28.12.11

Customer Reviews Galapagos Rebreathers and Jorge A. Mahauad on Rebreather World .com

Adam Podlaha was diving in the Galapagos from Dec 12 – 20, 2012. We had a great time supporting him. Adam is back home and has just published a trip report on rebreatherworld.com Click here to read his full experience travelling from the UK through Miami to the Galapagos via Guayaquil with a HammerHead Rebreather in his luggage. 

As far as Galapagos Rebreathers is concerned, this is what he has to say about us. 
"The dealing with Jorge was very professional and smooth. I let him know that I will be coming some 2 months before the arrival and agreed that we will meet the day of my arrival to sort out all bits and pieces.
After I arrived I went to my hotel, left some stuff there and walked to Jorge's place where after I met with him we went to his almost finished very nice and clean looking dive centre (including in my view already the best stocked dive shop) to sort out all stuff for my HH.  
I put it together, get all bits and pieces from him, tested the unit, filled in all necessary paperwork, showed my proof of training, etc. Jorge and his brother from Galapagos Rebreathers were very supportive, friendly and gave me all I needed to dive my HH in Galapagos. 
I will definitely be coming back in the future; Jorge is organizing some Rebreather dedicated live aboard trips in the near future. Just be aware of one of their dogs "the Beast" when you ring a bell at his place."

The dog is a security measure and a good, dirty, smelly friend; anyway, there is a good cage designed to hold the beast away from costumers and their rebreathers.

We have a few rebreather trips planned for 2012 and 2013. We will be posting about them soon, dive safe.

Jorge A. Mahauad

22.12.11

Season Greetings from Galapagos Rebreathers


The Galapagos Rebreathers team would like to wish the readers of this blog happy holidays. Thank you for following our content, we hope to have more rebreather divers visiting us in 2012. For information of upcoming rebreathers trips and expeditions please do not hesitate to contact us.

20.12.11

Rebreather Forum 3.0


For anyone with an interest in rebreather technology and science, Rebreather Forum 3 (RF3) is an unmissable occasion. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get up to speed with current thinking in rebreather technology from the industry's foremost minds.

This unique conference will address the major issues surrounding rebreather technology, and its application in sport diving.  RF3 has two key objectives; an emphasis on safety and the much needed peer review of the state of the art.  As a RF3 delegate you will be part of this important process.

Galapagos Rebreathers will be represented by Jorge A. Mahauad who is attending the event. Jorge will be reporting live from there. For information and invitations contact him.


17.12.11

First hammerhead rebreather supported in the Galapagos

During this week we have been working in providing support to Adam Podlaha. Adam came from the UK with his hammerhead closed circuit rebreather. He has been experiencing land based rebreather diving in the Galapagos Islands.


Survey for Rebreather Forum 3




The Rubicon Foundation in collaboration with Divers Alert Network, Duke Anesthesiology, and the Navy Experimental Diving Unit have written a survey. Their aim is to evaluate the use of existing carbon dioxide (CO2) canister tracking technology within the recreation and technical diving community. Please follow the link below to complete the survey. The results will be published in scientific literature as soon as they are compiled, with preliminary results being presented in Orlando at Rebreather Forum 3 in May.

15.11.11

David Parker, Company Chairman and co-founder of AP has died


Courtesy of Rosemary Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
______________________

We regret to announce that David Parker, Company Chairman and co-founder of AP has died.

He helped shape British diving over four decades, initially inventing and then manufacturing the AP Valve (the Angela Parker Valve). This very simple and reliable breathing valve allowed divers to breathe the emergency air carried in the small ABLJ bottles fitted to the Fenzy and later the Buddy jackets. Whilst it seems impossible to imagine now because almost every diver carries an alternative air source, ie an Octopus, this wasn’t always the case. When the AP Valve was invented alternative air sources were just a pipe dream, hence this valve was much valued because it was an effective way of getting air to breathe in those first critical moments of an “out of air situation”.

In 1972 David created the first Buddy buoyancy jacket and it was one of the first manufactured with a direct feed low pressure inflator. Two years later in 1974 David again was an innovator producing polyurethane HF welded buoyancy jackets – the only sensible production technique that is used today for all BCs and Counterlungs.

He also invented the self-sealing surface marker buoy and was running the company when the Buddy Pacific, Arctic, Sea King, and Commando jackets were developed and first sold.

David Parker was a founding member of the North Warwicks Sub Aqua Club and was BSAC Instructor No.177.

In 2007, he was awarded a much deserved Lifetime Achievement Award by Diver Magazine for his lasting contribution to the diving industry. As of today’s date, the only lifetime achievement award they have made.

He leaves behind an incredible legacy in the shape of AP Valves and Ambient Pressure Diving

2.11.11

Galapagos Rebreathers and X-Ray Magazine collaborate in rebreather travel article

X-Ray magazine published an article about rebreather travel involving Galapagos Rebreathers photos and staff. We are commited to developing the travel component for a rebreather revolution. Click on the image below to download the issue directly and stay tuned. We are at DEMA and will report on the latest rebreather advancements at the show.

 

10.10.11

DEMA 2011

Galapagos Rebreathers representative Jorge A. Mahauad will attend DEMA Show 2001. If you have any questions or comments, want to learn more about rebreather expeditions in the Galapagos Islands or just chat for a bit please just contact him.

28.9.11

Galapagos Rebreathers in Costa Buceo Ecuador




The first ever diving forum in Ecuador “Costabuceo Ecuador” is being held in Guayaquil at this time. It started on Wednesday September 28th, will end on Thursday the 30th and 10 exhibitors are speaking about subjects ranging from underwater photography to diving medicine. Disciplines involved also range from military diving to APNEA and rebreather technologies are obviously included. Galapagos Rebreathers manager Jorge A. Mahauad made a short presentation about this technology and it's application in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. 



21.9.11

New found treasure for Galapagos Rebreathers


The Galapagos Islands have been in the eye of rebreather divers for a while now. Although there was not a rebreather specific and specialized operation in the islands until we showed up, several pioneers and rebreather divers have been here since the early times of diving.

Probably the first ever was Dr. Hans Hass, a diving pioneer known mainly for his ground breaking documentaries about the underwater world, which were mostly made with the use of rebreathers as the diving technology of choice.


Dr. Hass left some treasure back for us from his two visits to Floreana Island in the 1950’s. This week, after many years under the domain of Capt. Rolf Wittmer, a series of images original photographs with handwritten dedication to the family have been recovered, catalogued and preserved. Photographs are dedicated to the family of Galapagos Rebreathers manager Mr. Jorge A. Mahauad.

Lotte and Hans Hass

Back inscription: Proud to meet, Lotte and Dr. Hass. Personally and always remember the beautiful, fun evening we had here in Floreana . 

Xarifa

To remember the XARIFA expedition January 1954. In the second visit of the German ship to Floreana



6.9.11

Humpback Whales and Rebreather Divers



During the rebreather liveaboard trip in August, one of the team members brought up the idea of filming Humpback Whales with Rebreathers. Insight came immediately. “Yes we can do that. I have the place, the people and the capacity to put together a 5 day trip to do just that”, I said. In fact, we could also combine that with some manta ray reef and diving and make it match with the 2012 rebreather diving trip to Galapagos’s crown jewels Darwin and Wolf. 

I’m working on that at this time and more details will be released soon. The trip will be sometime between August and September 2012 (this is when the humpbacks are here from Antartica). We will be land based; that means staying at a local hotel and taking a day trip boat and get back in the afternoon. I'm also working on having scientific support and in complementing the expedition with research from the Pacific Whale Foundation in Ecuador.

This idea is very exciting. I will keep updating. If you want more information please send an email to jorge(at)galapagosccr.com.  

4.9.11

Galapagos Rebreathers Teaser

This clip was recorded on a single 60 minute rebreather dive in the “August 2011 Galapagos Rebreathers expedition”. It was filmed by team member Mike. Jorge A. Mahauad barely put together this raw-ish material to try and share the experience of diving rebreathers in the Galapagos Islands. 

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

1.9.11

Cavern CCR diving in Wolf

We are back from the rebreather expedition with PADI CD Andy Phillips, PADI CD Al Schumer and rebreather cameraman Mike Echevarria. After a few days of catching up, the footage is slowly starting to stream on line.

This was filmed at the north side of Wolf Island in the Galapagos Islands. The cavern is located 12 meters underwater with 3 galleries. Formation is from the erosion of volcanic ash. Most of the cavern is actually open water and dive zone is always within daylight. It makes a nice, relaxed dive.


We will keep editing some material and posting it on line for your enjoyment.

20.8.11

The gear is ready; 3 more divers and their rebreathers will arrive soon...



4-6L air and 1 O2 bailouts, 7-2l, 1-3l, 1-18L, 1-40L & 1-50L full of Oxygen’s, 7-2L & 1-3L diluent cylinders, 4 kegs of sofnolime, 6 pre-packed sofnodive cartriges, 2 haskell sport boosters, a rebreather tool kit, my rebreather and caving helmet with a GoPro camera and the Equinox HD6 housing; we are still missing three divers with their rebreathers; Al arrives tomorrow, Mike and Andy on Monday...

We will be aboard a liveaboard vessel in the Galapagos Islands from August 21 to 28. Then some land based diving and maybe some cavern exploration near by. Will write a report.

Jorge A. Mahauad

4.8.11

Backstage at Galapagos Rebreathers

As we prepare the support for the upcoming rebreather trip with Andy Phillips, Al Schumer, Mike Echevarria and Jorge A. Mahauad our Galapagos "Tip Top" dive & training facility slowly takes shape as well. A photo of the backstage support, gas mixing and rebreather assembly area follow.  




It is a small area, but the market is the same for now; on the other hand, we do have the ability to provide with EANx, Trimix and full technical and rebreather diving support. Our rebreather friendly trip in August will bring more learning and experiences. We will continue posting as everything develops; some very interesting things might come up in the next few weeks. We intend to grow with the market, hopefully slowly but steadily.

9.5.11

Final two dives, giving thanks and rebreather technicalities

On Sunday we did a series of two dives in Cousins Rock, located next to Santiago Island. On the first dive we explored the bottom of a wall next to the conventional dive site and ended the dive along the sloping bottom of the rock. Maximum depth was 44 meters. In the second dive we descended to 46 meters and explored the deep end of the sloping side of the rock. Runtime was 70 minutes. We have now ended the dives planned for this week and I will be leaving the boat soon.











I’m taking a great impression from this Galapagos Rebeathers Dive Team. Claus and Peter are wonderful individuals. Peter has great attention to detail and a very particular way of analyzing everything to make it better. Claus is a very relaxed and easy going underwater photographer that makes the best out of any situation, whatever the conditions. I hope we can dive together again sometime soon, maybe in the deep wrecks of Grenada’s waters or next year here in the Galapagos.




I would like to thank Juan Carlos Martinez, Wilson Murillo and all the staff on board the Deep Blue for the opportunity they created to test rebreather expeditions. I will be more than happy to recommend the Deep Blue and to support divers coming for rebreather trips on board their liveaboard. Also, many thanks to Claus Meyer and Peter Seupel for allowing me to use this great photo material to illustrate this report and to market Galapagos Rebreathers.



Decompression, Physiology and other Technicalities:

We used APD rebreathers (one Evolution, one Evolution + and one Inspiration) all with vision electronics. We all had OCB; Peter and I had one 5.7l/ 40cft with air each; our on board cylinders were 2l / 15cft steels; Claus used 3l / 19cft on board steel cylinders. Peter and Claus had travel frames, I had the yellow box. 

We used high 1.3 and a low 0.7 setpoints. In three occasions the last dive of the day had to be done shallow and with a lower ppo2 (between 1 and 0.5) due to OTU’s and CNS% loading. We planned mainly recreational profiles with actual runtimes no greater than 70 minutes a maximum depth of 50 meters and a total time to surface no greater than 15 minutes. 

Even though we limited our TTS and stayed within one hour run time, all the dives we did were rebreather profiles and could not have been done in open circuit; the decompression obligation and gas volumes of doing this would have made this something completely different. 






6.5.11

Diving Wolf Island on rebreathers and making great underwater photography

Current was strong and navigation took about 6 hours. We arrived at Wolf at during the night and woke up early in the morning for a before breakfast dive in a place known as “the landslide”. We encountered a decent amount of wildlife here and this dive site became our shooting area for documenting the close and intimate encounters of rebreather diving in the Galapagos.

Close encounter, bad model. The diver (me) is in front of the shark. See how close?
It seemed that we had finally arrived to a place that would actually allow us to shoot some photos. Peter and I intended to be models and to bring wildlife to Claus. Peter also had a camera and made very interesting shots himself. Finally after a few dives, some consistency to wait for the right conditions and patience to cope with passing open circuit divers we got what we came here for:



Peter and Claus were very keen to keep diving on this site and the photos prove how right they were on their enthusiasm. On the other hand, I have personally highlighted some “points of interest” for advanced diving here. One is Gordon Rocks and the deep grotto. Some other points are many sea mounts and other “cave areas” in Española and Isabela Island (I will keep reporting on how this develops) and another point of interest is definitely the north side of Wolf Island and all the caverns there.

With this in mind and all the stories coming out of the guides mouths we managed to skip a “modeling” dive and go to a place known as “Pinnacle & Caves” where we would improvise an exploratory expedition. During this dive we descended to about -47 meters spent time swimming around and shoot some photos in the caverns located below the Pinnacle. 


  
Decompressing and using the pinnacle to stay on the spot
The remark of this dive was that a new cavern, deeper to those documented by guides and dive books was observed and marked for a subsequent expedition. We are already talking about another trip to Wolf and Gordon Rocks with more appropriate gasses and cave diving techniques. Our guides also mentioned several other caves in the area that are not well documented and this brings great interest to the mix. 

It feels good to put something new on the map and to gain and share knowledge from the naturalist guides. Many of us have been diving these islands for years but that have not had the time, preparation and technology to explore further. I guess we are all explorers in our hearts and that sharing about the limits we reach and the insights we have by reaching those makes all of us a little bit better.

We did a last dive in Wolf's landslide. This dive was actually the one that brought the two shots I consider our "jewels" for the trip: 


 

It is 16h45 now and we are navigating south. Our next destination is Cousin Rock. There we will do the last dives of the trip and I will disembark the ship tomorrow afternoon. We have been diving on a 1.3 setpoint for many days and borderline with OTU’s and CNS. My chest is burning a bit but I still have some tissue to burn in a couple more dives. I Will keep reporting.

Jorge A. Mahauad

5.5.11

Darwin Island using rebreathers and good shots of what was there

We came here with a few clear objectives in mind. For Claus and Peter it was to document the close and intimate encounters one can experience by diving the northern Galapagos Islands of Darwin and Wolf in a closed circuit rebreather.

For me the main objective was to “test drive” the upcoming rebreather charters here and to work hands on in what rebreather support will be like. I also had a second objective and that was to define the potential interest of the northern islands for dives requiring more "advanced" techniques and profiles.

Darwin Island only has one dive site, the Darwin Arch. This is the most famous dive site of the Galapagos and one of the world’s top places for encounters with marine megafauna. A real world class dive site; unfortunately conditions were not favorable and Claus and Peter’s objective started to look a bit far from achievable; on the other hand, my objective was pushed to the limit. 

At four one hour dives a day, all before 4pm, the logistics of boosting high pressure oxygen and topping up diluent with 9 open circuit divers around, no dedicated area for rebreather support and a particularly unhappy rebreather proved a considerable task load. As a result, I’m changing my diver to booster /oxygen ratio for rebreather support. Also, the value of being in the trip with more CCR divers and performing CCR profiles was proven very high.

Even with the adverse conditions we managed to get some interesting shots in the two days spent in Darwin Island. Dr. Claus Meyer proved himself a very relaxed and patient photographer and he managed to work his magic with whatever was in hand. 















At the end of the second day we are moving to Wolf Island, some 22 miles south of Darwin.
Jorge A. Mahauad