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High Sierra Divers

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(530) 823-6757

The Galapagos Islands - High Sierra Divers is Going!


High Sierra Divers has planned a trip for January 2015

    Trip Includes:
  • 7 nights / 8 days aboard vessel
  • 3 meals daily plus between dive snacks
  • up to 4 dives daily
  • use of tanks, weights & belts
  • Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic beverages
  • (premium Alcohol additional charge)
  • airport transfers
Galapagos Trip
    Trip does not include:
  • Sunday Evening Meal
  • air fare form CA to Quito to San Cristobal
  • (apporximately $1500 pp)
  • 1 night before and after charter
  • (approximately $ 175 pp for both)
  • $100 national park fee
  • $35 chamber fee
  • $10 tourist card
  • possible fuel surcharge
  • Rental, instruction and retail store charges
  • Nitrox (unlimited $150 or $10 per fill)
  • Crew Gratuities
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Dan Insurance
signup or contact Doug or Tina @ (530) 823-6757 for more information.

Fiji with HSD
Yep...Hammerheads!

"The best on the planet for pelagic life"

Lose yourself in the Legendary Galapagos Islands!


OVERVIEW of the GALAPAGOS

The marine life in the Galapagos is some of the most spectacular pelagic diving on the planet! It is one of the rare places where you pass through a bank of hundreds of hammerheads while chasing a 60 foot whale shark. Toss in Galapagos sharks, silky sharks, sea turtles, giant free swimming morays, schools of thousands of pelagic fish species like barracuda or jacks along with large schools of tropicals like king angelfish and you have just 1 dive at Darwin. At Wolf, you can expect huge Galapagos sharks, more hammerheads, eagle rays within feet-sometimes inches and Cabo Marshall will put you face to face with giant manta rays and inside a school of millions of black-striped salemas. Macro life is spectacular at Cousins where the abundant (green) black coral shelters seahorses, blennies, nudibranches, hawkfish and frogfish. And this is but a mere taste of why divers consistently proclaim the Galapagos to have the most healthy marine life in the Pacific as well as the best place to dive for pelagic life.

Exposure Protection: We recommend a 7mm wetsuit, hood and gloves (for protection, not warmth). Water temps are warmer at Darwin than other dive sites, however, dives at Darwin often involve as much as 25 minutes of stationary time which can cause you to feel cooler than when you are in motion. You descend through current, grab hold of rocks on the platform and watch the show as it passes by except when chasing whale sharks. The rocks you grab often have barnacles which will cut your hands if you’re not wearing gloves. So you do need gloves, but for protection, not warmth.

Clothing: In spite of being on the equator, it is not as warm as most expect. Darwin called it the coldest place on the equator. We assume he meant at sea level. And after multiple dives or cold thermoclines, you'll feel chilled. We recommend light weight, long pants and long sleeve shirts. Shorts can be worn, but bear in mind, the one thing people always seem to say is that they wish they had brought some warmer clothing. Do bring a fleece, jacket or sweatshirt to use after dives. Shorts/athletic pants and a light sweatshirt are perfect for the evenings. Sports sandals or sneakers are fine for your land visit. Crocs, neoprene shoes or even slippers are appropriate onboard.

Electricity
The electrical current in Ecuador is 110 volts AC 60 Hz.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements
No visa is necessary from any country, but, your passport must have 6 months prior to expiration at the time you enter Ecuador.

Water Quality & Health Risks
Dengue is a concern in Galapagos as is eating or drinking from food or beverages on the street. Protect yourself with repellent and long sleeves. For more in-depth warnings about Ecuador and Galapagos, please visit the CDC page.

Language & Currency
Spanish is the official language, but English is also spoken.

The US dollar is the basic unit of currency. There are ATMs on San Cristobal and Santa Cruz as well as the Guayaquil and Quito airports. Travelers checks are not so easy to cash, therefore we do not recommend them.

Time
Local time in Ecuador is 6 hours behind UTC. No daylight savings time. Half of the year, Ecuador is the same as Central Time in the US (Chicago), the other half of the year it is on Eastern Time (NY). The Galapagos Islands are 1 hour behind the mainland.

Location and Size
The Galápagos Islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 605 mi off the west coast of South America. The closest land mass is that of mainland Ecuador, the country to which they belong, 500 nmi to the east. The islands straddle the equator. Islands in the chain are located in both the northern and southern hemispheres, with Volcán Wolf and Volcán Ecuador on Isla Isabela being directly on the equator. Española Island, the southernmost islet of the archipelago, and Darwin Island, the northernmost one, are spread out over a distance of 137 miles. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) considers them wholly within the South Pacific Ocean, however.

The Galápagos Archipelago consists of 3,040 sq. miles of land spread over 17,000 sq. miles of ocean. The largest of the islands is Isabela and makes up close to three-quarters of the total land area of the Galápagos. The group consists of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets. The first islands formed here at least 8 million and possibly up to 90 million years ago.

While the older islands have disappeared below the sea as they moved away from the mantle plume, the youngest islands, Isabela and Fernandina, are still being formed, with the most recent volcanic eruption in April 2009 where lava from the volcanic island Fernandina started flowing both towards the island's shoreline and into the centre caldera.

Weather
Dec - May: is our warm season with more sunshine and higher air/water temps. Average air temperature ranges from 80-87 F / 26-31 C. February and March are the warmest months.

June - Nov: is the cooler season. Garua, a light mist, is often present, creating overcast days. Winds can create choppier seas. Average air temperatures range from of 67-78 F / 20 -26C.

Sea Conditions
Dec - May: Expect an average surface temperature of 70-86 F / 21-30 C with thermoclines as cool as 61 F / 16 C . Visibility is better during these months. Expect 40-100 ft. vis.

June - Nov: The Cromwell Current comes in from the west and the polar Humboldt Current comes in from the south to bring nutrients and cold water during garua season. Expect diminished visibility, but more marine life. Expect an average surface temperature of 60-75 F/16-24C with thermoclines as low as 61F / 16C.

Each month brings unique climate variations and wildlife viewing opportunities. Peak season for naturalist tours is typically December through May when the seas are the calmest and the weather the warmest. However, the summer months June, July and August are also very popular as the animals are more active. September through November is typically low season when most boats will leave the islands for dry dock. For divers peak season is from July - November when whale sharks can be found at Wolf & Darwin.

Demographics
The Galápagos Islands is one of the few places in the world without an indigenous population. The largest ethnic group is composed of Ecuadorian Mestizos, the mixed descendants of Spanish colonists and indigenous Native Americans, who arrived mainly in the last century from the continental part of Ecuador. There is also a large number of whites, mostly of Spanish descent. Some descendants of the early European and American colonists on the islands also still remain on the islands.

2010 estimates place the population around 25,000 people. Five of the islands are inhabited: Baltra, Floreana, Isabela, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz.