Galapagos October 2018 MY Galapagos Sky
Air Temperature 70’s, Water Temperature 19-26 degrees
We selected this boat after interrogating many companies at the Birmingham dive show 2016 (Richard Blake can testify, some companies were less than helpful). I asked all companies the same question “Can you give me three reasons I should choose your boat?” EcoVentura who own Galapagos Sky were the only company who rattled off three good reasons with no hesitation:
- Owned and run by a local Ecuadorian family, and have all the contacts and permits required to plan and execute both diving and land based tourist excursions. Basically one of the dive guides has to be a Galapagos National Park Guide, so allowed to conduct land based excursions.
- Their itinerary allows for more time at Darwin and Wolf Island, big plus point
- They are one of only 3 boats that operate in Galapagos that had a license to dive with Iguanas
Okay convinced so we booked. Two years to save up, pay and organise flights. We opted to travel via Madrid with BA/ Iberia which avoided the hassle of US Immigration and worked well. Had one night in Quito and then flew to San Cristobal the next day.
Want to get wet now…. joined the boat and was delighted to find there were only 11 divers, should have been 16 so, plenty of room. Due to the late arrival of some guest’s flights, the first day got a bit screwed up as we basically sat in port. This meant day two started with a walk up a hill on Bartolome Island. Over a 300 step yomp to the top, before the 3 dives, very bazar. The checkout dive was La Punta, water 21-23, some nippy thermoclines, but plenty of sharks and turtles action. No inexperienced divers on the boat, so were able to progress quickly to the better sites. As we got closer and closer to Wolf and Darwin it just got better and better. Every documentary you see on Galapagos has Darwin Balcony as the big ticket event, they are not wrong. Schooling hammerheads, whale sharks, big schools of jacks with massive tuna and you still had time for the turtles, eel gardens and the very impressive beds of massive star fish clustering together like a carpet. It’s not easy diving due to the changing currents but well work it, the life is amazing.
So how are going to top that as we head south?
The marine iguanas, diving with them was like an episode of Jurassic Park, wonderfully agile algae eating creatures, with diving cormorants and the occasion fly past by families of penguins. For me I have to say I lost my heart to the sea-lions. There are two types of sea-lions, the Fur Sea-lions from Chile which are big brutes and can be aggressive, and the Galapagos sea-lions which are related to the California sea-lions, they are ridiculously playful. Just like sea Labradors, they came and played with us on many dives, although being dive bombed at 30m by a sea-lion did give me a moment.
So was it worth all the effort?
Yes it’s a once in a lifetime trip you will always remember. Thanks to the boat crew, the well planned dives, the round the island RIB trips to see the wildlife post diving and the final land-based excursion to the lava tunnels and the Giant Tortoise reserve. A well planned itinerary and an enthusiastic boat-crew make all the difference
Thanks for the memories……