Galapagos Rebreathers Expedition Aug 2011

I have 4-6L air and 1 O2 bailouts, 7-2l, 1-3l, 1-18L, 1-40L &; 1-50L full of Oxygen, 7-2L & 1-3L diluent cylinders, 4 kegs of sofnolime, 6 pre-packed sofnodive cartriges, 2 haskell sport boosters, a rebreather tool kit, my rebreather and caving helmet with a GoPro camera and the Equinox HD6 housing already queuing here.

I we will be aboard a liveaboard vessel in the Galapagos Islands from August 21 to 28 for a Galapagos Rebreathers expedition. We will do a couple of days of land based diving after that. 

I will write a report.
Jorge A. Mahauad

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The Galapagos Tip Top Dive & Training Facility is nearly here

When I was living in Spain in 2008, my final assignment for a Business Administration Diploma was to create a “real” business plan. I’ve been working on the diving industry since 2004 and have some experience in the travel and tourism field since 2003. At that time, I also had a diving liveaboard in the Galapagos in mind. I thought of doing something on “diving” was probably a good idea

It was not. I ended up with a “proper” business plan that proved what I already knew: Owning a dive operation is usually something we do out of love and enthusiasm, not out of a calculated and thoughtful business perspective.

The problem was that I also ended up with a blinded passion for the plan I devised, absolutely in love with technical diving and crazy about the idea of underwater exploration. Years have gone by and I have spent the equivalent to three year salary in buying equipment of all kinds, traveling to dive shows and diving only to go places nobody goes to. 

As my family realized that I was absolutely dazzled and completely lost into this, they supported me in a way that ended up becoming our “nearly there” Galapagos Tip Top Dive and Training Facility. "TipTopDiving" on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, etc

My parents provided with another three years of “advanced wages”; Charles with his mastery in logistics and operations (and a boat); Enrique and the family business with REALLY countless resources; Eduardo, Javier, Charles Jr, Felipe, Fabi├ín provided the always welcome and often diminished “divemaster help and enthusiasm”. My grandfather Rolf (unwillingly as usual) provided the best inspiration available for me. He also gave it a name. Even non family members like Michel, Roz, Mark, Chris, Victor, Vincent, Jill, Hans, Jacques, Robert, Phillip, Agnes, Peter, Asser, Andy, Joaquin, Paula, Menduno and many others brought, and still bring, inspiration and industry fixing.

Nothing remains from the original 2009 “GUIDE” Business Plan. (Guide was for “Galapagos Underwater Institute for Diving Education”), or from the calculated financial perspectives I created in order to support and sustain a crazy idea in front of a heartless jury. Moreover, I have no idea of how will I manage this new business legally without going into bankruptcy myself first.

On the other hand, I think we are onto something here; I’m confident that a bit of luck (good or bad, whichever; but just a tiny bit of either one), will make us fly very high. I know I am an individual creative enough to find out for as long as this lasts. I also know the great family that brought us here will remain close and our unity is a key factor for success; it is my responsibility to involve everyone up to their personal and professional capabilities and interests. I’m certain that this “new water” will find its way and create something beautiful. It always does. Call it “faith in karst” if you wish. I do call it that way now.

So, here’s a fool who carries his whole family to entrepreneur in a super competitive sector, which is known for its low profitability worldwide, and who thinks that everything will work out because he has got some faith in karst, manages a great team, is passionate about going where no one has ever gone before and relies on a bit of whatever luck he gets. 

It makes just enough sense to me for now.


Quito: a new cave

I was in Quito for the weekend. On early Saturday morning my brother Javier and I went to a follow a lead I received a few months ago. We found the cave and have permission from the land administration to keep exploring it further. I will organize a scouting snorkeling trip when possible before doing anything with compressed air. No diving so far, only a blackberry photo and a very promising story for a nice promo video; I'll keep posting as this unfolds.

It is time for a short update on this post:
On August 14 I went there again. I brought with me fins, snorkel, cave lights, mask, my helmet with the GoPro camera, and a drybag with backup gear. My friend JL came with me. Long story short: we ended up in a sump with mud up to chest level; all other passages are dry-ish and full of bat guano. No cave diving interest whatsoever.