) I had about 8 meters of viz and did manage to see a school of giant Mantas (though because of the viz it was not clear enough for a photo). The afternoon dive was not as good as the AM dive. The next dive day was at North Seymour and the viz was so bad (4-5 meters) that I skipped the afternoon dive and stayed on the boat to organize my gear. I hear what everyone is saying about Darwin and Wolf but my wife does not dive and I had to get in what I could with my limited time. Even though I missed the premier dive sites I still got to see more pelagic fish than I ever have on ANY of my previous dives. At one point at Tortuga we were surrounded by Hammer Heads! If I do get another chance to visit the Galapagos I now know what to expect and how to plan so that I can dive Darwin and Wolf, it's on the bucket list.
 

DiveTheGalapagos

Contributor
Messages
612
Reaction score
98
Location
Ecuador
Kurtis...there are occasions when diving in the central islands is THE choice for a variety of reasons, like a wife who does not dive. You definitely got lucky. I've dived Isla Tortuga many times and hammerheads were never a big group and always at such a distance, you just have to believe me when I say that blur in the photo was a hammerhead. I don't typically see 'schools' of giant mantas unless a bunch of males are chasing 1 female. Schools of mobulas, eagle rays, golden rays yes. Like I said, compared to other destinations, even the central islands are great, just not compared to the north. It's easy to take sea lions or turtles for granted as there are so many whereas in another destination, just 1 of either might make the dive.
 

Top Bottom