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Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard

New York City, New...
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Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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I just got back from a week of diving on a liveaboard and wrote up a trip report so just sharing here in case it's helpful to anyone looking for a diving trip. I had been searching for a detailed report in advance of my trip so figured there was a chance others may be too!

It was an amazing week but probably the hardest diving I've ever done.

And if nothing else, my report includes a short 3 minute video of the underwater life so hope you enjoy that!

https://mangopancakes.com/spending-a-week-on-a-liveaboard-in-the-galapagos/

14 replies to this topic
Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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1. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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Oh, boy, what a great sounding trip! I'm envious of your u/w encounters with the marine iguanas. Those are the one "must see" that I haven't seen yet. Did you take most of the photos? They're really good.

If you can add some more details about the boat--here on the forum would be fine--I can add it to the liveaboard reviews in the Top Questions. People like to know about the cabin layouts, luggage storage, hot water, the common spaces, food (buffet or sit-down), drinks, what's included, etc.

Pa.
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for St. John
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2. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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Great TR which is exactly why I won't dive down there LOL! No way am I drifting few miles and having to cling to rocks. DH would probably love it, but it is definitely out of my comfort zone. Looking forward to when we can come do our land/snorkel cruise. Thanks for sharing such a great TR.

Falls Church...
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3. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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great TR. I'm an advanced PADI diver but your stories of the current spooked me. My diving experience does not include drift dives in heavy currents so that seems like a lot for the average diver. Plus with sharks around I might suck up all my air too fast.

What time of year did you go? Was the water churned up the entire time? Visibility decreases when winds & surf are high. We are considering September so can you comment on water clarity & winds?

Goof info on a 7MM full wet suit.

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4. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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Thank you all!

@azbuceadora - yes, I took all of the photos so thank you! The boat was fantastic. It was a 16 passenger vessle with 9 cabins. There were 6 on the main deck and 3 downstairs - all rooms were good size so could fit two guests comfortable (king or two twins). The rooms all had views of the sea including from the shower and L'Ocitane products in the bathroom. They also had apple TVs (not connected to the internet but had 300+ movies on them!). There was a big closet for luggage and a few drawers as well. The staff were excellent - they changed sheets/towels daily, laundry was available if you needed it, there were snacks at all times plus three meals a day and 2 snack courses..and open bar! Generally, I had no complaints except for the wifi not working (but in hindsight, I was grateful to disconnect).

@DianeER - The diving is advanced but they do a nice job of getting you ready. If you have around 100 dives logged, I'd say you could do it. The currents typically start calmer so you have a day to warm up and the instructors talk you through what to expect. I certainly had never done anything like this before and was super nervous going into the trip but handled it just fine (and am a better diver because of it). The key is to follow instructions, weight yourself correctly (and you have a check out dive to figure that out), and to have a good trustworthy buddy (you can do this trip solo but I'd recommend going with someone you know and trust to dive with). For example, with such low vis on our safety stops, we actually held hands as we started to make our way up to stay together and that helped dramatically. We did the trip in June (a few weeks ago), but according to my dive guide, Sept is a great time to go. The Galapagos is unpredictable on current and wind as it can change daily. I'd just be prepared with the wetsuit and gloves especially (and hood too), so you have what you need and cold is not a factor.

Hope that helps and hope you all have great trips!!

Tucson, Arizona
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5. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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Thanks so much for the boat details. Sounds quite luxurious; did anyone actually watch any movies?? I remember on both my trips conking out soon after dinner.

Diane, besides getting plenty of dives under your (weight) belt, I highly recommend having the Rescue class so you're prepared to take care of yourself. In the current it's not hard to be separated from your buddy or the group; also, as my buddy and I were clinging to the rocks, the current actually dislodged his mask! You can get experience in current in Cozumel, or even Tobago, which in my experience can match Galapagos at times.

New York City, New...
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The boat was the nicest I've experienced.

And I hear you! I started the Galapagos documentary and got through 45 minutes (of a 2 hr 45 min documentary) over the week so it's definitely hard to get much in. It's amazing how tired you get from the diving. I didn't get any reading done either (I brought one book and made it through 20 pages!)

Diane - the rescue class is a good idea. I haven't done it but I think it would help give you more confidence and skills. I've done Cozumel and wouldn't say it prepared me - this was significantly stronger and not drift diving since you cling on the rocks. But generally if not the rescue course, I think it's all about feeling confident on your skills, having a solid buddy that is checking in and staying with you, and just following the dive guides instructions.

Pa.
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7. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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Diane, in a recent post, DE Heather stated that Sept/Oct are the choppiest waters of the year.

Falls Church...
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8. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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Yes I remember that. From my experience choppy water is less of a problem for divers than snorkelers. Thanks for all the diving tips. We used to live in Bonaire for a few winters aboard our sailboat diving every day on our own. But haven't dived recently. I agree buoyancy control is key. It's harder using someone else's equipment.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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For what it is worth, the dive guide that I thought was amazing suggested Sept and Oct are the best time for diving. No idea how to validate but she made me want to go back :)

On equipment, this is why I brought my own. I own everything except a BC and rented the BC from a local shop in nyc (so I could try it out in advance in the pool and know what I was getting).

I hope you do it - despite the conditions, it’s worth it!!

Edited: 07 July 2022, 03:40
Falls Church...
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10. Re: Galapagos Trip Report: Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard
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Yes I have my own BC & dive watch. We are just looking at a regular cruise now. Would like to dive once but understand that can only be from a dive boat or a land based day dive.

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