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 EspaƱola 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

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