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Dive Review of Peter Hughes/Sky Dancer in
Galapagos Islands

Peter Hughes/Sky Dancer, Jul, 2008,

by Lee Fenner, OH, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports). Report 4223.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Great Lakes, Kauai, Roatan, Florida (Keys & Destin), Kona, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 73 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 8
Water Visibility 30 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Follow the leader and group, but can ascend early as buddy team for pickup without affecting rest of group. No deco.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Boat had dedicated rinse tank and charging table. Also large table for storing camera prior to dives. On pangas, crew handed camera to you after boarding and after back entry, if profile permitted. When strong currents present, important to descend immediately.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My wife and I were on the Peter Hughes Sky Dancer, 29 Jun - 6 Jul. Diving was awesome - exciting and challenging (20 dives - 6 each at Wolf and Darwin) and water temp was warmer than expected (80-81, except for Gordon Rocks which was 73-75). We saw a school of 10-15 Mantas at North Seymour, whale sharks on 4 of 6 dives at Darwin and large hammerhead schools at Wolf. Night dives are done at Wolf Anchorage and James Bay, Santiago (red-lipped batfish). Four land excursions: James Bay, Santiago; Bartolmeo; Charles Darwin Research Station; and Visitor Center on San Cristobal.

We went through Quito giving ourselves an extra night before the cruise in case of any problems. I would now recommend Guayaquil: nicer airport; saves a stop on the flight to and from the Galapagos, and back home; and less security hassle. It seemed Quito security wasn't up to Delta standards. So on the flight home which stops at Guayaquil, continuing passengers had to get off the plane with all their carry-on and go through scanner, metal detectors, and have each bag hand searched before reboarding. This got us into Atlanta over an hour late.

Sky Dancer is a great boat and crew was terrific. Food and cabins outstanding. Only minor item was their weights were unmarked lead. They had a scale but it couldn't be zeroed out. The check-out dive was for weighting, but it was still a challenge. It seems better to be heavy since you need to go immediately down at Wolf and Darwin. If you have integrated weights, I would recommend taking an extra pouch or two. To get back on the panga (dive boat), you take your weights out of the BCD so the driver can have an easier time hauling it on board. When the seas are up and you're hanging on the rope with one hand, it is easy to lose your grip on the pouch.
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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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