Cold deep water

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One of the things I heard so much about before going to Galapagos was the amazing underwater life there is around the islands. So when I finally got to go to these enchanted islands I obviously had to go down deep to see what was under the surface.

Turtle in the murky water

I have booked a trip out to the island of North Seymour which is located just north of the airport island of Baltra. I have been down to the dive shop the day before to make sure I got a wet suit that fit. I notice they only have long sleeves and legs to choose from and they are thicker than normal wet suit I have used diving close to the equator. And at North Seymour we are less than 50 kilometers south of the equator.

Ray while diving at North Seymour

We get onboard the dive boats south of the airport island and sail from here to the first of two dive sites. The water is a bit rough but it isn’t too bad so I am pretty ready to go down under and see what is down there.

Ray hidding in the sand at North Seymour

We get into the water – and quickly I realize why they have given us the thick wetsuit. The water is cold – and not just a little cold it is really cold. The water is barely 18 degrees at the surface and when we get under the temperature quickly drop down to 16. And after a bit of diving we hit some colder water and I see the temperature dropping down to 14 and maybe it dropped lower without me noticing it on the computer.

There are a lot of fish in the water and a group of rays in the distance we manage to spot some hammer head sharks but the visibility is too bad for decent photos.

The wildlife might be good but the dive suck. The cold conditions make me blow through the air supply in a way I haven’t tried since my first dives in Australia way back when I had just got my first open water certificate. Fortunately I am not the only air guzzler on this dive – my dive buddy use just as much air so we both have to go up after only 35 minutes.

Back on the surface it is time to warm up again for an hour and get some hot coffee – it is much needed after the freezing temperatures of the deep.

Then after an hour it is time for a second dive. The water on this dive is slightly warmer – but only slightly – so I am still getting cold after a while. Again there is a decent amount of fish life and we spot a wide variety of fish. But once again we blow the air quickly because of the conditions which are not the best for a relaxed dive. So after another 35 minutes it is time to head back up to the surface.

We go back to Puerto Ayora and I decide this was the last bit of my diving at the Galapagos – it was just too cold for me to enjoy so the rest of our time at the enchanted islands we will spend at the surface possibly snorkeling a bit with a wet suit for sure.

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