GALAPAGOS: Dive Trips
Shock&Awe Dive Trips to Galapagos
Diving Conditions in Galápagos
Diving in the Galapagos is different from pretty much anywhere else in the world. While diving on lush tropical reefs, the mandate is to have good buoyancy and DON’T TOUCH! The bottom. (pretty much the same requirements for everywhere else in the world!) But the Galapagos diving techniques requires you to do the exact opposite. We will be diving in swift currents, big surge and some pretty challenging conditions.
What tends to normally happen is all diving is done off inflatable boats (panga’s) because the dive sites are too close to the rocks for a large boat to drop divers off. Surface conditions will tend to be rougher than normal. The “mother ship” will anchor in the still confined waters of a nearby bay. We will get geared up on the mother ship and walk (assisted) onto the panga. We will then move to the dive site which could be 5-8 minutes away. Once the call is made we all backward roll into the water and make a negative entry (no air in wing) and descend as quick as we can. We then quickly move to the dive site area. Find a large rock to hide behind. And Hide! Quite literally wedging ourselves into a rocky space and wait. Then all the life comes to you. It’s mind blowing.
Getting out of the water you have to take your gear OFF and exit into the panga. The boat driver will pull your gear up into the boat.
Recommended min requirements include CCR to 40m (doesn’t need to be tech trained) but you MUST have more than 50 hours on the unit. This shows that you are comfortable on the unit. There’s no “bubble checks” on the surface, Its IN and DOWN! On Open Circuit you need a min of Adv O/W with at least 50 hours of diving experience in currents, ability in removing gear in water and ability in getting into small boats in choppy seas. Nitrox certification prior to the cruise is highly recommended.
Water temperatures fluctuate through the year. Water temperatures are typically warmer in the northern islands at Wolf and Darwin and cooler in the southern and central islands of Galápagos.
Thermoclines are common.
December – May: The water is warmer, clearer 70-82°F, 21-28°C
June – November: The water is cooler, 60-75°F, 16-24°C.
Having dived Galapagos I dived it all in a drysuit. Early morning starts and cold water makes it an easy decision. But diving in a drysuit carries its disadvantages. Because of the ripping and pulling around sharp rocks you must understand that this takes a lot out of the suits. Make sure you bring spare seals and “TearAid” to fix any holes in your suit. Also Aquaseal and Cotol 240 accelerant. You can use lighter under garments in the warmer water and heavier under garments in the colder water. If you are wanting to dive wet. The general recommendation is a 7mm. As water temperatures vary in different areas of Galápagos, we recommend bringing a hooded vest to have an additional layer. We highly recommend that all divers wear gloves to protect their hands. All rental wetsuits are 7mm.
REBREATHER ONLY trips
We have specifically set ourselves up for CCR diving operations in Galapagos, which means that we offer full support for rebreather diving. There is a “Once Charge” of $1500us each for rebreather divers. This covers ALL of the CCR sundries, O2, Sorb (797 Sofnolime), 3 and 2l Cylinders (we have a very small quantity of 2l tanks so please be flexible if we can’t accommodate the exact tank size), 40cf bailout tanks, Booster pumps, etc.
Seeing that we have 16 divers we will be splitting the teams into two groups of 8. Staggering the groups getting into the water so we don’t over crowd the dive sites.
50/50 REBREATHER and OC trips
On these trips, we have planned to have one inflatable boat of 8 CCR divers and the other boat of 8 on OC. This works really well and what we do is the dives are staggered so that we don’t have CCR and OC on the sites at the same time. All the additional tariffs still apply for the CCR divers. It just means that if your partner or mates aren’t on CCR you can still enjoy diving on your rebreather but enjoy your friends/partners company post dive.
We cant offer mixed boats (some CCR and some OC divers on the same inflatable boat) unfortunately as this takes away the benefits of CCR diving in these areas.
Diver to Dive Guide Ratio
8:1 With a full boat of 16 guests, divers will be placed in two groups of 8. Each group of 8 divers will have 1 Dive Guide. (1 x CCR dive guide per 8 on CCR boats)
You will need to supply a copy of your cert card before the trip so we have it on file. Highest level of training and Nitrox card please.
Divers must use a dive computer or be able to show dive planning with a dive table to the dive guide to keep track of their non-decompression time. Rental dive computers are very limited so it is strongly suggested that each diver bring their own dive computer with a back-up dive computer, ideally with the same algorithm. If your dive computer is violated you will not be allowed to dive until the computer has cleared.
Night dives are optional and conducted weather and conditions permitting on Day 3 at Wolf. Divers must be experienced at night diving in current, carry a primary and a backup light/torch and also have a tank light. Underwater lights/torches are not available for rent or loan.
Nitrox/Enriched Air vs. Air
Nitrox is included in the cruise rate. Nitrox/Enriched Air Certification by a recognized certification/ training agency is required to dive with Nitrox on board M/V Galápagos Sky. Without proof of Nitrox certification, divers will be provided with air fills. Nitrox certification is highly recommended.
Our membrane system generally produces 32%. Certified Nitrox divers must analyze and log Nitrox mixes and MODs prior to each dive. Nitrox Analyzers are provided on board. Nitrox Certification cards must be presented to Dive Guides at check in on board.
All activities in Galápagos are regulated by the Galápagos National Park. Our permit does not allow for snorkelling at most of our dive sites. Many of our dive sites are in areas where surface conditions are unsafe for snorkelling.
Tanks and Valves
Standard tanks are Aluminium 80 Cubic Foot/11 Liter tanks with an INT/yoke valve. Each tank has a removable insert to make the tank DIN first stage compatible. A limited number of Aluminium 100 Cubic Foot/12 Liter (DIN/INT compatible) tanks are available for an additional weekly rental fee of $60 USD that can be paid directly on board. Please note on Application the desire to rent 100 cu ft/15 ltr tanks when making rental requests prior to the cruise.
Weights & Weights Belts
Weights and Weight Belts are available and included in your cruise rate. Most lead weight pieces on board are 4 to 5 pounds. Small 1 to 2 pound or trim weights are not available. Soft weights are not available.
Diver Safety Equipment
The following pieces of surface safety devices are required for each diver entering the water:
1) Safety Sausage/SMB/Surface Marker
2) Dive Alert or similar audible surface signalling device
3) Nautilus Lifeline electronic surface tracking device. If you have your own, bring it.
M/V Galapagos Sky has limited quantities of these items available for loan to divers while on board. They are not for rent and cannot be reserved.
It is highly recommended that divers bring their own gear. Advanced diving conditions that are common in Galápagos truly call for divers to be in their own, known and proper fitting gear. If a diver must rent gear, please understand that sizes, selection and quantities are extremely limited.
Guests should note items to be rented and specific size(s) on the Application. All fees for rental gear are paid directly on M/V Galápagos Sky on the last day of the cruise. Cash and Visa/ MasterCard are accepted on board for payment.
Contact us at Shock&Awe for rental costings.
MV Galapagos Sky is a 33m long, steel hull expedition vessel which accommodates 16 guests in 8 cabins.
There are 4 Master Cabins and 4 Delux Cabins.
Every room as Robes, Ensuite bathrooms Eco-friendly toiletries and an Evening turndown service.
Food: Ecuadorian and International Cuisine. Breakfast buffet, eggs made to order, Lunch buffet, Dinner fine plated, Snacks after dives, Vegetarian preferences accommodated Gluten free preferences accommodated to best of ability.
Beer and wine provided with dinner. Sodas, coffee, tea available 24 hours. Morning beverage service available in cabin.
With two distinctive groups of divers, CCR and Open Circuit we will be staggering the groups into the water to allow for less congested dive sites. On the 6-16 Sept 2020 this will be a CCR only trip and the 16-26 Sept 2020 will be a 50/50 CCR and O/C trip.
- ALL DIVING
- TECHNICAL AND MEDICAL SUPPORT
- FLIGHTS & TRANSFERS
- FOOD & DRINK
CCR or OC
Enquire or Book
27 Aug-3 Sept 2023
OC & CCR
OC & CCR
3 - 13 Sept 2023
3 spaces left
$9440.00usd (2020 price)
13-23 Sept 2023