Galapagos (9) – San Cristobal Island (1) – Diving at Kicker Rock

Monday 18/06 (2/2)

The next 2 hours are probably the worst ones of the trip, transportation wise. The boat goes very fast, making the ride very uncomfortable. Moreover, Ludivine’s neighbour doesn’t stop vomiting in his small plastic bag…

We arrive in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal, at 4pm. Jules doesn’t feel well.

We walk to the nearby hotel (300m, on the pier (malecón). Nice location, and nice view. The 2 rooms are spacious.

We go and eat an ice cream; not great.

At 5pm we have an appointment with the diving centre the organizes our 2 dives of tomorrow, with the kids this time. We walk to the diving centre, to try our diving gear. Since the kids are only (PADI) “Junior” Open Water, they don’t want to take them below 12m. I’m surprised they’re so strict; it was much cooler in the Philippines. They say that if Isabelle and I want to go deeper, which we obviously want, we have to pay for another dive master (120$). I call Philippe, who immediately arranges everything.

We go back to the hotel where we relax during 1 hour.

We go and eat around 7:30pm in a local eatery recommended by our Belgian ‘worldtourers’ friends. For 3$, we can choose between chicken and fried fish (with rice of course), and a juice. Good deal! The dinner is ok.

We walk back to the hotel.

I work until 10:30pm. The others are in their bed since 9pm. Jules sleeps in our room tonight (in the “double” bed with Isabelle).



Tuesday 19/06

My first movie (and probably my last one…)!

On the programme today is diving in Leon Dormido (aka Kicker Rock). It’s one of the greatest diving spots in the Galapagos.

After a quick breakfast at 7:30am, we embark around 8am on the boat. We have 2 dive masters with us and also a naturalist since there are also 2 French people joining us for the day. They don’t dive; they plan to snorkel. But we can enjoy the extra activities (on top of the diving) that are included in their excursion. We first go slowly along a coast where we can see many blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds. We see for the first the red gular pouch that the males inflate during their courtship. We then stop on a beautiful empty beach (Playa Cerro Brujo) located in a lovely cove in front of Leon Dormido. We walk to a (very) nearby lagoon and then on the beach, on super white and soft sand (like powdered sugar). So nice! Its definitely one of the nicest beaches in the Galapagos. We see many sea lions and some marine iguanas. I regret not to have taken my camera today (we were supposed to dive only).

After a 5′ refreshing dive near the beach (to check the gear and to perform 2 basic exercises so our guides can assess our level), we go to our diving spot, by boat. The water is rather cold; we all wear a 7mm wetsuit. Isabelle and Jules wear a hood and they even put their merinos under their wetsuit… We leave the kids with their instructor and we go with our dive master a bit deeper.

The visibility is not great but we have a fantastic dive. We see a dozen of hammerhead sharks! And the kids too!!! It’s the first hammerhead sharks that they see! We are all very happy.

In between the dives, we have lunch on the boat and we then circumnavigate the Leon Dormido to see the wildlife (blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, sea lions, frigatebirds).

The second dive is even better than the first one: we see fewer hammerhead sharks but from closer, including 4 together right below us. We also see, like in the first dive, big school of barracudas, yellow fin jacks and turtles. It was a great day (see also the video, which is the first one that I do for the blog…).

We are all super happy! Isabelle and I saw hammerhead sharks in 3 out of our 4 dives in Galapagos. Thanks Philippe to have chosen these 2 great spots!

Back in the boat, we are cold. We ride 45′ back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. We take a hot shower at the hotel and then chill a bit until 5pm. Isabelle and I go and bring the laundry to a ‘lavanderia’. On the way back, we stop to buy some ‘pastries’ that we bring to the kids who stay at the hotel to relax (I left my phone so they can connect on it to enjoy a good LTE connection; they didn’t have internet during the last 5 days which is kind of difficult for them…).

Isabelle and I then go to the diving centre to fill in my diving log and to get the pictures and movies that the dive masters took during the today’s dives.

We go back to the hotel after a small walk on the ‘malecón’ (i.e. the “corniche” / pier).

We relax during one hour.

We then go and eat a pizza at Giuseppe restaurant. We take an extra-large pizza (16 slides), which is more than enough…

We come back to the hotel around 8:30pm.

Kids sleep together (we got a triple room for the kids instead of the double room).


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