Location: Santa Cruz, Galapagos
Today we finally did what was the highlight of the trip for many, and that was to scuba dive in the Galapagos. We were split into two groups for the day with one group going out in the morning and the other following in the afternoon. The morning group was up bright and early at 5 AM so we could get to the dive site near the neighboring island of Baltra, a 45 min bus ride and 20min boat ride away. The first dive was at a site called “Islote Mosquera” and was a drift dive as the currents here are incredibly strong. Initially, the dive started off with the usual small reef fish, starfish, and fields of garden eels. Midway through the dive, we spotted a hammerhead shark lurking 30 feet away, which was followed by Galapagos sharks, white tip sharks, blacktip sharks, and rays. After a short break, we were in for our second dive at a site called “North Seymour” just around the bend with no stoppage of the number of sharks and the occasional sea turtle and ray. At one point, a group of six of us were holding onto rocks altogether, fighting the current to watch a school of two white tip sharks ten to fifteen feet from us. After surfacing and heading back, the captain of the dive boat took us right by where two Orca whales were hunting for fish just off the rocks, a rarity even in the Galapagos. Once back at the dock, the afternoon group headed out while the morning group went into town to explore, grab food, and find the internet. The afternoon group before heading out to the dive site had shore time in the morning with a few people going to “the cliffs” to partake in some cliff jumping into the clear blue waters below. All in all, if we have to leave tomorrow, we will have all appreciated the great things we have been able to see so far.