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Dive Review of Wolf Buddy in
Galapagos Islands/Darwin, Wolf & Isabella

August, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by linda rutherford, CA, US
Contributor   (16 reports, with 3 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6674
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
various places worldwide
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

cloudy, dry  
Water Temp
66   to 70    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
22   to 85    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
swim with buddy and surface with buddy. since the whale sharks, rays and
sharks all swim right by the group very close to us, there is no need to go
off on your own looking for special sightings. so stick with group and then
no one worries about you.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or  
1 or 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Underwater visibility is not the best due to the large amount of nutrients
in the water during August. However, the large pelagic fish just keep on
coming. There is no shortage of subject matter for photography.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
1 stars   
5 stars    
Wolf Buddy Liveaboard
My husband Ron and I were on the new 120-foot Wolf Buddy in the Galapagos
the week of August 4th 2012. It has powerful twin water jet engines that
are quiet and provide a smooth ride. Not having a prop is safer for
swimming wildlife such as turtles and whales. The company says they
obtained their Galapagos license for two boats by buying out two fishing
boats and hiring some family members of the fishermen as crew for the

The diving was awesome. The routine procedure was to move, as quickly as
possible, below surface surge and current to 30 feet below and meet up with
others. Then proceed as a group to a ledge at 55 to 65 feet, crouch behind
a large boulder, deflate the BC in order to rest motionless and wait for
the fantastic display of fish to swim by... 9-foot Galapagos sharks, 9-foot
hammerheads, huge whale sharks, manta rays, eagle rays and turtles. 

Large schools of swarming juvenile creole fish liked the same locations and
the fish schools hindered visibility a bit when we were watching the
exciting pelagic visitors. It required looking for a spot where the creole
fish werent, to get good photos.

When whale sharks came by, it was surprising how large they were and how
slowly they moved. At times there were strong currents and down-currents.
Pushing off the reef to follow the whale sharks into the blue, we had to be
sure to remember to re-inflate our BC to avoid being swept down. 

This August, the water was around 70F degrees except for Day 6 on Isabella
Island, when it was only 66.  A 7mm suit and a hood would be the most
comfortable. The boat rents 7mm but they are a bit of a struggle to put on.
Gloves are needed to hang onto the rocky vistas. The boat lends each diver
emergency equipment: an extendable flag and a GPS beacon.

At most dive sites were Galapagos sharks, turtles, barracuda, yellow fin
tuna, and a few Silky sharks. The most common little fishes were creole,
king angelfish, barberfish, Mexican hogfish, fanged blennies, giant
hawkfish, guineafowl puffer and dense dark clouds of striped salema. Sea
lions and the occasional dolphin also show up.

Cruise director Nicolas also served as a dive guide. He gave a complete
dive briefing each time we went to a new site. The second dive guide was
Solon. Both were good, but one wondered what would happen if one of them
got sick. We had 16 people, divided into two groups each with a guide. For
the challenging conditions here, it would be better to have a third dive
guide available, for at least some of the dives.

The water visibility was between 22 - 85 feet. On the Mola Mola dive, the
water was a cold greenish murky soup, but seeing the odd pelagic close up
was a rare treat! On this dive five of our sixteen experienced divers got
lost in the murk and could not find the reef ledge where we waited
patiently for 20 minutes at 40 feet while Nicholas looked for them. In
retrospect, divers could have been warned to take a compass reading on the
wall, so they could have been swimming in the right direction. Again, this
points out how a third dive guide would be of benefit, especially on this
particular dive.

The lost divers surfaced and asked the dinghy crew where the dive guide
was. The dinghy driver shrugged and indicated that he did not know.
Evidently our bubbles that were right next to the cliff wall were not
visible in the surge. In most worldwide operations, the dinghy driver would
ferry the lost divers to the proper location and drop them where the dive
was supposed to take place so they could meet up with with the dive master.

Perhaps a tiny bit of apathy in the dinghy crew was a factor. A
conscientious dinghy driver would know the dive plan and where divers
should be. 

We were asked if we wanted the hot tub fired up, but none of us were
interested. So the hot tub was available if we had wanted it. Im not that
into food, but it seemed OK to me, and there were lots of choices. Various
sauces were provided in separate bowls so you could chose the sauce you
wanted, if any, for your main courses.

Lots of exciting big fish and never a dull moment.
A great itinerarythey know where to see the big stuff.
The boat is new with good engines and modern interior.
Safety flags and beacons issued to each diver.
Beer, wine & mixed drinks are free.

The 7-day trip seemed too shortI would have loved a 10-day trip.
The rubber dinghies have pitiful laddersupgrading these ladders would cost
very little.
The drivers of the inflatable dinghies could be more proactive and caring.
Wet suits that they rent are not very stretchy, so they are difficult to
get on.

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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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