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I am planning a trip to Galapagos next year and my main objective is to see Whale Sharks. Does all Galapagos Aggressor trips go to Wolf and Darwin? What are the chances of seeing a Whale Shark in mid June?
We were just there over July 4th this year. It was the most incredible experience of my 43 years! The boat and crew was phenomenal! When we got on board the Aggressor in Baltra, we did our check out dive that evening then did 2 dives @ Seymour the next morning. By 3:00 pm we were off on a 17 hour run up to Wolf where we dove all day on Sat. After the last dive there we did the remaining 5 hours to Darwin where we dove all day Sunday and Monday morning. By lunchtime on Monday we were headed back south (22 hours).
No dive trip to the Galapagos would ot be complete w/o diving Wolf and Darwin.
Thousands and thousands of hammerheads, galapagos sharks, silky sharks, dolphin, manta rays, sailfish, turtles, the largest schools of jacks and tuna that you will ever see, and of course "Mr Big". We saw 17. I understand that the whale sharks don't really start coming in until June.
The currents up north are unbelievable. You hang on for dear life until the large shadow (whale sharks) comes out of the blue. You swim as hard as you can to stay up with them. By the time they pass you usually can't see the rocks or the bottom, so you just drift in the blue. That is an incredible experience.
We saw whale sharks on the last dive at Wolf and every dive at Darwin. At one point got the opportunity to snorkel just a few feet above one. Incredible experience.
July is the dry season when the water is a bit cooler. While diving south of the equator the water was anywhere from 62 degrees to 68 degrees. We did very little repetetive diving in the south islands. Up at Wolf and Darwin the water averaged in the mid to upper 70's; however, the currents brought in water as cold as about 70. You could be swimming along in 78 degree water and suddenly hit an upwelling that was 70 degrees.
My wife dove in a drysuit and was damn glad she had it. I dove in a 7mm semi dry. When in the south islands, I wish I had a drysuit. Only 2 of the 14 folks on our boat were dry.
I get chills just thinking about what an incredible experience it was!
Galapagos trip video again after reading that account...we only saw one WS at Darwin, but it was 40-45' in length...the shot of me trying to stay with the beast to take photos as it descends into the depths is priceless.
The underwater equivalent of an elephant and a flea...
I posted a rather extensive trip report on my Galapagos Agressor II trip taken in July of 01. It is toward the end of South America (again, look by date, July 01). It has depth, water temps etc... I asked the same questions you did (and there is also a thread with a very extensive and informative response from DocV).
I read it ever now and again and it brings me back (there, not here).
Incredibly memorable trip, and I will definately go back... there are not a lot of places I say that about because there are so many I would like to go to and haven't yet had the chance... You may want to take a couple of days at the beginning or end of the trip to explore the land a little more.