Hammerheads!!! 3 Days of Diving in the Galapagos - Gordon Rocks, Seymour Norte, and Floreana

Puerto Ayora Travel Blog

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Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerheads right under me
After my brief and illustrious career as an English translator, I went on double boat dives to 3 dive sites in the Galapagos: Gordon Rocks (near Plaza Islands), Seymour Norte, and Floreana (the last 2 islands I visited on the cruise).  Diving in the Galapagos is a bit challenging given its strong currents both laterally and vertically, which is the scarier one.  I think that snorkeling is equally good if not better than diving because you can see the same animals with less hassle and they interact much more nearer the surface of the water, especially the sea lions and turtles (which don't really interact but are less timid).  I realized I've become a bit spoiled with marinelife when I noted lacklusterly, "Oh, there were just a ton of sharks on that dive.
Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerheads - yeah!
"  I don't even count fishes now unless they're especially odd looking (like the red-lipped batfish).

In any case, I'm glad I went diving.  Here's a brief description of each dive site.

Gordon Rocks (Sunday, Dec. 10): Hammerheads. Nuf sed. By far the best dive site of the 3, purely due to the huge school of 20-30 hammerheads which swam right below us.  Known for extremely strong currents, the dives were actually quite tranquil. 

Seymour Norte (Tuesday, Dec. 11): Good dive site for big things, which I like: tons of white-tip reef sharks, spotted eagle rays (yes!), turtles, and sea lions (but those are everywhere).  On one of the dives, a sea lion was following us around for 20 minutes and swam into a cave with resting white-tips reef sharks, knocked one on its head, and chased them out of their cave.
Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerheads
  Hilarious. 
The second dive was probably one of my hardest due to the strong sideways and downward currents.  It was like going mountain climbing in a windstorm because you'd hold on to a rock and then let go, and have to catch on to the next rock area as you sped by.  The second dive was also not helped by the fact that a big fat guy rolled backwards late (we tip backwards ala Navy Seals as the boat moves so that if you go late, you'll fall on top of the person in front, aka me) and knocked my mask off which is a very disconcerting feeling when you're being thrown about in 2 ft. waves at the surface.  During the 3-min. safety stop at the end, I suddenly found myself at 30 ft. from 12 ft. in 2 seconds due to a strong downward pull.
Gordon Rocks: Moray Eel
  In the end, I chalk it all up to adding to my experience and was proud that I stayed calm and finished the dive.

Floreana (Saturday Dec. 8):  A solid but not incredibly impressive dive site.  There are cool tiny red-lipped batfish which sit on the sand and when frightened, flee in what can only be described as waddle-flying.  I wish I had caught it on video...  I also had a close encounter with a resting turtle...I gave my camera to the dive master to have him take a picture with me and the turtle and when I turned back around, the turtle had moved and was right in front of my face. It gave me quite a startle and then it swam by, brushing my wetsuit.  Cool beans.
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Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerhead…
Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerhea…
Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerhead…
Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerhea…
Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerheads
Gordon Rocks: Scalloped Hammerheads
Gordon Rocks: Moray Eel
Gordon Rocks: Moray Eel
Seymour Norte: Crazy waves at top …
Seymour Norte: Crazy waves at top…
Gordon Rocks: Schools of barracuda
Gordon Rocks: Schools of barracuda
Seymour Norte: Family of spotted e…
Seymour Norte: Family of spotted …
Seymour Norte: Cave of resting tin…
Seymour Norte: Cave of resting ti…
Seymour Norte: Cave of resting tin…
Seymour Norte: Cave of resting ti…
Seymour Norte: Playful, trouble-ma…
Seymour Norte: Playful, trouble-m…
Seymour Norte: Tintorera
Seymour Norte: Tintorera
Seymour Norte: Sea lion showing off
Seymour Norte: Sea lion showing off
Seymour Norte: Sea lion posing
Seymour Norte: Sea lion posing
Seymour Norte: Baby tintorera
Seymour Norte: Baby tintorera
Seymour Norte: Tintorera
Seymour Norte: Tintorera
Seymour Norte: Cool looking fish
Seymour Norte: Cool looking fish
Seymour Norte: Puffer fish
Seymour Norte: Puffer fish
Seymour Norte: Resting marbled ray
Seymour Norte: Resting marbled ray
Seymour Norte: Huge school of fish
Seymour Norte: Huge school of fish
Seymour Norte: Resting marbled ray…
Seymour Norte: Resting marbled ra…
Seymour Norte: Angelfish
Seymour Norte: Angelfish
Seymour Norte: Me
Seymour Norte: Me
Floreana: Peculiar red-lipped batf…
Floreana: Peculiar red-lipped bat…
Floreana: Peculiar red-lipped batf…
Floreana: Peculiar red-lipped bat…
Floreana: Starfish
Floreana: Starfish
Floreana: Right after close encoun…
Floreana: Right after close encou…
Turtle making tracks after I distu…
Turtle making tracks after I dist…
Floreana: Me with too many bubbles
Floreana: Me with too many bubbles
Floreana: Venomous Scorpion fish
Floreana: Venomous Scorpion fish
Floreana: Tintoreras resting in a …
Floreana: Tintoreras resting in a…
Floreana: Hidden cave with air at …
Floreana: Hidden cave with air at…
Floreana: White sponge?
Floreana: White sponge?
Floreana: Turtle being coy
Floreana: Turtle being coy
Floreana: me looking dopey
Floreana: me looking dopey
Floreana: resting tintorera
Floreana: resting tintorera
Floreana: resting tintorera
Floreana: resting tintorera
Floreana: tintorera not resting an…
Floreana: tintorera not resting a…
Floreana: unpuffed puffer fish
Floreana: unpuffed puffer fish
Floreana: ray in sand
Floreana: ray in sand
Puerto Ayora: Giant marine iguana …
Puerto Ayora: Giant marine iguana…
Puerto Ayora: Great blue heron wai…
Puerto Ayora: Great blue heron wa…
117,189 km (72,818 miles) traveled
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photo by: timbo