Congratulations to Christopher, a new PADI Tec 40 CCR diver in the Galapagos Islands

Times have been hectic here but we needed to allow some time to pause and acknowledge his achievement. Christopher contacted the Galapagos Tip Top Dive & Training Facility for a set of PADI dive courses and excursions earlier this month. He completed his Tec 40 CCR Inspiration / Evolution course with us last week. Congratulations and welcome to the ‘silent side’...


Michael Pitts on Galapagos Rebreathers

Here is a short testimonial about diving the Galapagos on a CCR. This clip was recorded by multiple award winner underwater camera man Michael Pitts after a 3 week trip we did together. I hope you enjoy it. We will be at DEMA 2013 in booth 1735 to talk about Galapagos Rebreathers, training, live-aboard and land based.



The Galapagos CCR ‘after party’

I always have a hard time getting back to civilization after a Galapagos Rebreathers live-aboard trip. The logistics and trip preparation are hard but the rewards of coming back with dozens of hours of CCR diving with the best marine life diving in the world is priceless.

On the other hand, I often end up with hundreds of raw photos and video. The immediate reality of this world make it easy to turn those into a steady stream of media for Facebook or YouTube; o the other hand, the time and patience to work on a piece of edited material that makes sense and fairness to the extent of the experience our customers have while diving a CCR here is a whole other story.

As much as I dread doing it I understand the need to create something that can, somehow, maybe, make justice to what really being here is. It’s just hard to find the time and dedication to work on this with an amazing wife and daughter who deserve all the love in the world, an everyday busier dive center and the hundreds of emails and projects that wait impatiently.

Here is short edit made from amateur footage taken with GoPro cameras. I've also gathered some testimonials from of the divers on board and will atempt to brodcasten them soon enough. I hope this makes a little justice to what being here really is.

Watch this space for more...


Galapagos Rebreathers 2013 starts tomorrow

Leaving for the biggest ever Galapagos Rebreathers trip. We have 14 dives on board on CCR and a wide range of units. Welcome everybody and dive safe!!


And so it begins… Welcome John and Frank!

Today John Castracane and Frank Mcdermott arrived to our dive resort in Puerto Ayora. They are the first two people to arrive to Tip Top Diving from the 2013 Galapagos Rebreathers live-aboard trip.

Everyone is very excited about this and units are being built already. We will be working on getting everything ready tomorrow and then doing a couple check dives on Wednesday.

The trip starts on Monday but we expect to have everything loaded and ready to go by Sunday. I will do my best to keep this blog updated but can’t promise much. 14 CCRs aren’t easy to support and time will be really tight for the next week or so.

You can follow this trip by using the Galapagos Rebreather Liveaboards 2013 tag.


An Update: 10 Recommended Practices for Safe CCR Diving in Galapagos

Back in October 2012 I developed a series of blog posts about "10 Recommended Practices for Safe CCR Diving in Galapagos". With our 2013 CCR live-aboard around the corner I would like to revisit these series of posts and share this with our guests. The original post with minor changes to add current links follow:

"Galapagos Rebreathers is a firm that has pioneered in developing rebreather diving in the Galapagos since 2010.  Over almost two years, we have successfully supported over 5 different rebreather friendly live-aboard trips and one major film project with a total of 10 rebreather divers who have performed over 300 hours of completely safe, professionally supported and rebreather supervised diving.

We work in affiliation with the most renowned rebreather diving professionals and instructor trainers in their regions. Before we started this, rebreather travel to this world class destination was nearly impossible. There was also no repository for the lessons learned about the particular conditions that could make diving in such a special destination safer. I’m glad to say this is no longer true.

At this time, Galapagos Rebreathers is the only firm actively offering rebreather support for people who want rebreather travel opportunities to the Galapagos Islands and I am the only active CCR professional in the region. Sharing knowledge about the lessons learned and particularities of diving rebreathers in Galapagos might be counterproductive from a commercial standpoint but is cumbersome in the face of preventing accidents.

For those who know me, you probably know I am someone with a positive and corrective approach. With this in mind, I have developed a series of posts to be published in this blog during the next few days. These posts come from lessons learned either by me and my companions while developing rebreather travel in the destination or from the study of what others have experienced here. 

You are welcome to follow this series of posts by clicking on the links below or by using this tag.

01 - No Solo Diving
02 - Have Off-Board Bailout Gas
03 - Bring a Medical
04 - Bring Experience
05 - Bring Spares
06 - Be Visible
07 - Avoid Fumes
08 - Log your Gas
09 - Mind Vertical Currents
10 - Do OUR Way


Congratulations to Paul Tompkins, a new member of the Galapagos Rebreathers community

Congratulations to Paul Tompkins, the first ever to be certified as a PADI Tec 40 CCR diver in the Galapagos Islands. Course took place at the Galapagos Tip Top Dive and Training Facility and was taught by Jorge A. Mahauad with Evolution + Rebreathers. Here are some photos.-


Galapagos Rebreathers: Training Updates

I have Paul Tompkins here with me. Paul is a research scientist studying macro algae in Galapagos.

Paul has just started his Tec 40 CCR course here at the Galapagos TipTop Diving Facility. I personally like teaching this course as a basic CCR course instead of the Advanced Rebreather Diver. I think the additional material and knowledge regarding thinking as a technical diver and problem management gives the course a little extra that means a lot.

Paul's Tec 40 CCR is the first ever PADI rebreather course taught in Galapagos and Ecuador, I will keep this space open for some photos and updates.


News from England

From the Sky website

Just came back from a visit to the UK. I was lucky enough to be able to get a copy of the Galapagos 3D with David Attemborough documentary that aired in New Year's day at Sky 3D. I also had the opportunity to meet again with Michael Pitts, underwater cameraman, who cam on location to film in the Galapagos.

Going through the expedition files we found a testimony Michael recorded whilst in the Islands. Here is a transcription of it: 

As a professional cameraman, I am fortunate enough to travel right across the globe to some of the most remote places imaginable.  So I am often asked, by fellow divers, fellow photographers, “Where is the best place to dive?”  And my answer has always been, “There is no best place, there are many.” But after being at sea for three weeks and traveling around these truly incredible volcanic islands, and my answer now has to be “There is a best place and it stands head and shoulders above the rest.  It’s the Galapagos."
From the most charismatic of sharks, the elusive ocean sunfish, and right down to the small fish and invertebrates that live on the sand flats, you have it all.  But to do this place justice you really do have to dive on a rebreather.  With your rebreather, you have the time, you have the silence and you have the ability to stay down so much longer and observe behavior that so few other people actually get to see.  So I highly recommend coming here with a rebreather.  Traveling to the Galapagos with your oxygen equipment and camera gear is always going to be a challenge.  But once here, you can be secure in the knowledge that you have the dedicated support of one of the most knowledgeable dive guides I have ever worked with, Jorge Mahauad.  Jorge will facilitate that trip of a lifetime and will help to make it one of the most memorable.
We expect to have a short video clip put out to the public later this year


CCR Course Profile: Nicolás Vera Schiess

Nicolas Vera is a naturalist and marine reserve dive guide in the Galapagos Islands. With over 15 years of experience in the islands, Nicolas is a very sought after professional by local tour operations and private mega yachts. As part of his diving career and personal interest in underwater videography, earlier this month Nicolas decided to become certified in the use of the Evolution Rebreather.

Nicolas’s Evolution Air Diluent Course was taught by Jorge A. Mahauad of Galapagos Rebreathers through the Galapagos Tip Top Dive and Training Facility between January 29 and February 5, 2013.

Throughout his course, Nicolas demonstrated good overall proficiency in the management of the unit, an in depth understanding of the dive theory behind rebreather diving and a very good attitude and mindset as a new CCR diver.

“I have already got job placements due to the rebreather certification but my major motivation to do this is the video side” he says. 

We look forward to working with Nicolas in the future as he is the first naturalist and marine reserve guide who have been certified in the use of closed circuit rebreathers in the Galapagos Islands.

For more photos click here


2013 Rebreather Live-Aboard Trip (September 16 - 23)

The Galapagos archipelago is a world famous hotspot for observing marine mega fauna, especially sharks. The use of rebreather technologies provides great opportunity for very close wildlife experiences in the islands.

(c) Claus Meyer 

In the Galapagos hundreds of hammerhead sharks and giant manta rays cruising overhead while big schools of Galapagos sharks wonder very close can be the fore playing scene for a bus sized whale shark to appear out of the blue. This is the reason why many diving enthusiasts and underwater imaging specialists come every year. 

(c) Claus Meyer
But very few of the regular tourists will ever have the opportunity to witness this world patrimony national park with the bubble less and quiet and moist environment a rebreather provides.  From September 16 to 23, 2013 a rebreather oriented expedition to the Galapagos Islands is being organized by Technical Instructor Trainers Andy Phillips and Paul Toomer. The specialized trip is supported by Jorge A. Mahauad and Galapagos Rebreathers. 

The organizers have chartered Humboldt Explorer, a 35 meter steel hulled licensed live-aboard vessel with capacity to accommodate 16 divers in 8 air-conditioned double occupancy cabins with private bath and showers. A comfortable dive deck and a camera table are available for all divers. Social areas include a partially covered sundeck with Jacuzzi, ample seating space and a salon including a lounge and dining area.

This is the first rebreather only trip in the Galapagos organized by Galapagos Rebreathers. Trips like this have rarely been put together in the past and this amazing experience is now made available to a very limited and select group of divers.

Galapagos Rebreathers will provide an expedition technician to operate boosters and deliver high pressure oxygen. Granular or pre-packed CO2 absorbent, on board steel 2 or 3 liter rebreather cylinders with in line style valves and 6 liter aluminum bailout cylinders with DIN convertible valves and stage / sidemount rigging will be available for all rebreather divers.

8 spaces are still available. For more information contact:

Andy Phillips: gopro(at)utiladivecenter.com
Paul Toomer: paul(at)divingmatrix.co.uk
Jorge A. Mahauad: jorge(at)galapagosccr.com


Poseidon Dealer and Service Center

Galapagos Rebreathers is glad to announce that we are now a Poseidon Authorized Dealer Service Center. We can provide all consumables and service for the Discovery MKVI Rebreather. 

Accessories, parts and kits are subject to pre-order. Please contact Jorge A. Mahauad at Galapagos Rebreathers for more details.