Daphne islet is located at north west of Santa Cruz. The dive site in in Daphne minor, the smallest of the Daphnes. With beautiful vertical walls and with little or not currents. On the cliff you will look for hide surprises, some colorful, others camouflage, some sleepies others awake. Good chances to see top predators in action as, sea lions, sharks, plus blue footed boobies plunge diving. The second dive could be Seymour Channel, Guy Fawkes or Mosquera.
Black striped salemas
Blue footed boobies
Galapagos sea turtles
About 6 miles to the west of Baltra (airport) you will see two tuff cones, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor. The most eroded is Daphne minor, where this adventure take place. You dive on one side of this ancient volcanic cone, that had erupted in the middle of the sea, producing an explosion that generate pulverise lava or ass, that fall and get compacted in some parts you will be able to observe the layers of ass, but in others you will see something like cement, very compacted ash. This is call palagonite and it happens for the high concentration of salt. Underwater you will see lava rocks and pillows lavas. On the vertical wall you will find corals, anemonas, spongies, algaes, hydros, and many fish, some sun starfish. You will get to the rocky and sandy incline bottom.
The most common hammerhead shark in Gordon rocks is the smooth (Sphyrna zygaena). The second largest hammerhead (5m. ot 16 ft), after the great hammerhead shark. The smooth one can form large schools (more than hundreds or even thousands). The head is fattened and laterally extended into a hammer shape without the irregularities in the middle of the front margin, the head margin is round instead of straight as the greatest hammerhead shark. They can migrate, specially during the summer. They are a top predator feeding on rays, bony fishes and invertebrates. This shark is viviparous giving birth 20 to 40 offsprings. For divers is a unique experience to see this large schools, sadly this shark as others had been severely affected by illegal fishery, specially asian ships that look to capture them just to use the fins that valuable for making a shark fin soup. In the IUCN is cataloged as Vulnerable.
Also known as Molas or oceanic sunfish. It is very big fish (3.7 m or 10 ft.) with a small mouth. The shape of this fish is unique, the body is a deep oval, strongly compressed. Its mouth opens at the front, looking like a beak because of the compress teeth. The dorsal and pelvic fins are as tall and parallel to each other. The lateral fins are short and the caudal fin is short rudder, convex, undulating edge. The color can be brown to dark blue above, with large pale patches, silvery below and dark fins. The sunfish is widely distributed in tropical to warm waters as its favorite prey: jellyfish. From the surface in a sunny day you can see the tall dorsal fin A shape in a pendular movement side to side or lay on de surface, looking almost flat to get warm.
Arctocephalus galapagoensis is the second endemic species of sea lion in the archipelago. It is not as common as the Galapagos sea lion. The main difference is de size, the fur seals are smaller than the sea lions, even the fur seal males can be smaller than a sea lion female. The fur is fussy when they are dry, underwater you can notice the little lines of the fur, because they have two kinds of fur (one strong and long hair, with many soft hair underneath) while the selions have only one kind of fur. Fur seals also have bigger eyes, a pointed snout and pointed ears (to the side). This species is a nocturnal predator, during the day time can rest on rocks, cracks and in the water, especially during the hottest hours of the day. You can see them upside down asleep underwater, with their back fins on the air (a termorregulacion behaviors) while the sea lion termorregulate with the dorsal fin. Fur seal are not as friendly as the sea lions, they were hunted almost to the extinction in the past, so they don't trust us as the sea lion. However in the tourist sites, they had been habituated to see people, and some youngs might get curious enough to dive with you.
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The day before of you dive trip, you must attend to the Dive center to get all the information, to try the wetsuit, to prepare your gear and to sing the release form. You should bring with you the dive certificate.
The day of your trip, it is important to take enough sun protection: sunglasses, long sleeve shirt, a hat and sunscreen. We recommend comfortable cloth, don’t forget to include a rain jacket o windbreaker. You should wear your bathing suit on and to bring extra dry cloth to change. Don’t forget your water proof camera and a water bottle.
5 -7 mm wetsuit, regulator, BCD, mask, fins, boots, hood, gloves, weigh belt and 12 lt. air tank
Nitrox tank (you need to present a certification)
Extra air tank
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