Scuba diving in the Galapagos is hard work. Every dive has its challenges, from surge to current to deep dives.
Surge is when the water moves first one way and then the other. Sort of like rocking. We watch the fish and, when in Rome, we do what they do. Pause when the surge is against us and kick like hell when the surge is with us. Many of the surges we have encountered are so forceful that we glide 15 feet forward only to lose just as much going back, so we hold onto a rock to stop ourselves from moving backward. Sometimes the power of water is so strong it rips us from our perch and we freefall losing the ground we had just gained. Surges can be fun as long as they are not to wild.
We have experienced some pretty heavy currents here too. Kicking against the current, we use up a lot of air to make very little progress. Often it is just easier to crawl, our arms doing the work and our legs just dangling with our stomachs inches above the rocks looking like a herd of lizards. We are learning to be careful what we grab onto. We do not want to harm what little coral and wildlife there is down there. It is easy to dislodge a shell creature or rip a piece of coral from its home.
We are doing a series of deeper dives within a day. Nitrox, which is 32% oxygen instead of 21% in air, is available so we are using it. This is easier on our bodies and allows for longer bottom times and shorter surface intervals.
With the dives being so difficult, we are so busy concentrating on the dive it is hard to see the fish. We cannot take time to look because we are busy holding on, crawling along or kicking hard. We have opted to leave our cameras on the boat for many dives due to the conditions.
This hard diving is very tiring. We are falling asleep after lunch while writing our dive logs. We are falling asleep at 9:00 pm. We sleep well, or as well as we can on a moving boat, and still wake up tired.
Two more days of diving and we will see what challenges are to come in the Galapagos.