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Dive Review of Estrella Del Mar in
Galapagos Islands

Estrella Del Mar, Sep, 2009,

by Lesa Perrault, WA, USA ( 2 reports). Report 5130.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Truk, Palau, Tahiti, Indonesia, Cozumel, Red Sea, Turks & Caicos, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, Hawaii, Florida, Washington State
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 65 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stick with guide (really was the best way), notify guide at 1000 psi, at about 750 psi ascend with any member of group that was low on air. We all knew eachother, so easily done without much thought.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments We only had about 3 passengers with large cameras, so they had plenty of space. Two medium-sized tables with 8 cubbies underneath, and lots of charging spots. Also a large camera tank on lower back deck.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Incredible crew, and very nice boat. When this boat was substituted for their brand-new boat that was unable to get a license for this year, I was a little concerned about what we were getting into. The Estrella Del Mar turned out to be quite nice. The rooms were comfortable and very clean, with a decent-sized shower that you usually don't find on a live-aboard. There is plenty of space on the decks for "lounging" both in and out of the sun, or while sleeping off a little seasickness (you know who you are :)

The food was good and hit the spot, but by no means gourmet. There was always plenty to eat. A fridge across from the kitchen contained bottles of water, Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, local beer (Pilsner), and wine that was all included in the price of the trip.

Peter and Willy, our naturalists and guides, were top-notch and very friendly. They felt like family by the end of the week. The rest of the staff was also exceptional...lots of smiles and assistance with whatever needed to be done.

The diving was amazing. You can't explain with words, or even pictures, what it is like to swim alongside a 40-foot whaleshark in open blue water. Our boat counted 15 underwater sightings throughout the week between our two 8-person groups. Then there are the hammerheads and silky sharks - oh, and the mantas, dolphins and bait balls!

Overall a 5-star trip. Outstanding. Okay, gotta go now - gonna check out those picture again...
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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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