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Dive Review of Reina Silvia in
Galapagos Islands

Reina Silvia, Jun, 2004,

by David Vik, Illinois, USA . Report 1396.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Southern California, Texas Gulf, everwhere in Caribbean, Hawaii, Micronesia, Polynesia, Andaman Sea, Mexican Baja
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas currents
Water Temp 65 to 75 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 25 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits encouraged; we were treated as adult, advanced divers
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 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 Separate camera rinse tanks. No official camera table/area. We used the dining room tables (there were more than enough tables to accomodate us, both sitting for meals as well as extra tables for equipment)

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 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This trip was everything I had hoped for and more! It exceeded my expectations, (which were high) so bonus points for that accomplishment. The boat is in excellent condition overall, obviously well maintained and cared for. The rooms are adequate, with additional closet space and private bath. Air conditioning in the rooms very good, and adjustable to suit taste. Meals were excellent, and matching dining room service.

I have been on many liveaboards throughout the world and this was certainly one of the best overall. The diving is done from 3 zodiacs (nice spacing for 16 divers); the drivers are attentive, and right there for you upon completion of the dives. I had one dive where I was caught drifting the "wrong" way at Darwin (toward the outside of the arch), but the zodiac driver was right there and didn't miss a beat. Kudos!

Diving highlights:

Our naturalist/dive guide was Victor Mendia, and he was outstanding!! He knows how to time the diving/land tours to avoid the big cruise ships. Shot professional quality trip video. Best dive guide yet.

Northern Islands(Darwin): 7 different whale sharks (with 15 separate encounters) including one 45 footer with 4 bottlenose dolphins swimming around her (on video!); "hundreds" of scalloped hammerheads (one dive produced the famous "hundred hammerheads in silhouette" shot); many galapagos sharks, including a nose to camera bump (his curiosity, not mine!); "thousands" of fish...best single dive site yet

Archipelago: Sea Lions, turtles, white tip reef sharks, sea horse, schooling mobula rays, eagle rays, and snorkeling with galapgos penguins. Wear your 7mm, be in shape, and have at leat 100 dives before you go to Galapagos. You simply won't enjoy it if you don't have the skills. The land tours for surface intervals are amazing. Being up close and personal with the blue-footed boobies, frigates, pelicans, sea lions, iguanas, and giant tortise will produce amazing photos, and even better memories.

I booked with Aquatic Encounters and will certainly repeat in the future. Marc Bernardi is knowledgeable, friendly, and the trip mechanics went smoothly. Watch the luggage weight coming back to the mainland from the islands, and don't be afraid to "ship cargo" for your overweight bags, it went smoothly. (from mainland to the islands the overweight bags were "overlooked", the return out of the islands was not, so be prepared).
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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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