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Dive Review of Reina Silvia in
Galapagos Islands

July, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Greg Storey, TN, USA (1 report)
Report Number 2906

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Reporter
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Belize, Australia (GBR,Ningaloo,Coral
Sea),Palau,Yap,Bonaire,Sea of Cortez,Bahamas, Turks and Caicos

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
71   to 77    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
5
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
?  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nothing really specified.  Dives were usually close to one hour.  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  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
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
2 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
I took a mid July 2006 trip on the Reina Silvia (booked through Marc
Bernardi of Aquatic Encounters).  This was the best live aboard trip I have
done, and certainly the best big animal experience I have had. Our lead
divemaster was Victor Mendia.  If you have read good reports about him
elsewhere, let me say they are well deserved.  Hands down the best
divemaster I have ever been with on a trip.

In addition to the great land tours and all the top side wildlife, the
diving was incredible.  We were lucky enough to have very light current and
relatively warm water at Darwin Island, where we did three days of diving
after the southern dives at Plazas and Genovesa.  Despite the slack
current, we had dozens of schooling hammerheads on every dive at Darwin. 
And of course the highlight were the seven whale sharks.  Three were on one
dive, which also included the countless hammerheads, plus several large
Galapagos sharks as well as silky sharks.  That dive has the notation
"lifetime best" in my log. The diving at the end of the trip
(Cousins Island and Albany) was also good, although a bit colder water. 
Lots of white tip reef sharks, eagle rays, one manta, seahorses, and young
sea lions that were a blast to dive with.

Diving is all done off of three tender boats.  Each group has color coded
tanks so the mate can spot his people when they surface.  Time spent
getting to the sites was always short, less than five minutes.  The mates
running the boats were very professional and extremely helpful.  The one
minor diving negative is that the gear area is on the level above where you
board the tenders.  However, you don't have to carry anything heavy up and
down the stairs, you just put the wetsuit on upstairs then walk down with
mask and fins.  The BC and reg stay on the tank at all times, either in the
tender boat or in a rack at the area where you board the tenders.  The boat
has a large platform that makes it easy for getting off and on the
tenders.

The food on the Reina Silvia was quite good. The cabins were reasonably
sized.  I booked one of the two small ones for myself and had more room
than I knew what to do with.  My impression is that two people in the
larger cabins fared just as well space wise.  Overall, this was my best
live aboard experience out of a total of eight live aboard trips.
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Other dive reports on M/Y Reina Silvia

AllGalapagos Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Galapagos Islands
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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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