GALAPAGOS JULY 2019
What an incredible trip this was. 16 of us set out to discover the amazing diving of the Galapagos islands aboard Deep blue the Galapagos Master Liveaboard.
The Boat was fantastic with one crew member to every guest and they could not have been more welcoming and helpful. Our incredible Guides Natalia and Franklin were very experienced and experts in all the marine life we could see there. The diving is all done from RIBs rather than off the main boat which allowed us to get in close to the dive sites. The Crew would help you on and off the RIBs to make it very easy. We started with a practice dive in the San Cristobel harbor where we were entertained by Sea lions and Sting rays. We were warned that the currents further north would be strong and Vis could be poor.
After that we started heading north stopping for a Land visit at Baltra to see the Blue Footed Boobies, Cormorants and Land Iguanas and diving at Mosquera which was a great introduction to the currents at Darwin. At Mosquera we saw Galapagos Sharks for the first time, along with Scallopped Hammerheads and a school of Mobular Rays.
From Mosquera we sailed overnight crossing the Equator up to Darwin the furthest North we would dive. Darwin is known for its beautiful arch and amazing marine life and it definitely didn't disappoint over the next two days. We saw thousands of Scallopped Hammerheads, Galapagos Sharks, Silkys then the enormous Whale Sharks that were up to 60ft long Pregnant females. Whilst clinging onto the barnacle encrusted rocks watching this amazing show we were surrounded by turtles, Schools of Big Eyed jacks and lots of cleaner fish. On one dive we were all blown away by the siting of 2 Orcas chasing the hammerheads. This dive actually brought Paul to tears it was so incredible. The currents at Darwin were strong and divers need to be ready for that but the rewards are immense.
Moving South our next stop was Wolf Island where we encountered Eagle Rays, lots more Hammerheads and Galapagos sharks as well as another enormous Whale Shark. The conditions were not amazing but we were lucky to see 4 more Orcas patrolling the island as well. As the conditions were limiting we headed for the Secret cave for the final dive at Wolf and were surprised to find Fantail rays, Turtles, and Sea lions all sheltering in this giant Lava cavern.
The next morning we woke up early at Isabella Island for a 6am dive to see the Mola Alexandrini which are the largest boney fish in the ocean. With the water down to 58 Deg F and visibility the lowest we had at 10 - 15ft we knew we had to be lucky to see the Mola. Again this group was extremely lucky seeing 5 different Molas on the first dive along with some very playful Sea lions. Unfortunately on the 2nd dive we didn't see any but still had some fun with Sea lions and turtles and even found a Sea horse.
That afternoon we moved over to Fernadina Island and from one weird creature to another as we searched for the Marine Iguanas. This was a shallow dive with a maximum of 10m/33ft yet full of life with not only the Marine Iguanas were munching on the algae but Green turtles and the elusive Galapagos Bullheaded Shark were also swimming around us. This was definitely the easiest dive we did and also very rewarding.
The last dive of the trip was at Cousins rock where even with tough currents we were able to see schools of Eagle Rays and Mobular rays cruising through a channel. The boat then headed into the beautiful town of Santa Cruz where we were able to visit the Giant tortoises as well as relax and do a bit of shopping. We spent the last night on board relaxing and admiring our images from an incredible trip. We can not wait for our next trip in March 2020!!!