We wanted to dive once before we left the Galapagos. So, we reserved a dive tour off of Kicker rock. Our friend Emily, at Islanders Galapagos organized a fun filled day for us. We hopped in a small boat with about 8 other guests and made our way to Tortuga Beach.
We passed by Kicker Rock on the way to Tortuga Beach and got a great photo op.
Tobago Beach Lava Hike:
We had a wet landing at Tortuga Beach and went exploring around the lava formations. They jutted up all around us creating pits, gauges, water holes, and towers. Pockets of water, green plants and cactus poking out of holes and breathtaking views all around.
There were several goat skulls. Our guide pointed out that they are aggressive and unwanted creatures that were destroying the natural habitat. Eating precious turtle and bird eggs and destroying vegetation. They are not indigenous to the Galapagos.
After a nice fish lunch, we were given our dive instructions. Only Matt, Ron, and I were diving. Everyone else went on a snorkel adventure. I hate to admit it, but I was nervous. Yes, I have well over 100 dives under my belt, but this was with strange gear, new BCD (back inflatable) and full 7mil wetsuit. I had never been diving with a wetsuit and weights. I was unsure of leveling out my buoyancy. It took a village to get me into my wetsuit – and provided a bit of entertainment. I was laughing and a bit humiliated, not in pain – despite the photo below.
We jumped in the water which was a brisk 22 Celsius (warm in their standards, freezing for me). Took awhile to get used to the BCD, suit and weights, but we descended to 90’ fairly rapidly. The current was a bit of a bitch to get used to, but we saw some amazing sea life! We swam above several white tip and Galapagos sharks which was a first and a bit intimidating.
UNDER WATER WORLD:
Santiago, our dive guide captured this beautiful manta ray, eel, fish, and starfish. Not the best photos, but you get the gist. Clarity was only marginal.
The second dive, on the other side of Kicker Rock, produced a huge school Galapagos sharks, a hammerhead shark, lots of sea tortoises, and some beautiful schools of fish.
We did see one hammerhead but were not able to get a clear photo of him. He was there and then he wasn’t.
Cerro Brujo Beach Stroll:
We joined the snorkelers back on-board for some hot tea and snacks. On the way back, we stopped by Cerro Brujo to get the iconic view of Kicker Rock through the rock formation. We also enjoyed a beautiful stroll down Cerro Brujo beach (witch’s hill).
Before we leave for our 1800nm passage, we needed to provision and fuel up. Luckily, we still had a lot of frozen food and a few pre-cooked meals from Costa Rica.
Fueling in the Galapagos only takes place in San Cristobal and is done with jerry cans. First, you need to tell your agent 3 days in advance when you want to fuel and how much fuel you need. We needed 150 gallons of diesel, which came in (9) sixteen gallon jerry cans, plus one can of gasoline.
On our delivery day, a panga pulled up with one driver. This should be interesting as each jerry can weighed about 130lbs a piece. After we secured the panga to Sugar Shack, the driver attempted to transfer one can off the back of his boat to our sugar scoop. Let’s just say it came on-board, but it wasn’t pretty.
The rest of the cans were hoisted using a spinnaker line off the side of the boat. Much easier and more efficient process.
We were uncertain as to the quality of the fuel, so we filtered it using our baja filter. To bad our fuel filter wasn’t working properly. We will have to fix it for next time. It just took a little ingenuity.
Five hours later, all filled up, we returned the jerry cans and considered it a successful day.