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Cocos trip report on Undersea Hunter

Discussion in 'Central America' started by KrisR, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. KrisR

    KrisR Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dundee
    36
    32
    18
    Just returned from an amazing trip on the Undersea Hunter and feel like it’s a good time to post my first trip report. We were on then 01-11 December trip 2019. My brother and I booked the trip through liveaboard.com and have had zero regrets.
    We arrived in San Jose the night before the trip departed and we booked one of the 4 hotels the undersea Hunter pics up from for $58 bb. I would recommend the Park Inn by Raddison ( lovely rooms with 2 double beds and good quality breakfast included.)
    We were picked up on time by Undersea Hunter in a well air conditioned minibus with decent enough quality WiFi for the trip to Puntarenas. The whole transfer took about 3 hours but we had 2 stops , one at a fruit market and booze shop and the other at a place for a good quality lunch break.

    On arrival at Puntarenas we boarded the boat and were allocated our rooms. All the rooms have a double bed on the bottom and single bed above- which is a treat I wasn’t expecting. ( apart from the more expensive rooms on the upper deck which just had a double bed.)

    The 36 hour sail to cocos was very calm the first night and slightly choppier the 2nd night but overall completely manageable. The lower deck rooms were quite noisy but no more than I would expect from such a liveaboard. When we arrived at cocos we certainly were not disappointed, as it was amazing.

    The diving was better than I had hoped for, we were not sure that it would be as good as it could be as we were late in the season. However all my fears were put to rest. We saw schools of hammerheads on 3 occasions, 11 tiger sharks over the course of the trip ( one came to check me out very closely as I very slowly swam towards it.)

    Having dived in Galapagos on the aggressor , in my opinion ( it may totally have been luck of the draw) I would say that the visibility was better in Cocos and the sharks tended to come closer in the clearing stations.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. KrisR

    KrisR Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dundee
    36
    32
    18
    The group of divers we all had onboard were pretty well experienced which I think helped a lot- people were breath holding ( whilst maintaining depth ) as to not scare the sharks off.

    We had finished a dive and were on the skiff on the way back to the liveaboard when we saw 2 oceanic mantas. We jumped in to snorkel and saw them barrel rolling and playing with each other for at least 15 mins. Underneath the mantas was a silver tip shark as well as a huge silky.

    The smaller life on the trip was also great with close encounters with 3 frog fish, a seahorse , mantis shrimp plus all the many cocos blennies.

    The dive sites of the week were definitely Manuelita outside and channel plus dirty rock and small dos amigos. ( Alcyone was unfortunately rather barren)

    The level of service from the whole crew was fantastic - all the dive guides Carlos, Federico, Sergio, Merlin and Hector were fab. We had at least 2 dive guides with each group. The 18 divers were split into the blue and yellow groups. I was in the blue group and had Pepe as our skiff driver and he is a superstar , always joking and couldn’t have gone out his way to help you anymore. Pura Vida Pepe.

    The fact that the undersea has hard skiffs rather than zodiacs was amazing. You took off fins in the water, passed them up with the camera and climbed onto the skiff,( on a Carly long solid ladder). You didn’t need to to anything with your tank it was all sorted by the crew.
    The food that was served on the trip was crazy good , nothing was ever repeated and it was delish. How the chef managed so many medium steaks and juicy chicken breasts on the bbq I will always be in awe of. The host Javier was always smiling and nothing was too much trouble. I have missed out a few of the crew but they all deserve extreme credit- what a quality service.

    I feel like I will have missed out some information as I don’t feel I can do this trip justice - but if anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

    Cheers,
    Kris .
     

    Attached Files:

    Johnoly, Dan and drrich2 like this.
  3. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,173
    5,592
    113
    Congrat.s on being blessed with a great trip. What sizes do you figure the tiger sharks to have been? The largest?

    Some people will do one or the other (Galapagos vs. Cocos Island) at some point; since you've done a live-aboard trip to each, just from the reference point of your 2 trips, overall, do you have a favorite?

    Richard.
     
    KrisR likes this.
  4. KrisR

    KrisR Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dundee
    36
    32
    18
    Had to stick in som text upload few more pics.
     

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    Dan likes this.
  5. KrisR

    KrisR Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dundee
    36
    32
    18
    Thanks mate- but honestly it’s apples and oranges . I would toss a coin / look for the best deal if booking another trip again. ( infact I would definitely look
    For the trip with the most money off and book that. ) Both were and are fantastic dive destinations. I loved diving with the marine iguanas in Galapagos as well as the sea lions and mola mola- but the vis defiantly wasn’t as good. The shark encounters were closer in cocos and the vis was better most of the time. The temperature in cocos was between 26 and 27 c. And in Galapagos in May the temp was 26 Darwin and wolf, 24 central islands and 19 punta vincenta Roca. ( the vis at roca was shockingly bad however)

    Biggest tiger we saw was about a 5m pregnant female- average about 3.5-4m . I have a picture but it’s not the greatest.
     

    Attached Files:

    Dan and drrich2 like this.
  6. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    6,088
    3,624
    113
    Thanks for posting the report & pictures. Lucky you to see tiger sharks so many times.

    I also have similar experience and opinion about diving in Cocos vs. Galapagos. I recommend people to go to both places.

    I went there for the first time with Argo, Cocos Diving Trip Report, 17 -27 September, 2018 and didn't see any tiger shark, but liked the diving experience very much and made plan to come back there next year, Gathering a group for Cocos with Argo on 10-20 September 2020. Hopefully I'll see one this time.
     
    KrisR likes this.
  7. KrisR

    KrisR Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dundee
    36
    32
    18
    3 of us saw one large green sea turtle from the Undersea Hunter- couldn’t believe that we didn’t see a single sea turtle whilst diving. The crew were all saying the Tigers have very much returned- crazy how life in the sea changes .
     
  8. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    6,088
    3,624
    113
    Turtles are tiger shark staples. When I was there we didn't see any turtle either. So, we were wondering whether the tiger sharks had wiped them out and moved elsewhere.
     
    KrisR likes this.
  9. KrisR

    KrisR Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dundee
    36
    32
    18
    Yeah I know this is the case but In Fuvahmulah there was a hawksbill turtle that darted in and out of the tigers for fun. The guides said they had seen it for years- hats off absolute boss. I reckon the vast amount of food for the tigers I’m cocos keeps them interested be it that there isn’t that many of their fav snack kicking about.
     

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