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Found 14 results

  1. Filmed during my June 2023 trip to Galapagos. Best watched in 4k.
  2. This from August, 2018. Yep, a year ago, but I don't think much relevant has changed: Choice of Dive Boats. Having only been on the Galapagos Sky, I can't compare it to other luxury Galapagos yachts. I can say that the dive staging/operations, guides, vessel quality and food on this 16-diver luxury boat are all that this fussy, experienced diver could ask for. BUT, the big sales point is that it spends 3 days at remote Wolf and Darwin Islands, which in my book are the Galapagos' main diving calling cards (see below). Other more central dive sites (say, Bartholome, Cousins Rock, etc.) are neither particularly scenic (remember that these islands have rock bottoms, not coral) and the creatures are by-and-large ones you can see with better visibility and more comfortable conditions elsewhere. The one exception to this was Capo Douglas, off the cold and remote west coast of Fernandina Island (another island some boats miss). Here's where you mix in up with the diving iguanas--something you'll not see elsewhere. Wolf and Darwin. These are a long over-night sail from the "main" Galapagos Islands. Here is where large schools of hammerheads and Galapagos sharks gather--the hammerheads buzzing you against the rocks and gathering at the surface in backlit schools to frame the iconic hammerhead silhouette shots. And in June to November, the whale sharks are regulars. We had close-up whale sharks on every dive in two days of diving at Darwin Island. Take a look at my video (https://vimeo.com/manage/285159385/general) . The video quality is dicey (for reasons discussed below), but you'll get the idea. Shooting Videos. The websites warned me to lower my expectations on the quality of Galapagos photography. Particularly during whale shark season, the visibility is poor, and so its dark down there. Those conditions, in turn, caused by Sony RX 100 IV (w/ Nauticam housing) to have a terrible time autofocusing, as you'll see in the video. Also, it made "stepping back" from the whale sharks to get a "full shark" picture difficult, since the creature was only a haze from 30 feet away. The currents can also be confining. Standard procedure at Wolf/Darwin is to a negative (i.e. uninflated BCD) entry, and get down into the big boulders, away from the current, as fast as you can. That actually works well, as the boulders form a nice cubby, but you have to wait for the action to come to you. If the shark is out in blue water, you can free swim, but make sure you've a good, attentive guide--as you, your guide, and the shark are likely to be a mile distant by the time you've gotten your pictures. A Word About Wet Suits. I am largely a tropical diver, and I bought into the cold water warnings about the Galapagos hook-and-sinker--buying a 2-piece 7 mm suit, hood and gloves. Trouble is, I needed 34 pounds for neutral buoyancy in that suit (I'm a big guy). And, with all that weight, I could never balance the weights, even with a lot of private guide help. So I ended up tossing the jacket portion of the suit, wearing only the "Farmer John." I was cold, but not uncomfortably so. Lesson: if you are not used to a full 7 mm wet suit and the attendant extra weight, the Galapagos (with its high current, etc.) is a poor place to learn. Also, I found that gloves on both hands made photography awkward, even with so-called "photographers' fingers gloves. I found you only needed one glove to help secure yourself against the boulders, leaving the other hand free to manipulate the camera. Happy Diving!
  3. Turn what many call the Trip of a Lifetime into a reality with this special prices on our Galapagos photo workshop. This will be an epic trip with a rarely offered 10-night trip to see hammerheads, mantas, marine iguanas, penguins, batfish, seahorses, galapagos sharks and more. The trip is timed for the best hammerhead and marine iguana encounters, best visibility and best water temps. Extra time at Darwin + 3 land tours. Trip will be on a newly refitted Siren Fleet vessel. The trip is hosted by Bluewater Photo owner Scott Gietler and features daily photo seminars, image reviews and one-on-one photo instruction. Dates: April 10-20, 2017 Price: 50% off retail price! Email Bluewater Travel for more details! Learn more: http://www.bluewaterdivetravel.com/galapagos-island-underwater-photo-april-trip
  4. It's a great time to dive the Galapagos Islands at less than full price on the MV Humboldt Explorer. It's last minute, but for someone able to take our spots on this trip, we'll give a discount to bring the price down to $3495 each to make it worth your while. See Humboldt Explorer - Galapagos Diving Cruises - Scuba Diving for info. The trip is organized by one of Seattle's large dive shops, which will have 10 of the 16 spaces on the boat. (We've met most of the Seattle divers and they are a nice bunch.) Four other spots have been filled by the Explorer. The remaining two spaces could be yours. If you're interested, please email me at tshort1950@gmail.com Thanks and happy diving -- Tom
  5. Today I received an email from the AGGRESSOR Liveaboards, advertising a 2 for 1 deal......and some of the dates are in whales shark season. I am tentatively booked for the first week in August....but needed to do some research as this seems too good to be true. I have never seen this type of deal, especially in Galapagos. Are we going to have to paddle out ourselves? Fish and prepare our own food? I can't figure it out.....is Aggressor not good in Galapagos? Any thoughts on this? Dustin
  6. We boarded the Sky on Sunday afternoon after a swift check in procedure assisted by the Ecoventura operator and a flight that from Quito stopped at Guayaquil to then proceed to San Cristobal. As soon as we got on board we received a number of briefings, with the safety one being the most detailed I have ever seen on a boat. Due to challenging conditions each diver is equipped with a surface marker buoy (pretty tiny and smaller than my AP Valves 6 feet DSMB) a dive horn (reduced dramatically the inflation power of my BCD so I abandoned after a few dives) and the Nautilus safety device, this one very interesting with a walk talk function and integrated GPS. We were told water temperature had been unusually high for the last weeks reaching 27C which we did not take as a good sign. We then jumped in the water for a check dive with visibility close to 0 at least the sea lions were at play though you could barely see them. The day after we went for a land walk on Bartolome which was brilliant. From here you can have a view of the landscape from the top point https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/14255626665/in/set-72157644403759400 We then proceeded to two dives at Cousin Rocks that were pretty green and dark and had average visibility of 10 meters I took some decent close video of turtles and schooling barracudas but nothing too great. Overnight we moved to Wolf but there was strong current against us so the next day we could only do 3 day dives and one night dive. The dives were good but we only saw single sharks no schools until the 3rd day dive where I was surrounded by around 20 galapagos sharks (none of them came to close except this one) https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/14027833128/in/set-72157644719557612 On the way to the safety stop we saw schooling hammerheads at depth in the blue. The night dive that followed was not memorable. So we set towards Darwin expecting the schools of sharks but there weren't any to be seen in fact we decided to go back to Wolf after the first dive in Darwin confirmed the schools of hammerheads were not there. We did entertain the surge and hanging onto the rocks https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/14212109532/in/set-72157644719557612 Back at Wolf conditions were better but again mostly Galapagos sharks and no signs of hammerhead schools close to the reef, this is the only decent shot I could take sadly a tail in the blue below our group at safety stop https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/14027852248/in/set-72157644719557612 The day after we headed back to Cape Marshall and Punta Vicente Roca where the water was green https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/14028406758/in/set-72157644719557612 Sea lions were hunting Salemas https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/14213998304/in/set-72157644317011237 And there were also some large sea horses https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/14215197742/in/set-72157644719557612 our last dive in Pinzon was to find the Red lipped batfish but no signs of Mantas or Mola Mola https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/14027568328/in/set-72157644317011237 Apparently El Nino is coming and this is not going to be good news for Wildlife in Galapagos better hurry up to see the animals before they get decimated So despite a good boat (but not exceptional and definitely not very stable boat) a great crew (the guides Santiago and Max tried their very best and the rest of the crew was excellent and helpful at all times) the trip was a bit of a sweet and sour with Darwin being a great disappointment Luckily we decided to spend time on Land and the snorkeling at Las Tuneles (Isabela) and Santa Fe (from Santa Cruz) were brilliant https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/sets/72157644403759400/ Our last days were spent in Quito a dramatic scenery and very interesting Old Town which we followed with an ascent to Cotapaxi at 5000 meters followed by a treacherous descent by mountain bike https://www.flickr.com/photos/interceptor121/sets/72157644834881902/ I would definitely recommend Galapagos and also Quito and what we could see of Ecuador although I now need to look at another trip for schooling hammerheads and with El Nino coming the hammerheads seems to be far from the reef and deeper in all of Galapagos, Cocos and Malpelo!
  7. Was thinking about spending a few weeks in the Galapagos this summer (June/July most likely) but unfortunately it seems like they are predicting an El Nino. Has anyone been to Galapagos in El Nino conditions and would advise against it? Would it still be worth it to go on the off chance El Nino doesn't happen? I didn't know how much it would affect wildlife viewing there next summer. Thanks for the help
  8. Hello Everyone, I wanted to share with you a film I recently made called Darwin's Dream. It was filmed in 5 short days of diving in the Galapagos Islands. I was fortunate enough to win the Bronze award in the Our World Underwater film competition. Any comments or suggestions are welcome. I hope you enjoy it! Dustin Or on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIXyU8MkdjI
  9. Hello Everyone, I thought I would post this. I haven't decided if this is cool.....or will it make people seasick!!! Was in the Galapagos, and we were anchored in some good current. It was night time, and a bunch of Galapagos and silky sharks were hovering just in back of the liveaboard. Since night diving wasn't allowed, I had to improvise, so the captain got me some rope and I tied it to the housing, said a few prayers, and dumped it over the back. The reaction from the sharks was interesting. Instead of just hovering in back, they were very interested in the lights. They soon started approaching, and hitting the lights. It was pretty exciting. Let me know what you think. Dustin Enjoy https://vimeo.com/79056230
  10. A couple of weeks ago we ran a Galapagos group trip on the new Buddy Dive liveaboard - we picked August expecting to see Galapagos at it's very best. I can safely say it exceeded all of our expectations! There's a full trip report with lots of photos on our website Here's one of our favourites!
  11. Hello Everyone, Went diving in the Galapagos in August for the first time, and boy was that an interesting destination! We pretty much saw everything...Really a spectacular trip, above and below water. One dive, which has to be one of the most unique I have ever done/heard of...is the Marine Iguana dive. During a certain hour of the day, the Marine Iguanas head to the ocean from the land and swim and eat the seaweed and algae. Hundreds of them are in the water. Really a fun dive...cold but fun! We lucked out with excellent visibility, which is not typically the case in this particular dive. Here is a video I put together of it. Please feel free to Share or Like it. Also, any comments good or bad are welcome. Enjoy, Dustin https://vimeo.com/78419332
  12. Has anyone recently flown with TAME from mainland equador to Baltra Galapagos? Was wondering about the experience regarding overweight luggage and carry on's. I don't have a problem paying for extra weight. But on their website it says not to check any camera or electronic equipment. Their carryon policy is 7 kg. Will they allow the carryons to be overweight, but I have to pay for the overweight ? or will they simply not allow it? Any help would be appreciated. Dustin
  13. Hello, I am heading to the Galapagos in a month, and I have been thinking about how I going to white balance given the conditions and terrain. I use a Canon 5d mark ii. And normally WB off the sand or my hand. Given, that there might not be white sand at wolf/ darwin, and considering the currents, I will be wearing gloves. What are the suggestions out there? A white slate can be a little harsh and not to mention a bit hard to deal with in that kind of current. I have heard people talk about turning the WB to Daylight, and not worrying about it, and just set the right exposure and I am off. I am uneasy about this, as I am not an accomplished post production guy. However, I am willing to listen to options that give me the best chance of success. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks, Dustin
  14. Anyone know anything about the Humbolt Explorer for diving in The Galapagos? I see no reference on searches here. Seems a long way to go for a weeks diving, but have away wanted to add that to my list. Thanks
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