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Dive Review of Galapagos Sky in
Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Sky, Aug, 2013,

by Eric Eckes, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 7216.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our second trip to the Galapagos with the first trip having taken place onboard the Aggressor in 2009. That first trip was spectacular and we were looking for more of the same.

We were originally scheduled to fly from Guayaquil to San Cristobal, however, with two days to go we learned plans had changed and we were to fly into Balta. We didn't learn the reason until we arrived in Balta: the Galapagos Sky had only one engine operational. This was briefly mentioned during our orientation, however, nothing was mentioned about it altering our itinerary.

We boarded and were told we would do our checkout dive in the harbor by Balta Airport rather than Isla Lobos. The first disappointment (there would be a few) was that they did not have any tanks larger than 80^3ft tanks despite our request weeks in advance for larger tanks. The checkout dive turned out to be a treat, however, as there was quite a bit of life at this rocky site as compared to the desolate sand bottom of Isla Lobos.

After our checkout dive we sat down to dinner. This began a week of uninspired meals. The food was bland and basically variations of prior meals. No eggs cooked-to-order for breakfast and the soups were highly watered down. Disappointment number two.

The divemasters for the week were Edwin and Glenda. Edwin had been with the Galapagos Sky for a number of years and Glenda had been with the Sky for the last few years. Our group of 15 divers was broken into two groups and we took turns diving with each dive master.

During the week we found Glenda fun to dive with and she found all kinds of sealife including two whalesharks (35' and 50'). Edwin was another matter. He seemed disinterested in finding sealife and after a week still did not know our names. This is the first trip that I can recall where the divemaster did not know our names after spending seven days together. Disappointment number three.

After two dives at Cousins Rock our boat began limping north on one engine to Wolf Island. The plan was to do four day dives plus one night dive. The 17 hour trip turned into a 23 hour trip and we missed our scheduled morning dive. The remaining three day dives were eventful as we saw Scalloped Hammerheads and Galapagos Sharks. On one dive our other dive group saw a squadron of Eagle Rays. The current here was minimal although there was substantial surge. We did a night dive at our anchorage and found the famed Red-Lipped Batfish at 119'.

The next day we left early for Darwin's Arch. Word has it that several whalesharks had been in the area and our spirits were high. We did seven dives at Darwin's Arch over the next two days. On dives one through five we were shut out on seeing whalesharks. I blame this on the Galapagos Sky. Why? We spent most of each dive at a site called the Theater waiting for whalesharks. Only after we burned through most of our gas did the divemasters venture into the open blue. On dives six and seven we were treated to a whaleshark on each dive. Unlike in 2009 when our lone whaleshark siting was at the surface, these sitings were very deep. These two sitings again took place after we burned most of our gas sitting at the Theater. The Galapagos Sky needed to either provide larger tanks or put some intelligence into the divemasters' process of determining when to leave the Theater for open water. (In fairness to the Sky, we did six dives from the Theater in 2009 without seeing a whaleshark until we entered open water. Thirteen dives started from the Theater in two trips and zero whaleshark sitings!) Anyway, the two open whaleshark sitings on dives six and seven were short lived as our air supplies were low.

After our final dive at Darwin's Arch we began limping south for Punta Vicente Roca. We awoke the next morning to learn we were moving slower than planned and would stop at a site called Roca Redonda. Roca Redonda is a large rock sticking out of the water with often turbulent water beneath the surface. This day the water was calm and unfortunately we were shut out in seeing the sharks we expected near the end of our dive. We then continued limping towards Punta Vicente Roca.

The water in Punta Vicente Roca is much colder than at Darwin and Wolf where the water temperature was 70 degrees. This site is definitely 7mil territory with temps in the high 50's / low 60's. The highlight of Punta Vicente Roca is the Mola Mola cleaning station (found at 90') and the Galapagos Penguins. We saw both as well as an unexpected Manta Ray. I wish we could have done more dives here.

Afterwards, we were told there would be a change of plans and that we wouldn't visit our next two intended sites as we needed to head south to towards Baltra. We concluded our diving at an nondescript site off of Bartolome Island. It was now time to head further south to Santa Cruz for our scheduled land tour.

Again we arrived late and a promised comprehensive land tour turned into a quick visit with the Galapagos tortoises only. Disappointment number four. The next morning we disembarked for the Baltra Airport.

I cannot recommend this dive operation at this time. While it was frustrating that we were running on only one engine, we accepted this. However, we found the crew disinterested, holding back information, and just going through the motions. Its inexcusable that Edwin didn't know our names after seven days on the Sky. He only had to memorize 15 names! This boat has operated in Galapagos for the past 20+ years and the operators should take a good hard look at their operation from boat maintenance, food quality, and dive master quality. It's an operation greatly in need of attention.

Websites Galapagos Sky   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Raja Ampat, Komodo, Fiji, Truk Lagoon, Palau, Yap, Galapagos, Cozumel, La Paz, Yucatan Peninsula (Cave Diving) Malaysia, Philippines, Florida Keys, California Coast
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 59-72°F / 15-22°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 30-70 Ft/ 9-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The Galapagos Sky does not have dedicated photo facilities. There is a camera table, however, all dive bags and suitcases share the same space as the dive table. The battery charging station is in an inconvenient location away from the camera table. The Galapagos Sky has compressed air although it is compressor powered and we often had to ask the crew to turn on the compressor as it wasn't apparent to the crew we needed air.
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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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