The Galapagos Islands are an Oceanic archipelago 600 miles / 1000 kilometers away from the nearest piece of continental land. In addition, the archipelago is subject to 7 ocean currents that change in intensity throughout the year. These currents combine with the chaotic whimsical sea bottom creating all sorts of currents and countercurrents than can often defy logic. Dives are made drifting with current and drifts going in the opposite direction as originally planned is something that does happen.

The main source of surface supervision comes from tender operators who follow bubbles; hence the rebreather paradox. When diving on a rebreather in the Galapagos Islands you have to be ready to change the plan and maybe even abort the dive if the current takes you the wrong way.  Sometimes an aborted dive can just be the best possible outcome, don’t lose your chance for the best available.

Since there are no bubbles to follow you need a surface marker as soon as you start ascent. A Diver Surface Marker Buoy is something we deploy on every dive here. You will need a readily accessible, easy to use DSMB attached to a reel or spool and a backup. I highly recommend the longer ones since surface conditions can be choppy and 3 – 5 foot / 1 – 1.5 meters are very common.

Once in the surface a pneumatic audible device comes in very handy, make sure you have one. In addition, having some sort of communication device to call for assistance is reasuring. I think the Nautilus Lifeline is a good option, we are dealers for them.

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