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Dive Review of Tom Webb in
Galapagos Islands/N/A

April, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Tom Webb, CA, United States (2 reports)
Report Number 4003
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Red Sea, Cocos Is, Great Barrier Reef, Soloman Is, New Guinea, Cozumel,
Turks and Caicos, BVI, CA Channel Is, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

surge, currents  
Water Temp
75   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We usually dived as a group, but you were basically allowed your own
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
1 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
I wasn't photographing, but it looked pretty good.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
We just completed a trip on the Sky Dancer, April 6-13, 2008.  The overall
experience was very good.  I did want to comment on a few points:

The Le Parc hotel in Quito was really outstanding, and we recommend it
highly to anyone looking for a little luxury pre-or post-diving. They
allowed us to leave some luggage there without charge while we were on Sky
Dancer. Make sure to arrange for them to pick you up at the airport, and
carry their card with you.  It's a botique hotel and not all the cab
drivers know where it is.

Overall, the Sky Dancer's Dive operation was great.  The crew was extremely
helpful.  All diving is from Zodiacs ("pangas"), but it was made
totally painless.  The crew helped you into your gear, and into the panga. 
The panga drivers were always waiting nearby when we surfaced.  At the end
of the dive, you passed your gear up, and that was the last you had to deal
with it until the next dive.  The crew saw to getting it back on board and
your tank refilled.  Nitrox 32 was available (indeed, everybody dived it). 
There were two hot showers on the dive deck, and a crew member would hand
you a towel as soon as you finished.  Coffee and juice with some snacks was
available on deck after each dive.

The specific diving arrangements did create some unhappiness.  We were
organized into two fixed pangas with fixed divemasters.  The other panga
almost always left first, which created at least the perception that the
other group was usually getting to see more.  They were in the water first
and thus got the first crack at the big stuff.  I think that the pangas
should at least have rotated which left first.  It might also have helped
to switch divemasters from time to time (although they both seemed quite

We dove in 5mm Henderson Thermaprene wet suits, and were quite comfortable
without hoods or vests.  My wife tends to get cold, but she was fine in
this.  We used Scubapro 3mm Kevlar gloves, which worked great for holding
on to the rocks (which is necessary because of the surge and currents). 

Sky Dancer had a supply of Mini-B rescue beacons, but only one per buddy
pair.  If you want one per person, bring your own (as we did).  While no
one had to use them on our trip, we had very calm seas; I can see how they
would be necessary in other conditions. Make sure to bring safety sausages,
dive alerts, and signal mirrors.  In some locations, if you lose your
handhold on the rocks, you're going to travel a long way by the time you
complete your safety stop.

We saw a lot fewer sharks and rays than we had hoped.  This did not compare
to our Cocos Island experience.  I hope this was a reflection of the time
of year, not the increasing effect of shark finning.

The food was good (if a bit bland), and the staterooms were comfortable and
kept spotless.  We had excellent weather and calm seas; we did encounter a
few strong currents.  I think our conditions were as good as the Galapagos
gets, and this was still no place for novices.

Overall, a very good trip with the quality we expected from Peter Hughes. 
We saw a lot less than we had hoped, but I don't think that was the Sky
Dancer's fault.  The pre- and post-diving travel and excursions that Peter
Hughes arranged for us went like clockwork.  I would certainly trust them
with this aspect again also.

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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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