What a horrible excuse for a diving instructor.
First of all, there were 9 of us diving with just this single instructor. I thought this was a bit ambitious, especially as we were tackling the infamously difficult "Gordons Rocks" nicknamed "The washing machine"
Throughout a brief & confusing explanation into diving & how it would work with this company, the one constant phrase was "The responsibility is on you". We were about to find out how true this was.
My flippers were broken & kept inverting on me. Imagine diving at 30 meters with a strong current & no flippers; This is effectively how it was for me.
Into the dive, after trying to get the instructor's attention for about five minutes, my PSI was running REALLY low (about 300 still at 30meters). So low, I needed an air share as I was so puffed out from effectively having no flippers. I indicated that I needed an air share but the instructor shook his head. This posed the problem; Who to share with? There were no buddies assigned or any mention of this before?
He looked at my horribly low PSI gauge, shrugged his shoulders, gave me the signal to go up to the surface, then turned & swam away.
A Danish lady seemed to be struggling badly too & she indicated to me that we should rise together. This was extremely lucky as I would had to have risen from a 30 meter depth without a safety stop.
Now sharing air with this lady, the two of us estimated where & how long to make safety stops as neither of us had watches, then rose to the surface & waited about 10 minutes for the dinghy to pick us up.
What was wrong with the Danish lady? She was COUGHING BLOOD!
When we got back onto the boat, the instructor walked past & saw her spewing blood from her mouth. Did he even ask so much as how she was? No. He just turned his back & walked away.
This "instructor" was more like a casual diver looking after himself & his GoPro rather than the other 9 people diving. He just casually drifted ahead as we all "Looked after ourselves" as he said.
He would not talk another word to the Danish lady & I the rest of the trip, as if we had offended him somehow.
The only reason this company has received a 2 star instead of 1 from me is that they have a really good setup. Their yacht is huge & spacious; It even has beds to sleep in. Lunch was good too.
I suppose with more staff & a decent instructor, this could be a good company but with that horrid experience in mind, I can not recommend them.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 weeks ago
Hi, after reading carefully your report, I just want to clarify some details.
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First, I want to tell you that we took seriously the comments you post here, this is very important for us.
I tried to check what day and what month you dove, but I cannot find you in our reports. Also I asked one per one all our crew members, divemasters, Instructors and Naturalist guides, and none of them remember something similar as you explain.
Our diving groups are normally composed of 6 divers and one guide (The guide can be a qualified Divemaster or Instructor). Our guides have thousands of dives of experience in Galapagos waters, as this is their main profession. They dive regular all year round in the same diving sites. Guides are not improvised.
Guides give a full safety dive brief to passengers prior to dive. This briefing in mandatory and includes maximum depth, dive time, and dive buddies. Also guides tell divers what to do in case of low air. It is responsibility of each diver to check the own air pressure, and when reserve arrives, to slow ascend with the buddy, doing the safety stop.
Sometimes in the diving group are 7 passengers, then dive all seven passengers with the two guides in the same group. Probably this was the case you mention. (National Park rules authorize a maximum of 8 passengers per group).
All our dives, included in Gordon Rocks are done to a maximum depth of 25 meters. This means that divers remain only a few minutes (one to three minutes) at this depth. Most of the dive is done at 12-20 meters depth. We do not do dives at 30 meters. Sometimes divers holding a depth gauge in feet, can be confused with 30 meters / 30 feet.
Regarding the broken fin strap, we had this problem a couple of times in one year. And regardless we have new equipment, unfortunately it may happen again anytime without notice.
It is difficult if not impossible to swim underwater without a fin. I have no idea how you did it.
In our dive boat is always a big tank of oxygen per emergencies. It is available per any diver asking for it or when guides consider it is necessary. The point you describe as a lady coughing blood it is pretty impressive, and in my point of view (due that none of the crew and guides remember anything similar), is a capilar nose broken. This happen sometimes when dives do too much pressure in their noses to compensate during the descend, and some blood appears in the end of the dive in the nose or in the throat. Normally this disappears in a few minutes after the capilars are closed again. Here normally it is not necessary to do any action more than lie down and rest. Some ice applied in the nose may help.
My last words are for safety diving: Since 1989 when we start the Nautilus operation in Galapagos, we had no one diving accident. 25 years without accidents is a record. This is because we are very carefully with the details. We take seriously your comments, and we are taking special care controlling that guides gives the full briefing, equipment is in good conditions for use, and all the safety equipment is ready to use on board. Vicente (Manager)
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.