Alex and Marianne, April 2017
About 6 months ago, we discovered a profile on instagram under the name Galápagos Freediving Project, we hasten to get in touch with the person in charge of this project which tries to develop apnea on these islands: Gianna Haro!
Gianna grew up in the Galápagos islands and will have her naturalistic guide title from this month of August!
The Galápagos, an archipelago of mythical islands, the grail for many divers and naturalists, the journey of a lifetime, but we imagined that this destination was inaccessible, reserved only for a clientele who could afford luxurious cruises booked 3 years in advance! In reality this is the only option offered by our favorite tour operators, but nothing could be simpler than going there with a small bag, book hotels and walk around the archipelago freely (4 islands are habitable). If snorkeling is practicable everywhere, the many diving clubs offer excursions every day on different magnificent spots in the other islands of the archipelago.
We slept on 3 islands (8 days in Santa Cruz as well as 5 days in San Cristobal and 3 days in Isabela, each 2hrs boat from Santa Cruz) and we dived on Santa Fe, Pinzón, Mosquera, Seymour, Daphne minor and Leon Dormido (still less than an hour’s by boat).
Only one of the excursions was between freedivers with Gianna’s friends otherwise we were the only ones with a group of scuba divers. The depth did not exceed 20 meters and the sharks were easily visible in snorkel, especially in Mosquera with a beautiful sandy bottom, we saw hammerhead sharks, Galápagos sharks, mobula rays, eagle rays and our first tiger shark! We loved this place and went back 3 times!
The price of the cutest animal comes back to the garden eel (Heteroconger klausewitzi)
Leon dormido (or Kicker rock)
Los Tuneles, Isabela
During our dives snorkeling not far from the cities, green turtles were present at each dive as different rays, small sharks and giant schools of fish. With also sea lions often at the party, curious and playful as well as marine iguanas always ready to go to eat at noon precisely!
Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) not yet full.
Snorkeling in Puerto Baquerizo moreno on San Cristobal island.
Slate pencil urchin (Eucidaris galapagensis)
The profusion of life is incredible in every cubic meter of water! Fifteen days were not enough to discover the entire archipelago including the mythical islands of Darwin and Wolf where only “bottle” cruises can access it, but there was already so much to see in the surroundings that we have not been frustrated.
We were able to really sympathize with Gianna during all this time and we will most likely try to organize a little “freediving trip” on the spot, because Galápagos islands are the perfect place to freedive!! If the adventure interests you, let us know, we would be delighted to help the project Freediving Galápagos to develop!
Read also: Galápagos land side.
More pictures here.
Text: Alex and Marianne
Photos: Alex Voyer