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Dive Review of Buddy Dive in
Galapagos Islands

Buddy Dive, Dec, 2013,

by Kayla Koeber, UT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 7503.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments HISTORY: We first dove the Galapagos in 2004 on the Peter Hughes Sky Dancer. We found the waters incredible but the dive operation was terrible. Bad dive master who would bang his tank when he saw hammerheads, scaring them away; more interested in his video photography than safety of divers, it was our LAST PETER HUGHES affiliated trip and we recommend serious divers stay away. We heard about the Buddy Dive operation from an excellent diver/photographer we met on the Nautilus Explorer/Socorro in 2012 who gave them a TOP rating. Researched - the reviews were excellent and we wanted to go back so booked for Dec. 14,2013 sail date, just after what they call Whale Shark Season.

THIS BOAT AND OPERATION: EXCELLENT! I GIVE THEM MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. We have been on 10+ Liveaboards and Buddy Dive rates right up there at the very top along with the SeaHunter group, Cocos Island, Costa Rica. The 2 Buddy Dive boats are new, palatial and beautiful. The food is incredible and the crew polite, courteous and helpful. But more importantly the dive operation is OUTSTANDING. Comfortable, spacious dive deck, good camera tables, nice set up for gear. You dive by panga and they trade which team goes first every other dive day. Well organized, very safety conscious and our two dive masters were excellent. They gave outstanding conservation/education talks at orientation and in the evenings and their passion for the Islands were apparent. You dive with your group, entering and exiting the water together. Panga drivers were good, able to find divers in surge, chop, large waves. Only drawback was inflatables can be hard on gear in rough conditions. The hard hull boats SeaHunter uses out at Cocos are far superior.

THE DIVING: It was as we remembered, in one word a PRIVILEGE. Literally rivers of fish, the reef is teeming with life... something to see almost everywhere. Lots of critters with morays swimming free, seahorses, sea robins, red lipped batfish, Amazing pelagics, this place is still as wild and wonderful as we remembered. We saw many turtles, mantas, squadrons of hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, squadron of mobula, huge schools of barracuda and jacks, giant tuna, a few marble rays, dolphin and five whale shark sightings. One 60 ft. pregnant beauty passed within 10 feet of us! At the end of a dive we'd leave the reef to drift out in the blue and you never knew WHAT you might see. At Cape Douglas we dove in the shore surge to watch Marine Iguanas feed. One of the highlights of my trip was diving with these prehistoric, otherworldly creatures.

My favorite sites were Cape Marshall and Wolf and (especially) Darwin Islands. Buddy Dive's itinerary spends max time out at Wolf and Darwin, weather permitting, which is where you want to be. Darwin's Arch is one of the wildest, finest places we have been diving -beautiful and remote topside, amazing underwater with it's parade of big life cruising by.

There were usually 4 dives a day which not all the divers made. No one complained we didn't dive enough! Conditions vastly differed - from very cold to 80 degree water, and could be rigorous. We experienced strong currents, low viz, big waves, drift diving in the blue. The dive operation outfitted us with Nautilus lifelines, safety sausages and air horns. THIS IS NOT A TRIP FOR BEGINNERS!! But it sure was the trip of a lifetime for us.

Can't say enough good things. We hope to head back next year.

Websites Buddy Dive   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Cocos Island x 3, PNG, Socorro, Palau, Turks & Caicos, Belize, Bay Islands, Little Cayman, Cozumel, California, Galapagos 2004
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 65-80°F / 18-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 20-80 Ft/ 6-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions conditions require you to dive with dive master from pangas, groups of 6 or 7 divers per panga on this trip.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals N/A 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 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Excellent dive deck, good camera tables, rinse tank, dive from inflatables so must watch cameras when seas are rough, panga drivers were careful, but sometimes other divers are not.
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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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