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Published: December 8th 2006
I am sick to my stomach and beyond, everything I have eaten today is now feeding the fish, I have a thumping headache, and the boat won't stop moving. I am very seasick and it is worth it.
I have never been seasick before, I've been queasy on boats before, but actually sick no. I've dived nearly 200 times and there is a first for nearly everything, the dives here were worth the pain though. First time seeing a school of Hammerhead Sharks, first time with an Octopus, my first Manta Ray. Watching the sea lions play with each other and us and even the Manta Ray - puppies of the sea - they are called "Lobo del Mar" in Spanish - Sea Wolves - I think it is a better name.
The terrain underwater is unsurprisingly much like the terrain above, volcanic, varied, dramatic. Many of the dives are in volcanic craters, the rocks are sharp, and there are cold thermoclines, though the water was surprisingly warm, 25c on average. The fish life is amazing, there are so so many, the source of so much life is the
Pacific updrift, brining up cold nutrient filled water to near the surface, and creating those thermoclines. Due to it's location many oceanic fish can be seen. But it's not a place for beautiful corals and relaxing dives!
I can't really write too much more about the dives, the photos will show more detail than I can describe. The diving conditions were difficult in general, the surge was strong down to 15m on some sites, entering the water can be really tough at times, the waves just keep on rolling in. Some of the currents can pull you out from the rocks and down - like the one that stopped me getting in with the school of hammerhead sharks.
Hammerhead sharks were amazing, so strange, that huge array of sensors, and widely spaced eyes - how do they see the world? very differently from me, they can detect minute concentrations of blood, electrical activity indicating a fish in distress - I wonder how a human encased in neoprene and scuba equipment looks to them - we are the alien life forms down there.
I dived with Scuba Iguana, a little tip for the divemasters there - on the
dive - please spend a little more time guiding your customers and a little less time videoing and photographing things. I don't mind a divemaster taking a camera - who knows when that new species will be discovered or that whale shark will turn up - otherwise the equipment is good, the boat is good, they do work hard, the food (the one time I ate it) was great. At $130 a day though it should be - though I imagine a good deal of the costs go on transport the sites are a fair distance.
Dive sites: Pinzon, Guy Fawkes, Gordon Rocks x 2, Beagle x 2. I dive at Floriana next week. More from the Galapagos soon.
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