Many Galapagos Dive sites, especially those in the northern Islands of Wolf & Darwin, are characterized by the presence of the following diving conditions:
• Cold water
Diving in Currents
• Diving in currents is one of the more enjoyable - but can also be one of the most dangerous - dives that a diver may encounter.
• Diving with a current is a low energy, high speed trip that allows a diver to see much more of a quickly passing reef.
• The down side of diving with a current is that you miss a lot of small life
• The dangers of loss of control and any efforts to work against the currents are high energy and stress producing.
• Current often require divers to hold on to sharp rocks or reefs. Wearing proper gloves is very important.
Recognizing that a the current may be a problem is the first thing a diver has to face. Our divemasters know all the dive sites in Galapagos very well and they are always on top of the dive conditions so as to brief you appropriately.
• They occur in areas where swells are forced against a barrier of some sort, such as a wall, beach or rock.
• It is an up and down or back and forth action, complicated by indentations such as caves or rocks.
• Surges can be used to help you in your movement by carrying you forward in one direction where you can stabilize as the surge retreats, and then move forward again with the next surge.
• Surges are also dangerous since they create large forces that can carry divers into places that they don't want to go.
Divers should remain distant from large holes in caves and should learn to use surges as a method of aid in movement, either upward to get back into the boat or to move onto a ledge. Our divemasters will always brief you on the surges found at any of the dives sites in Galapagos.
• A thermocline is where the water temperature suddenly changes from a warm surface temperature to a colder bottom temperature in a relatively short space in the vertical water column.
• Frequently, it will change between 20-30 deg F in just the space of 1 to 3 feet, a phenomena that definitely gets a descending diver's attention!
Thermoclines can affect visibility, but our divemasters will always be on the lookout for these while guiding divers underwater.
Cold Water Diving
• Diving in Galapagos waters requires the use of 5 - 7mm wetsuits, which dramatically affects bouyancy. Very important to perform a careful bouyancy test on your check dive to determine the proper amout of weight required.
• A lot of heat is lost through your head, so for sites where temperatures are cold, hoodies are strongly recommended.
• Cold temperatures can often increase breathing rate, so divers must constantly be checking their air supply.
Our dive masters will always tell you what temperatures you can expect during your dives. You can therefore prepare beforehand by wearing thicker wetsuits, wearing hoodies or wearing gloves.