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Dive Review of Galapagos Aggressor II in
Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Aggressor II, Jan, 2013,

by Elizabeth Sippl, CA, US ( 2 reports). Report 6899.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My first live aboard experience and it was VERY satisfactory. The diving, especially at Wolf and Darwin Islands, was incredible. My goal was to see hammerheads and I was not disappointed. Schools of scalloped hammerheads, large eagle and manta rays and many other pelagic species. We were not 'in whale shark season' and did not see any, but other friends, diving another live-aboard with a schedule four days later, were lucky and saw one on one dive.

Diving conditions here are not for beginners. For entries, divers are taken from the ship and loaded on to hard bottom inflatables ('pangas') for the short trip to the dive sites. Typically there was current at surface and below, as well as chop at surface. All divers are to enter water from pangas at same time (eg roll backwards on 'count of 3'), and meet at bottom. divers return to pangas and for the most part are to enter boats by being pulled or boosting themselves onto boats. This can be challenging if you have had neck, back or shoulder issues. There were small ladders at stern of pangas, as well-but divers were discouraged from using them, and they were not heavily used.

Two Dive Masters, who were both certified GNP naturalists, on each dive. All dive briefings were through. Three tanks per day for five days (with one more shallow, protected dive on first day as "pre-dive check"). Isabella Island had the coldest water temperatures-and different marine life, such as the Galapagos penguins. Last day of trip is land-based on Santa Cruz Island to tour Darwin Research Station, a private tortoise reserve and some lava tubes.

Rules at Galapagos National Park have changed so boats with divers are not allowed to land on, nor persons allowed to walk on, any islands for touring, but instead the dive operators can take passengers (on the pangas) close to the cliffs of various islands to view wildlife they might not otherwise see while diving (eg various boobies, and other birds, marine iguanas, etc.).

I did stay for 4 additional days of land-based touring (from Finch Bay Resort on Santa Cruz Island-highly recommended hotel) to four additional islands. However, IMO, the best of the Galapagos is seen from underwater and what the dive operator showed on the islands from the pangas.

Fantastic dive trip. I would recommend Galapagos Agressor trip to others and would like to go again! LOVED the hammerheads!!!!
Websites Galapagos Aggressor II   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Channel Islands and Monterey, CA; Hawaiian Islands-various; Fiji, Cayman, Baja CA, Belize, Great Barrier Reef, Br. Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Bahamas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp -°F / -°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility - Ft/ - M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions stay with group. no diving below 100 feet.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments basic freshwater tank available and some internet accessibility depending upon location.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Michael Emersonin MN, US at May 11, 2013 23:29 EST  
What were your favorite land based tours from the Finch Bay Resort?
By report author: Elizabeth Sippl in CA, US at May 12, 2013 11:12 EST  
I did depart from the Finch Bay Resort, where I was staying, but the travel was not co-ordinated by them. Instead my day trips were co-ordinated by Bambu Travel, through a local agent Penguin Travel. That being said Bartholome and Floreana Islands. If you look at Wikipedia you will see many spectacular photos from Bartholome. It did not have much animal, and minimal plant, life but it did have spectacular views of the area. You get to the higher ground by walking up some flights of wooden stairs. Floreana is interesting as it has a turtle reserve of sorts and a history with other folks having lived on the island, which is unusual in the Galapagos. It was quite far to travel there for a day from Finch Bay. I have to say I saw most of the animal life in the Galapagos from the Agressor ship and I am not sure the day trips were really 'worth' it. I might have been better off diving more days from land based operators. It depends upon what you are looking for.
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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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