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Dive Review of Humboldt Explorer in
Galapagos Islands/12 Dives at Wolf and Darwin

July, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Mr. Hal Berson, NY, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 6631
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, Red Sea, Florida, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Zanzibar,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
68   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Expected to start up with around 700 PSI.  Many dives started with BC
deflated backroll straight down to depth and wait for the group.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
One table for gear.  2 air hoses for clearing the housing.  No recharge
station, but plenty of outlets on the boat.  One fresh water tank at the
back of the boat for cameras only.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
We did a fair amount of research before deciding which operation to use. 
Several factors made the Humboldt the easy choice.  They did the most dives
at Wolf and Darwin.  I can't stress how important that is, as they are by
far, the best dives I have ever done and far better than the rest on this
trip.  They also depart on Monday morning instead of a Wed like most of the
others.  This was good for conserving vacation days.  The boat is
relatively new and comfortable enough as far as liveaboards go, though the
beds are tight and I often woke up with my arm or hip asleep.  It's no high
end luxury cruise, but the crew was amazing.  Every member of the crew
right up to the Captain chipped in helping with wetsuits, getting into BCs,
handing over cameras and fins when we got on the panga boats and pretty
much anything else you asked of them or quite often didn't ask.  The panga
drivers were outstanding, always there well in advance of us surfacing,
able to locate any pair that may have drifted off from the main group,
which happens in these currents.  The cooks were going non-stop and kept
the meals interesting and plentiful.  Kevin, the bartender, was always
there with a smile and a beer (included in the price of the boat).  The
divemasters, Jamie and William, were great about not restricting our dives
too much.  They were able to gauge who needed more attention and let people
have fun, but were always in control of the situation.  They were also
excellent spotters and fun guys to hang out with during downtime.  I can't
say enough good things about the entire crew.  Also, we used Leslie at to book the trip, but the real work came booking our
land extension, which was no easy task.  She nailed it in every way with
help from her friends, as she put it, "the wonderful Paco Flores"
and Jennifer, who works for Humboldt.  I would wholeheartedly recommend all
of them.
As for the diving.....blown away is an understatement.  If you want to see
5 whale sharks, a thousand hammerheads, a couple hundred silkies and
galapagos sharks, turtles, dolphins, rays, fish, sea lions, free swimming
eels and probably a few others I missed, then this trip is a must.  As I
stated earlier, you need to maximize your dives at Wolf and Darwin to
really get this experience.  
The currents are tough, but if you are a good calm diver with a good buddy,
it's not that bad.  Two guys from our crew only had 30 and managed just
fine.  The water is chilly, I wore a shortsleeve Lavacore shirt under a 7mm
suit and was fine.  My colder friends wore hoods and full Lavacore suits. 
The viz most of the time was only 30-50 or 60 feet due to the plankton, but
then again, that's why the whale sharks are there. 
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