{"@context":"https://schema.org","@graph":[{"@type":"WebSite","@id":"https://reefs.com/#website","url":"https://reefs.com/","name":"Reefs.com","publisher":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/#organization"},"potentialAction":{"@type":"SearchAction","target":"https://reefs.com/?s={search_term_string}","query-input":"required name=search_term_string"}},{"@type":"WebPage","@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/02/diving-galapagos/#webpage","url":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/02/diving-galapagos/","inLanguage":"en-US","name":"Diving Galapagos - Reefs.com","isPartOf":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/#website"},"image":{"@type":"ImageObject","@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/02/diving-galapagos/#primaryimage","url":"https://cdn.reefs.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/bb6cattachment.php_-55x55.jpg","caption":""},"primaryImageOfPage":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/02/diving-galapagos/#primaryimage"},"datePublished":"2013-06-02T19:00:26+00:00","dateModified":"2016-11-02T20:56:56+00:00","description":"Diving Galapagos - There are endless dive spots to visit in the world, but there\u2019s no doubt in my mind that Galapagos is on the \u201cbucket list\u201d of every diver out there. I know it has always been on mine, and it absolutely did not disappoint. While the rules and regulations have changed a bit over the last few years with regard to combined land/water-based trips, you can still experience both underwater and topside locations on the same trip. Ideally, it would be perfect to book two weeks or more in Galapagos, the first half diving, the second hiking around on land, but since this much time off from the grind is not always an option, I think 10 days, including travel, is a reasonable amount of time to get the feel of this incredible place and hit the major dive spots and explore a bit on the islands.South of Mexico, West of Ecuador, a small group of islands draws divers year round.I booked my trip through DEEP BLUE (http://www.deepbluegalapagosdiving.com) and they did a fabulous job with every aspect of the trip. The staff was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the areas visited, diving conditions, and all manner of wildlife both underwater and on land. As can be expected, there is a huge emphasis on conservation when diving in Galapagos due to its status as a series of marine parks and protected areas, but more than that it\u2019s an incredibly important place not only because of the unique biodiversity, but because Galapagos is a location paramount to the landscape of scientific knowledge as it exists today. Galapagos is the birthplace of modern evolutionary theory as described by the British naturalist Charles Darwin during his voyage there by way of the HMS Beagle in 1835; Darwin\u2019s observations of the animal life, in particular the numerous variations and specific adaptations of avian fauna on the islands, served as the basis for the development and eventual publication of his unified theory of evolution in his best-known piece of literature, The Origin of Species (1859). Visiting Galapagos and standing in the actual footsteps of this great man is akin to making a pilgrimage to Mecca for science nerds, and I\u2019d recommend this experience to anyone who values the importance of biological diversity and how we, as a species, both understand and protect it for future generations.Now, into the blue! We spent a day in Quito, Ecuador to get acclimated to the elevation. The next day was a short flight to Guayaquil on the coast where we shortly boarded the DEEP BLUE vessel and began the overnight cruise to San Cristobal. We arrived in San Cristobal around noon on a monday, where we did our checkout dive and got our gear ready and tested out for the rest of the week. Not a whole lot other than rockfish, starfish, urchins, and playful sea lions in some chilly 65\u00b0 F water, but a neat dive nonetheless. On Tuesday we arrived at Punta Carrion. We did two dives that day and started to really get a feel for what Galapagos looks like under the waves with its characteristic rocky slopes and sandy reef flats punctuated with big boulders. There were plenty of sea lions, the ubiquitous schools of colorful creole fish, and lots of lovely little endemic dorid nudibranchs (Tambja mullineri) with black and blue stripes. White-tipped reef sharks visited us on both dives.We cruised all night to arrive at Wolf Island in the morning on Wednesday where we did three dives (water temp of ~73\u00b0 F). The sheer amount of epic marine biomass present here will knock your fins off, as will the ripping current. Massive schools of scalloped hammerheads, eagle rays, turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, Guineafowl puffers, and a variety of snappers were common sights on these dives. Bring your gloves, try not to drop your regulator out of your mouth as you say \u201cWOW\u201d to yourself every 10 seconds, and get ready to swim. You might be a little fatigued from fighting with a hefty current (4 knots when I was there in September), but the sore muscles are easy to ignore when you\u2019re staring up at hundreds of hammerheads. This is certainly an incredible sight that will be seared into your mind\u2019s eye for the rest of your existence. On Thursday we arrived at Darwin Island where we were greeted by a lovely pod of dolphins that showed us the way to the very recognizable Darwin\u2019s Arch. We spent both Thursday and Friday diving Darwin, the northernmost island of Galapagos, where we completed a total of six dives. There is so much to see that it\u2019s impossible to cover everything in this paragraph. So I will summarize Darwin as follows: back roll out of the boat, descend, realize that you haven\u2019t breathed because the beauty of this undersea paradise literally took your breath away, put the regulator back in your mouth after you recover from your daze of slack-jawed awe, and breathe. Now, here comes the visual bombardment summary: turtles, sharks, jacks, sharks, rays, whale sharks, eels, sharks, octopus, whale sharks, parrotfish, sharks. Did I mention sharks?! You will be madly in love with Darwin Island, and you probably won\u2019t mind the boobies all over the deck of the boat either. Brown-footed booby birds of course, get your mind out of the gutter! After two days of nothing but amazement, we arrived at Punta Vicente Roca on Saturday. Our departure south carried with it a massive drop in temperature. Grab every layer of dive gear you brought and put it on, and you\u2019ll still be cold. The water temperature here was a balmy 51\u00b0 , and the frozen extremities reminded you of it regularly. But the cold water was no match for the incredible creatures that inhabit this area. You soon forget you can\u2019t feel your feet and start to notice all the unique animals here. The primary attraction in this dive spot is the endemic red-lipped batfish (Ogcocephalus darwini), which resides in about 100ft of water. Sea lions keep you company here as well as seahorses, cephalopods, all manner of crustaceans and then holy Mola mola! Right in front of you there are three ocean sunfish relaxing at a cleaning station letting you snap pictures until you run out of space on your memory card! Penguins, sea turtles, schools of salema, and marine iguanas accompany you in the rocky shallows, an area comprised of huge boulders covered by a layer of perfectly manicured macroalgae that looks more like the greenest rolling hills of Ireland than an underwater scene off the coast of South America. Finally, we reached our final dive destination of Cousin\u2019s Rock on Sunday. We did two dives here, and while this spot has a good reputation, the day we were there the water was extremely choppy and the visibility was terrible. We still saw picture-worthy creatures, but the less than ideal diving conditions made it more of an exploratory experience than a photographic one. A few eagle rays were spotted along with quite a few sea lions, including some very young and equally curious pups. Black coral bushes grow under rocky ledges and slipper lobsters adorn the many crevices of the triangular Cousin\u2019s Rock. In the afternoon, we enjoyed the dry land of the Charles Darwin Research Station on Bartolome. The following day was spent back in San Cristobal visiting the Charles Darwin Interpretation Center, photographing the famous Galapagos tortoises, and walking along the beautiful beaches covered with sunning sea lions. This sea lion rookery was fantastic for photos and was a great way to end an unforgettable week. We flew out of Quito, Ecuador the following day after some delicious local food and lots of chocolate. I hope to return to Galapagos some day, and honestly feel like this is one of those dive destinations that absolutely cannot be missed. The importance of conservation is a message that permeates every aspect of your time spent in Galapagos and stays with you long after you\u2019ve returned to the likely less fantastic place you call home. Places like Galapagos are worth more to us as a species than any sum of wealth imaginable, and need our full devotion to their continued preservation and protection.Additional reading:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gal\u00e1pagos_Islands"},{"@type":"Article","@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/02/diving-galapagos/#article","isPartOf":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/02/diving-galapagos/#webpage"},"author":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/author/Marc-Levenson/#author","name":"Marc Levenson"},"publisher":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/#organization"},"headline":"Diving Galapagos","datePublished":"2013-06-02T19:00:26+00:00","dateModified":"2016-11-02T20:56:56+00:00","commentCount":"1","mainEntityOfPage":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/02/diving-galapagos/#webpage","image":{"@id":"https://reefs.com/2013/06/02/diving-galapagos/#primaryimage"},"keywords":"conservation,fish,reefaddicts,science,Seahorses","articleSection":"Conservation,Fish,Seahorses,Travel"},{"@type":"Person","@id":"https://reefs.com/author/Marc-Levenson/#author","name":"Marc Levenson","image":{"@type":"ImageObject","@id":"https://reefs.com/#personlogo","url":"https://cdn.reefs.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/levenson.jpg","caption":"Marc Levenson"},"description":"Based out of Fort Worth, Texas, I've been a hobbyist for more than 13 years. I enjoy helping others via my two websites melevsreef.com & reefaddicts.com. These feature articles, pictures, podcasts, interviews and product reviews, as well as documentation of personal experience maintaining tanks ranging from 3g to 400g. I make a living selling RO/DI systems and acrylic wares (sumps, frag tanks, overflows, photoboxes), which permits me to enjoy the hobby more. \n\nI'm a member of DFWMAS and have served on the board of directors for seven years, doing what I can to encourage growth while keeping it fun. My articles have appeared in print & online, and I'm happy to be blogging on Reefs.com as well.","sameAs":[]}]}

Diving Galapagos

Marc LevensonBy Marc Levenson 6 years ago
Home  /  Conservation  /  Diving Galapagos

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There are endless dive spots to visit in the world, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Galapagos is on the “bucket list” of every diver out there. I know it has always been on mine, and it absolutely did not disappoint. While the rules and regulations have changed a bit over the last few years with regard to combined land/water-based trips, you can still experience both underwater and topside locations on the same trip. Ideally, it would be perfect to book two weeks or more in Galapagos, the first half diving, the second hiking around on land, but since this much time off from the grind is not always an option, I think 10 days, including travel, is a reasonable amount of time to get the feel of this incredible place and hit the major dive spots and explore a bit on the islands.South of Mexico, West of Ecuador, a small group of islands draws divers year round.I booked my trip through DEEP BLUE (http://www.deepbluegalapagosdiving.com) and they did a fabulous job with every aspect of the trip. The staff was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the areas visited, diving conditions, and all manner of wildlife both underwater and on land.  MORE:  Diving Galapagos

Categories:
  Conservation, Fish, Seahorses, Travel
Marc Levenson
About

 Marc Levenson

  (47 articles)

Based out of Fort Worth, Texas, I've been a hobbyist for more than 13 years. I enjoy helping others via my two websites melevsreef.com & reefaddicts.com. These feature articles, pictures, podcasts, interviews and product reviews, as well as documentation of personal experience maintaining tanks ranging from 3g to 400g. I make a living selling RO/DI systems and acrylic wares (sumps, frag tanks, overflows, photoboxes), which permits me to enjoy the hobby more. I'm a member of DFWMAS and have served on the board of directors for seven years, doing what I can to encourage growth while keeping it fun. My articles have appeared in print & online, and I'm happy to be blogging on Reefs.com as well.

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