Galapagos Islands: Full support for CCR available

In april I made a post about my CCR friendly operation. Post was published here, in Rebreather World and Scubaboard. Some time has passed and I wanted to update on the information provided.

A few days ago I received here in the Galapagos Islands a few kegs of Sofnolime 8-12. I also imported some 2 and 3 litter cylinders. I have spent the last few months figuring out a reliable medical grade oxygen supply, the import costs of sorb, etc. With this import complete and all the major concerns figured out, I can proudly say that full support for rebreather divers is now available in the Galapagos Islands.

The items to be provided to CCR divers here are:

2 or 3 litter steel cylinders with AP valves
6 or 10 cubic meter cylinders with medical grade O2
Haskell Sport Booster with filling whips
Sofnolime 8 – 12 mesh (1 – 2.5mm) Expiry date is 2014
Required fittings and adapters
Non O2 clean trans-filling whip for diluent cylinders

If you need any further support regarding bookings, logistics, advice or guidance I’m more than happy to help.

Hope to meet you soon down here,
Jorge A. Mahauad


Curso Tec 40 – PADI / DSAT Julio 2010

Estoy organizando el primer curso Tec 40 en Ecuador. El curso se dictará entre el 1 y 15 de Julio de 2010 en Puerto Lopez para los buzos en el continente. Para los que estén en Galápagos entre el 16 y el 30 de Julio en Puerto Ayora. Tengo espacio para algunas personas. Si te interesa aquí hay algo de información. También puedes dejar un comentario, mandarme un email o escribirme vía facebook.

El curso Tec40 es el punto de entrada al rango de cursos técnicos de PADI / DSAT. Provee una transición del buceo recreativo al técnico.  Tu limite de profundidad será 40 metros / 130 pies con perfiles extendidos sin paradas o una descompresión no acelerada de hasta 10 minutos. 

Para empezar necesitas estar certificado como Advanced Open Water Diver PADI, Enriched Air Diver, y  especialidad en buceo Deep Diver PADI o un nivel  equivalente. Si no tienes estas certificaciones podemos ver tu bitácora y trabajar en certificarte antes. En este curso puedes utilizar tu equipo recreativo con algunas adaptaciones para proveer la funcionalidad requerida. 

Utilizarás el manual Tec Deep Diver de PADI / DSAT y este te servirá hasta Tec 50.

Alcance de la certificación:
El curso Tec40 introduce a los buzos al buceo con descompresión de forma limitada dentro de los límites aceptados para el buceo recreativo. El objetivo de este curso es acomodar a los distintos tipos de buceadores y ofrecer una transición al buceo técnico.

Un buzo con certificación Tec40 está calificado para:
- Utilizar software de descompresión y computadores de buceo para planificar y ejecutar buceos con descompresión de no más de diez (10) minutos y con una profundidad no mayor a 40 metros / 140 pies.
- Utilizar un cilindro de descompresión que contenga hasta Nitrox 50 (EANx50) para hacer la descompresión más conservadora.

Contenidos del Curso:
El curso Tec40 consiste de sesiones de desarrollo de conocimientos, tres sesiones de aplicación práctica, una sesión de aguas confinadas o abiertas limitadas, dos buceos sin paradas en aguas abiertas con descompresión simulada y un buceo en aguas abiertas con descompresión.

Requisitos de Equipo:
El estudiante deberá contar con el siguiente equipo personal: Traje húmedo, Capucha, Máscara, Computador de buceo, Aletas.

El instructor proveerá el equipo de buceo técnico debidamente configurado para su utilización. Este incluye:

- Bibotella (tanques dobles) con manifold de insolación
- Dos reguladores completos confirgurados para buceo técnico
- Botellas (Stage / Deco) debidamente configuradas para utilizarse como gases de descompresión con regulador, manguera de hinchador de baja presión y manómetro sumergible.
- Alas de doble vejiga y arnés para buceo técnico con 4 anillos en D
- Profundímetro y reloj digital, tablas multi-hoja de brazo
- Sistema de lastre
- SMB, lift bag con carrete, cuchillo de buceo principal y de repuesto, brújula y bolsillos.

Precios y detalles adicionales
Para precios del curso y materiales y todos los detalles adicionales mira este vínculo.  

Información y Contacto


International Whaling Commission's final vote: commercial whale hunting

In one week, the International Whaling Commission will hold its final vote on a proposal to legalize commercial whale hunting for the first time in a generation. The outcome rests on whose voices are heard most clearly in the final hours.

It was an explosive worldwide social movement in the 1980s that led to the commercial whaling ban we're now trying to protect. 

After the global ban was first implemented on commercial whaling, the number of whales killed each year plummeted from 38,000 per year to just a couple of thousand. It's a testament to the power of humanity to move forward. As we move to confront the other crises of the modern age, let's cherish this legacy of progress -- by joining together now to protect our majestic and intelligent neighbors on this fragile planet.

Despite the ban, Japan, Norway, and Iceland have continued whaling -- and are now pushing to make the IWC proposal as lenient as possible. Expecting permission to catch more whales than ever, Japan is reportedly planning to buy its largest whaling ship yet. If the ban is removed, organizations such as Sea Shepherd will no longer have a “legal” frame to back up their operations.

As the International Whaling Commission meets in Morocco -- on June 17, and vote less than a week later (June 21) -- let's make sure the world's voices are there to greet them. Citizen pressure is our best hope.

The pro whaling countries, mainly Japan, have been moving in high political spheres. On June 13 2010, the Sunday Times in the UK published a journalism research article titled: “Flights, girls and cash buy Japan whaling votes”. There is no need to explain further. On the other hand, a few governments like New Zealand and Australia have supported the ban on whaling.

But pressure from the other side has been relentless -- and now other governments, especially in Europe and Latin America, may abstain... or even support the proposal. The vote could go either way. 

Here is what you CAN do:

Sign, and then forward this petition to everyone you know
Support conservation organizations such as Sea Shepherd
Sign the petition addressed to International Whaling Commission by whale revenge
Signt the International Anti-Whaling Petition to the Japanese Government and the Fisheries Agency of Japan was created by and written by Lucy Rash

If you want to support locally, you can join Mariana Almeida in Fundación Selva or Cristina Castro in the Pacific Whale Foundation.

Thank you for support. Today more than never, the voice of ONE counts!

Jorge A. Mahauad 



If you follow my blog you probably are aware of what TED is and how much what they publish matters. With the world wide horror and outrage created by the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico a TEDx event is being organized in Washington DC . 

The idea of this independently organized event is to tackle the tough questions raised by the recent and ongoing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Topics will include mitigation of the spill and the impending cleanup efforts; energy alternatives; policy and economics; as well as new technology that can help us build a self-reliant culture.

I suggest that you assist if you can. The TEDxOilSpill Speaker Lineup is amazing! The next best thing to seeing it in person, and the option I will choose, is watch the video stream. It will be available on this page beginning 9:00am on June 28th.


Jacques Cousteau 100th anniversary

The world cup first kick has eclipsed this event. But today (June 11, 2010) is the 100th anniversary of Jacques Cousteau birth. I think anyone will know who this controversial character (Jacques Cousteau) is so no need to explain; on the other hand, I would like to make a statement of what his legacy means to me:

“When I was a very young boy, Jacques Cousteau documentaries were my favorite show on TV. Nothing else, no cartoons or Disney movies captive my imagination more than his expeditions and discoveries.  From that moment on I was wondered by what is found underwater.

Growing up in the ocean I was always wondered by being underwater. I remember I used to "dive" on my imagination under my desk at school. Fifteen years later I realized that I was pretending to use a CCR then. What for? Explore the underwater world, discover new things, go beyond…

Jacques Cousteau, even though I never met him, shaped who I am today and the way I have chosen to live. I’m quite happy with who I am, therefore I think a big
thank you Jacques 
is in order.”

Jorge A. Mahauad  


Give Sharks a Chance in World Ocean's Day

Divers all over the world are being asked to sign Project AWARE's petition to Give Sharks a Chance on World Ocean's Day.

At the CITES 2010 conference held in Qatar in March, CITES failed to endorse changes that would restrict trade in eight shark species - spiny dogfish, porbeagle, oceanic whitetip, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, dusky and sandbar sharks. representing victory for narrow, short-term economic interests over science and the myriad long-term benefits of conservation, this failure is one that can have a dramatic effect on our ocean's future - and indeed our planet's future.

There is so much attention being given to Global Climate Change - deservedly - but given that the ocean is the major determinant of climate on Earth, and a vital carbon sink, I believe that more attention needs to be given to the plight of the ocean.

In particular, sharks are at the apex of the oceanic foodchain. Killing off sharks - a practice we humans are extraordinarily effective at - is going to have a major impact on the oceans. I don't believe that we really know what the extent of that impact will be, but it can't be good.

Sharks need protection, and the groundswell for that protection needs to come from us - divers everywhere.

Please go to the Project AWARE website and sign the petition.

World Oceans Day: What can we "celebrate"?

World Oceans Day was officially declared by the United Nations as June 8th each year beginning in 2009. The concept was proposed on 8 June 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and it had been unofficially celebrated every year since then as World Ocean Day.

This day finds us (the ones who invented it in the first place) in a critical situation. 

A huge spill has been gushing millions of gallons of oil into the world’s 11th-largest body of water and the second-largest ocean that covers roughly one-fifth of the Earth's surface. The Gulf of Mexico has raised concerns over how human activity can imperil the waters that people live and feed off. Scientists and environmentalists fear the spill could affect the marine food chain for years, if not decades. 

Destructive fishing pressure has sharply depleted ocean wildlife, some by 90 percent in 50 years, including sharks, tunas, marlin, menhaden, groupers, snappers, tarpon, turtles, shrimp, crabs and others. 

Half of the coral reefs are gone or are in a state of sharp decline. Dead zones in the sea, unknown until recent decades, are rapidly proliferating. Excess carbon dioxide is accelerating global warming, sea level rise, ocean acidification and overall climate change.

On the other hand, hundreds if not thousands of little events to make business out of conservation and in some cases to create awareness are taking place this day. From coastal cleanup events to conferences, from fundraisers to boat shows.

For me, the truth is that we as a species have not been able to analyze and change the way we interact and relate to the ocean, even when we know we are destroying it. There are thousands of initiatives all over the world but no single one has done enough; maybe because there are just too many problems, maybe because we have not been able to find a right course of action that encloses all problems.

As recipient of the 2009 TED Prize, Sylvia Earle was given an opportunity to make one wish "large enough to change the world" -- a wish that brought with it a commitment by the TED community to help make it come true. 

Her wish? All of us to use all the means at our disposal -- films, expeditions, the web, new submarines, and more -- to ignite public support for a global network of Marine Protected Areas, "hope spots" large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.

In April, as part of the TED Mission Blue Voyage in the Galapagos Islands, Sylvia and some 100 more international leaders and opinion leaders launched the Mission Blue campaign, an effort to garner public support to call on governments to establish a global network of Marine Protected Areas.

So what can you do to make a difference for the oceans? Personally, I think the first thing we need is a common goal such as Sylvia’s wish and after that a common legislation that can be enforced by all governments or individuals, no mater their ways... 

Learn more about the initiative, you can find it in facebook, twitter or at the web. Mission Blue, however, is only one part of the solution. 

Everyone has the power to make a difference. The trick is to use that power, whatever it is, to take positive actions. Here is when your creativity, personal mission or interests, particular abilities and all that what makes us unique comes into play. 


Rebreather Diving is NOT Black and White by Jill Heinerth

A popular public speaker, Jill gives motivational and entertaining, multi-media presentations to groups, clubs and organizations. Subjects include exploration, risk management, leadership and self-actualization. A few months ago she made a podcast on the learning process applied to rebreather diving. Now she has made a video presentation out of it. Thanks Jill!! Check it out...

Jorge A. Mahauad


In the Galapagos: Ocean's glory and horror by Brian Skerry

Brian Skerry is a photojournalist for National Geographic. He captures images that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea but also bring attention to the pressing issue which endanger our oceans. He shoots life above and below the waves -- as he puts it, both the horror and the magic of the ocean.

This TED film was recorded on Mission Blue Voyage a few months ago here in the Galapagos Islands. I have posted several videos from this expedition: if you have the time to admire the ocean and like interesting talks that would be a very good resource.

In this video, Brian  shares amazing, intimate shots of undersea creatures, he shows how powerful images can help make change.

If you enjoyed that and want to know more about the ways in which humans are affecting the ocean you can also watch this talk. It is delivered by coral reef ecologist Jeremy Jackson . Jeremy is a leader in the study of the ecology and evolution of marine organisms. He is known for his deep understanding of geological time.

The talk lays out the shocking state of the ocean today: overfished, overheated, polluted, with indicators that things will get much worse. Astonishing photos and stats make the case.