Galapagos underwater with Humboldt Explorer

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Ecuador

How did it happen that we ended up on the Humboldt Explorer, a liveaboard (diving cruise) up to the best dive spot of the world, the two islands Darwin and Wolf? Let me tell you!

Conducting two fabulous dives seeing hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and at least 50 white tip sharks circling around us we were standing next to our dive guide Xavier in the shop, watching some pictures as a woman strode in.

We had seen here before, she is a PADI Course Director and working for Humboldt Explorer. Just on the day of the trip out around Galapagos, two customers cancelled their trip on the boat, which is very unusual. The diving cruise up to the 350km distant islands is booked out till November 2017 and is known as the number one dive spot in the world.

The next morning the Humboldt Explorer was heading towards its destination and was two people short. She was looking for two advanced divers which were so spontaneous and willing to jump on the boat in ten hours.

After one ice cream and some serious talk we decided to take this one chance. We were already in Galapagos, paid the flight and entrance fee, so it would have been stupid not to take the opportunity.

We were facing the same problems paying the trip as we had before but we somehow managed with all the help of her. On the Humboldt we found a diverse group of divers, from different countries.

16 divers on a 32 meter luxury boat headed toward the far out islands of Darwin and Wolf and were excited about the days to come. In 6 days we would conduct 17 dives and explore the wonders of Galapagos. Thanks to Konstantine from and Philipp we are able to show some pictures here. Our own videos will follow...

Michael and I joined the group “Orcas” which consisted of four German, two Finish and two Russian divers. The group “Sharks” were a group of New Yorkers and two Canadians. Diving at Darwin and Wolf is limited to 18 divers a day and the current is strong. That makes it pristine and full of life.

In between the dives we could jump in the Jacuzzi and were eyed by a massive number of juvenile red-footed boobies. The islands were full of birds and our curious feathered friends had taken an interest in our boat. On one of our land excursions we saw the frigate birds nesting and enjoyed the scenery.

The dives were really spectacular and ,we saw big schools of hammerhead sharks (twice up to 150 of this amazing creatures), eagle rays, Galapagos sharks, white tip sharks, silk sharks, manta rays, playing sea lions (one tried to get my fins), dolphins a big school of yellow fin tunas and mackerels. Good that we had agreed to the dive shop to do some shark counting and we ended up with about 800 sharks in total, in just 17 dives.

But the best were the two whale sharks. In one of the dives I stayed a bit behind when we did the negative entry and when I turned around to check on the boat on the surface I was looking at a big object. I was wondering why the boat had one flap on each side until I realized what I was looking at.

This big whale shark was coming right at me and I screamed through my regulator part of excitement part of getting attention of my group. Only two of the Orcas heard me scream and the three of us – one was Michael – were totally enchanted with this majestic animal.

During the dive we couldn’t stop thinking of this beautiful encounter and when we went into the blue we didn’t expect much more of the dive. Suddenly another massive shape materialized in front of us, this one even bigger than the other before. A massive female whale shark, pregnant and with big shark suckers on its tail.

Totally stunned everyone was running quickly short on air. Just Michael, I and one of the guides had enough to stay for another 10 minutes to observe the playing dolphins. There were no words for this fantastic dives and all were happy to be on this cruise.

After 6 days, 17 dives, plenty of marine life, 16 happy divers returned to Baltra Island. It was a once in a lifetime trip and never to be forgotten!


Price: see website – 8 days, 7 nights, 17 dives, dive gear not included (we hopped on for 6 days, 5

Comment: An unforgettable adventure with over 800 sharks, 2 Whale Sharks, a fantastic crew
                    and people and the food was just superb.  Thanks Jennifer Cumming for all your help
                    to make this trip happen!

Dive Center: Maccaron's Scuba Diver Agency S.A., Ave Charles Darwin

Price: 2 dives per day, gear and snack included

Comment: very professional dive center with great know-how and good gear. Thanks Xavier
                       for convincing us to join the dive trip to Darwin and Wolf.