PVX: Diving in San Cristóbal, Galapagos

Posted by Arlo on Dec 20, 2010 under Postcard Valet, PV-Podcast, Videos

View the same video in high-definition (720p) on Youtube.

After we finished up with our Galapagos excursion, Jeff, Oksana, and I found ourselves with a few days to kill in San Cristóbal. Our original plan was to go to Santa Cruz and look for diving excursions out of Puerto Ayora, but being on hotel lockdown for a day (during the Ecuadorian 2010 Census) left us a little short on time. We decided the best thing to do with our remaining days would be to simply dive out of Puerto Bazquerizo Moreno again.

We asked around at a few shops and figured out which dives were in the area. Kicker Rock has to be the hands-down best, but we’d already done that a couple days before. We opted to save a little money (and time) by doing two dives closer to town. We found the Dive and Surf Club who offered us a 2-tank dive for $85.

The next day, we discovered there would be one more person accompanying us. Tim, a fellow traveler who was just 6 dives or so away from his Divemaster license, was coming along, too. In fact, it was Tim who sent me an email about a week after we returned to the mainland, asking if any of our underwater footage came out…

This video is for you, Tim!

The following is a transcript of the above video for Google’s benefit (ignore it, watch the video instead!)

[Postcard Valet
Travel Podcast
Extra – Diving in San Cristóbal]

[Tijeretas, San Cristóbal, Galápagos]

Here is the first site of our dive in San Cristóbal.

Depth 80ft
Bottom time 40min]

It’s a crystal-clear bay that we had gone snorkeling in and there were five people that got into the water: Jeff, Jesús, Tim, and Oksana.  And, of course, me!

The water visibility ended up being a little worse than we expected.

And we actually saw a little bit more life than I thought we would.  A turtle came out of the gloom for a visit at one point.  We saw a few stingrays.

And it was really funny because Jeff was so preoccupied with a cubbyhole that he totally missed a big huge stingray swimming right past him.  By the end of the dive, all the commotion that we created in the water attracted the sea lions.

At first, they seemed a little bit timid and shy, checking us out.  But before long they were right up in our masks.  I’d been looking forward to diving with sea lions because I’ve only snorkeled with them before, but unfortunately I found the bulk of the equipment made me a little bit slower to move in the water.

Watching them play and be so curious about what we are and what we’re doing in the water: It was a real highlight of the first dive.

Our second dive was a wreck dive.

[Caragua (Karahua)
Depth 50ft
Bottom time 50min]

The wreck was called the Caragua.  I guess it was a World War I transport ship.

The current there was really strong and the water was significantly colder.  The ship is pretty old and, due to that, scattered all over the bottom.  And I didn’t realize until later, when I watched the video, just how big that ship was.  We did get to see significantly larger fish on that dive.

Of course, whenever you get close, you can see neat little things like the blue nudibranchs that are in the Galápagos.  I spent a lot of time looking for sea horses because we were told that you could see them down here, but I never did see one.

Half way into the dive, we suddenly noticed this humungous school of fish – just like on the Discovery Channel!

Thousands of fish schooling together, hiding in the shadow of the ship, probably gaining shelter from the current, like we were.  When we looked up, we could see our ship above us, and all the fish silhouetted against it. There’s just no feeling like swimming into them and watching them part around you – it’s amazing.  At one point we just sat and watched them, for at least five minutes.

The school of fish kind of came over my way and the light just went away.  Suddenly it turned to night and just that feeling of the change of light was incredible!

Before long our dive was over and we had to ascend the rope again back to the ship.

The current was strong, so while people were getting out, a few of us lower on the line got a chance to look at the fish ball from above.

Oh, and there was a pelican at the end, too…

Postcard Valet is a Travel Podcast by Arlo & Oksana Midgett

With video help from
Jeff Jemison

Visit Dive & Surf Club
in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Calle H. Melville y l. Hernandez
San Cristóbal, Galápagos

All footage
© 2010 Arlo Midgett