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Dive Review of Sky Dancer-Peter Hughes in
Galapagos Islands

September, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Matt Brandt, CA, USA
Report Number 2031
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
[Unspecified]Maldives, Palau, Caymans, PNG, Yap, Belize, Hawaii, Florida,
All over Southern California, etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, cloudy, dry  
choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
61   to 73    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
[Unspecified]Their were suggested guidlines of staying inside deco limits
and max 60 minutes per dive. The water temps were colder so most people
were up in 45 minutes and due to the difficult nature of the dives usually
low on air!  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 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  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
[None]I am aVideographer and I found that the 2-tired photo table on the
dive deck was more than adequate for working with your gear before and
after the dive. They had a high pressure air hose and rinse tank. The crew
would rinse you gear once on the boat. Equipment was handled well in the
Pangas. Charge table had room for everyones batteries. I chose to back roll
into the water as my entry with my video housing in one hand as the boat
usually let us off in rough waters and I wanted to get below the surface as
soon as I hit the water. I sugest this method for all who are willing to
try it. There was minimal impact to the camera as you can almost keep it
held out of the water upon impact.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
[None]This was arguably the best and most gruelling dive trip I have ever
been on. I have dived around the world from the tropics of the Maldives and
Micronesia to the cold waters of Southern California, but could not have
imagined the incredible diversity of marine life that would present itself
to me even after reading numerous reports on  Galapagos diving. The first
day on the Sky Dancer was a scramble to get our eqipment set up and find
our room. My wife and I had a front cabin, on the lower deck with two
single beds, not ideal for a honey moon or if you have a tenderspot for sea
sickness. We were armed and most definitely needed the Patch, Relief band,
and a homeopathic cornicopia of seasickness medicines. This however did not
overshadow the sheer wonder and excitement created by an attentive staff
and crew both for all your needs above board to all your diving needs. Very
helpful staff on the Skydancer. Jaimie, our Dive Master gets excellent
remarks for keeping our group together, those who wanted to be at least and
pointing out nudibranchs to Whale Sharks.

Our trip started on the souther Islands with a check out dive accompanied
by an Eagle Ray and playful Sea Lions. We then did a rough 11 hour crossing
to the Central Islands where the weather was cloudy and the seas rough and
cold. This was worth the trouble as our first dive concluded by being
encircled by approximately 30 Golden Cow nosed rays! The following days
produced prolific marine encounetrs with numerous close up action with
friendly feeding Turtles, Schooling Barracudas on at least 5 dives, close
ups with Marble Rays, Sea Lions and schools of fish so thick that the what
remained of the sun was blotted out. The price for these encounters was
strong current and heaving surge. This is not a comfortable begginers trip.
Don't miss the shore excursions! Every one we did brought intimate
encounters with some of the Galapagos most famous inhabitents. We mingled
with Sea Lions inches from our faces, Marine and land Igunas, Blu and Red
Footed Boobies, Albatrosses, Every Finch imaginable, Frigate Birds as
guides between crossings, Hawks you can almost touch, Flamingos, Giant
Tortoises and of course a highlight of Snorkeling with fgeeding Penguins.

Our boat was blessed with at Wolf and Darwin Island to have the surrounding
seas engulfed with hundreds of Mellonhead Whale and Bottle nose Dolphins,
both of which we had numerous encounters with underwater. Our Panga driver
and dive guide let us snorkel with huge schools on the returns to the boat.
 The silent goal of the trip was however to spot the "Big
Senior", the Whale Shark. The greatest chance for this encounter was
atr Wolf and Darwin Island. On our path to find this mythic fish, we were
treated to fast currents and endless schools of Hammerheads, punctuated
with curious beefy Galapagos Sharks patrolling near the reefs edge.Our
safety stops found us screaming in our regulators as a school of Eagle Rays
and Mobula rays flew past. The Whale Shark dives find you amidst ten's of
thousands of schooling Pacific Creole fish fighting current in hopes of
hearing the dive masters tank bager go off. This is the alrm that lets you
know that the Big Senior is in the House. That's also the signal to kick as
fast as you can to get a glimpse of this beautiful barge of a fish. Heart
pounding and exhilerating, these encounters, although not guarenteed, will
imprint themselves on you as permenent memories. While on these dives,
don't forget to look at all the other marine life that will approach from
Tuna to schooling jacks and African Pompano. The one night dive I did
offered up a Red Lipped Bat Fish and Giant Sleeping Sea Turtle

The food on the boat was excellent with a mix of local tastes and standard
fare. I would most definitely reccomend this trip for advanced divers as a
life changing dive experience!
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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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