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Dive Review of Aggressor I in
Galapagos Islands

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Sean Bruner, Arizona, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 4315
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Palau, Islas Reviagigedo, Sea of Cortez, Fiji, Hawaii, Cozumel,
Bonaire, Papua New Guinea
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

cloudy, dry  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
68   to 74    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
One hour max, Nitrox limits, buddy teams  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
large camera table with compressed air, separate rinse tank, staff very
consciencious about camera gear.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
This was my second trip on the Galapagos Aggressor.  After a check-out dive
to get our weight straight (extra weight due to water salinity and new wet
suit), we headed for two dives at Mosquera Island.  Lots of very playful
sea lions, green turtles, moray eels, horse-eyed jacks, sting rays, garden
eels and a few white tip sharks.  We did a land tour, seeing baby sea
lions, lots of land iguanas, some marine iguanas, blue footed boobies,
frigate birds, sea gulls, etc.  We saw a school of mobula rays on the
surface feeding, which was nice, but we would have rather seen them from in
the water.  The guide, Jaime, borrowed from the Peter Hughes boat for this
trip only, was very informative and knowledgeable.  Then off to the
northern islands.  After the long crossing, we arrived at Wolf Island in
time for four dives.  Big currents and tons of sharks:  hammerheads,
Galapagos sharks, black tips, silkies and even a tiger shark, captured in a
photo and verified.  Also saw some eagle rays, but not a big school, yellow
fin tuna, and large schools of jacks.  On the fourth dive, my wife, Laura,
got separated and was with Jaime and they saw a whale shark.
Next day, on to Darwin Island for four dives.  Again, lots of sharks and
current.  On the second dive we saw at least two different whale sharks. 
On the fourth dive a group of five divers got separated and spent a long
time, 10-15 minutes, with a whale shark, an amazing encounter.  Some of the
same divers ran into a school of hammerheads on the third dive that
numbered in the hundreds.  The next day we did two more dives at Darwin and
one at Wolf, but didnt see the whale sharks. 
Back to the main islands for two dives at Cousins Rock and one at Gordons
rock and another land tour at the famous site overlooking the bay where a
scene in Master and Commander was filmed.  Again, lots of turtles, sea
lions, some sting rays, a few sharks, a school of salemas which we saw a
sea lion feeding off of, large school or barracuda and two sea horses.
Overall impression:  very good.  The diving is exciting and the boat and
crew is good.  The food is decent and plentiful.  Nice touches:  hot towels
after the dives, hot chocolate after the morning dive, DVD players in the
cabins (although ours worked only sporadically) and a CD with photos from
the trip for free (the DVD cost $65).  The bad news:  for some reason, the
Aggressors I and II were on identical schedules.  Here we are out in the
middle of nowhere (Darwin and Wolf) with 30 plus divers in the water at the
same time!  They could have had one diving at Wolf while the other was at
Darwin.  Why dont they include the add-ons in the price?  $100 for Nitrox
(but air isnt an option; they only have Nitrox), $100 fuel surcharge
(although Ecuador is an OPEC country and the gas is subsidized:  $1.50 a
gallon), $70 port fee.  They provide each diver with a GPS locator device
in case you surface far from the boat.  Laura tried to open hers on the
first day at Wolf and it was stuck shut.  The next day at Darwin, they were
still stuck shut and when the five divers chasing the whale shark surfaced,
they were so far from the boat that they tried to activate the GPS.  They
were all stuck shut.  Finally, one was opened and after waiting 20 minutes
(with five silkies circling underneath!) they were able to signal the boat
and were picked up.  The next day, the GPSs were all greased and opened
Overall, however, this is a highly recommended trip and you need to book
early, like more than a year in advance, because of the limitations that
have been put on Galapagos diving by the Ecuadorian government.
We went to Sacha lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon following the diving.  I
won't go into it other than to say that if you go all the way to Galapagos,
don't miss the opportunity to see the Amazon, it's amazing! 
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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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