This series of posts is about an 11-day liveaboard trip throughout the Galápagos Islands aboard the Deep Blue with the Master Liveaboard Fleet. Having shot several thousand images, I thought to share a few more here than on my other social channels, but be sure to check out my Instagram, TikTok, Youtube and Twitter for more. This part is about the second day of diving at the legendary Darwin’s Arch. Have a look at the other posts in this series.
After a fantastic first day of diving at the famous Darwin’s Arch, we got to do it all over again the following day. Here at Darwin, there is only one entry point, which is very close to the actual arch rock formation, but there are a few ways of how the dive may proceed depending on the currents. We would either just stay around the Arch or could drift towards actual Darwin Island through a beautiful sandy valley where – if the visibility was right – we could drift through larger schools of hammerheads. Indeed that was what happened to us, with the minor caveat that the visibility wasn’t as clear as I wanted it to be. Nevertheless, it was amazing. It always seemed that the sharks themselves were just as surprised to see us then we were to see them.
During our surface interval, it was a bit odd to repeatedly observe a local fishing boat fishing only a few hundred meters away from us. The same boat, along with two more, we had already seen at Wolf Island a few days before. I haven’t looked properly into it, but it seems like there are a few hundred fishing licenses for local fishermen who can fish around here. Previously, under the leadership of Ecuador’s Ex-President, we were told the whole area around Wolf and Darwin was designated a No-Take Zone, which was changed again by the current president and opened up to fishing by locals.
In Germany, we have a saying that all good things come in three and having missed the third whale shark from the previous day, the oceans gifted me the third sighting on our second day here. Again, the visit was of a quick nature, simply due to the incredible speed at which the whale sharks swim at, but I could take a nice silhouette shot of this magnificent animal. The first one was definitely the largest, but no whale shark sighting ever disappoints..
The next stop will again be Wolf Island, with lots of spotted eagle rays and more hammerhead shark sightings! For now, have a look at the other posts in the Galápagos series below!
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Tom Vierus is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist based in Suva, Fiji Islands. This blog is dedicated to his assignments and to sharing some behind-the-scenes footage.