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Dive Review of Galapagos Master in
Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Master: "Galapagos is always a dream", Jun, 2022,

by Ellen Marie (Dinwiddie) Smith, MN, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 12234.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments After meeting our group in Quito, We arrived together in San Cristobal and spent some time exploring the island the first afternoon. We stayed at Hostel Gosen (about $22 per person). We snorkeled at Los Loberia Beach ($4 cab ride and hiked with snorkel gear!) and saw lots of turtles in the water and sea lions lounging in the sun. Took a cab to La Carola beach ($4) and saw Marine Iguanas & sea lions sunning, then we hiked to Darwin’s Bay and snorkeled with Sealions. One adolescent brought me a rock as a toy and we played together fetch as it dropped from the surface. I dove under to retrieve it and the sea lion played with us like that for at least 30 minutes! We took turns keeping track of our valuables as there were many people coming and going all afternoon. The next day we boarded the Galapagos Master, and had a very rushed checkout dive just off San Cristobal: Puerto Moreno shallows. Wore Bare 5 mil, thermal hood, and steel tank. (extra charge for steel) Nitrox was low all week and we complained and paid less at the end. The water was 64 degrees F. First backroll of Panga for my buddies! Sealions played all around us while we were getting our weights checked.
Next day, land our on North Seymour Island Viewed: nesting boobies, nesting Frigatebirds, Albatross, Pelicans, and more. Then dove Baltra North: Murky dive max 50 ft vis, looking for seahorse but no luck but saw nice blue nudibranch, scorpionfish, and long-nosed hawkfish. Next up Darwin’s Pinnacles - Crazy fast current and not great visibility Hammers, fish spawning, mobila ray, huge whale shark & big school of tuna. The current was VERY VERY VERY STRONG and the water was full of green goo. Still exciting even with some hammers visible and others just out of sight! Tiger Shark at the end of dive in shallows (I was happy as it was my 800th dive and a first for me). Wolf Island: Spotted Eagle Rays, Galapagos Sharks (many), turtles, a few hammers, again bad viz and loads of current. Cabo Douglas deep dive: Red Lipped Batfish, Diamond Stingray, horn shark & Shallow dive: Marine Iguanas, Sea Lions playing, Scorpionfish, turtles.Punta Vincente Roca (Northwest Isabela Island): no Mola mola but many sea horses & sea lion play. Cousins Rock:
Sea Horses, nudibranchs, mobla rays. flag cabrilla, octopus.
The good things: we were in Galapagos! So many cool things to see. The boat crew was great, the food excellent and the majority of the divers were competent and enjoyable to get to know.
The bad: one of my trip mates was paired with a terrible diver but luckily that got changed because that diver wasn't using nitrox. The head dive master was a bit of a jerk (Jeffrey) and his dive briefings were filled with bad news about some of the terrible politics in Ecuador that affect the Galapagos Islands which is important but got depressing.
All in all, despite the water being murky and conditions bumpy, we had a memorable week and we were thankful for the way the entire crew handled our safety. Also note: the trip was from San Cristobal to San Cristobal but we got off the boat in Santa Cruz the night before the last day. We went to see some other not to be missed sights including Bartholme Island.

Websites Galapagos Master   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea (North and South), Galapagos, Hawaii, Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize, Turneffe, Utila, Turks & Caicos, St. Martin, Nevis & St. Kitts, Roatan), California (Catalina), False Bay (South Africa), Cocos Island, Socorro Islands, Baia & Ustica (Italy), Yap, Palau, & Truk, Thailand(Surin Islands).
Closest Airport San Cristobal, Galapagos Getting There Delta Airlines: MSP-Atlanta, Atlanta-Quito, overnight in airport hotel, then Avianca Airlines to San Cristobal, returned from Santa Cruz to Quito

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, dry Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 25-75 Ft/ 8-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with group, surface with group
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Plenty of room since there were many photographers on board. The choppy though short boat rides to the dive sites made it hard to hold onto my camera which I dropped it on one occasion. In some other locations I've been to boats have a landing or bucket to store cameras for rough conditions which would have been helpful.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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