From the highest peaks to the deepest waters

Posted by Sandra & Dirk

In June 2021, Sandra downloaded the informative brochures about Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands from our website – the first orientation on a magnificent journey that was to come. At the end of August that year, it was time to start planning. In short, this was the wish list I received from Sandra and her partner Dirk:

  • A diving cruise and naturalist cruise along the Galápagos Islands in early February 2023
  • Explicit desire to travel with the Tiburon Explorer for diving
  • A naturalist cruise (hiking and snorkeling) to the western and central islands (Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago)
  • Express desire to snorkel with marine iguanas, penguins and sea lions
  • On mainland Ecuador, possibly to Napo Wildlife Center in the Amazon

During our telephone consultation, Dirk turned out to be a very experienced diving instructor with at least thousands of dives to his name at the most remote and interesting places on earth. He is also an avid photographer. This journey was not the easiest one to figure out. Of course, the naturalist cruise had to connect well with the diving cruise and also visit the right islands! In addition, the Tiburon Explorer underwent its bi-annual maintenance, which meant that the ship would be unavailable for several months in 2023. We finally found the perfect match in June of 2023.

It was a combination of the dive liveaboard Tiburon Explorer and a naturalist cruise on the luxury yacht Grand Majestic. Sandra and Dirk visited the Galápagos islands of Santa Cruz, Santiago, Isabela, Fernandina, Seymour Norte, San Cristóbal, Wolf, Darwin and Baltra. And on mainland Ecuador they passed through Quito, the Cotopaxi National Park and the Tandayapa Valley. Literally a journey from the highest volcanic peaks in the world to the deepest waters where hammerhead sharks and whale sharks rule.

Dirk Wuyts – ADC Scuba Diving

In addition to being a diving instructor and photographer, Dirk also turns out to be a virtuoso writer. On his website you will find everything you need to know for the novice and advanced diver, you can read Dirk’s interesting travel stories and you can even schedule to dive together with Dirk. Truly a comprehensive source of information!

Of course, the trip to Ecuador and Galápagos should not be missed. Click here to read the detailed story. It is in Dutch, but I trust Google translate will help.

Darwin & Wolf

What is striking in Dirks’ narrative, is the enormous diversity of animal species (above and underwater) that Sandra and Dirk were able to spot during their trip.
What also stands out, is the description of the strong ocean currents, especially at Darwin & Wolf. An excerpt from Dirk’s story (translated by Aves Travels):

“The waves have now become really immense and the rib is having difficulty sailing. At one point, almost the entire starboard side of the rib tips over, causing one of the divers to fall. Luckily no bones are broken! The Tiburon Explorer itself remains anchored in the protected area of the island, so that the passengers left behind do not become seasick.
Visibility is now only 8 meters and the very strong current makes it very difficult to operate a large camera.”

Even for a very experienced diver like Dirk, the currents here are deemed very strong. I often see on Facebook pages about the Galápagos Islands, people who, as novice divers, ask if they can go to Darwin & Wolf. It is important to mention that these two islands can only be visited with a dive liveaboard of 8 days / 7 nights. These liveaboards have strict requirements regarding safety and experience:

  • It is recommended that you have more than 100 logged dives and
  • that you have logged at least one dive within 6 months prior to boarding the ship
  • Minimum age of divers: 15 years

“the best I have ever seen”

Oh, and one last important point. When our adventurours arrived home from their journey, I spoke to Sandra and Dirk to hear how they had experienced the trip. Dirk’s words that stuck with me:

“The Tiburon Explorer is the best diving liveaboard I have experienced so far. The ship is extremely spacious and luxurious, the cabin is the largest I have ever had. But above all, the diving is very professional. The instructions and safety were the best I have ever seen.”

Thank you Sandra and Dirk for allowing me to arrange this wonderful experience for you!

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