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Dive Review of Cocos Dive in
Australia/Cocos Island

March, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Peter Donahue, MA, USA
Report Number 1974
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, all over the United States, and Australia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
84   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Told to be back in 1 hour, although we seldom were.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
There was nowhere for cameras on this boat.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
The flight to Cocos Island goes through Exmouth on Monday (home of Ningaloo
Reef) and refuels there.  It then goes to Christmas Island, then to Cocos,
then back to Perth.  The reverse happens on Thursday.  It is possible to go
to Exmouth, get off the plane and dive for a week, then go to Christmas
Island and dive for a week and then go to Cocos Island and dive for a week.
 You've already paid for the plane.  So you get three dive vacations for
the price of one plane.  The baggage limit is 20 k between two bags.  I
landed with only one gear bag (see my report on Christmas Island), but I
left Christmas Island, en route to Cocos, with 35 k and two bags.  I was
way overweight...and they won't take it.  Fortunately, Des Hill, the
manager of the airport remembered me, and waved me through the weight
station, explaining to his crew that it was photographic equipment. Losing
my bags paid off in the end.

Dieter and Karen Gerhard own Cocos Dive ( Phone:
61-8-9162-6515  This is the only dive shop on this island.  It's actually a
coral atoll of 26 islands.  They own a 20 foot open outboard with a canvas
roof.  The boat is packed full with four divers, the two crew, 12
cylinders, food, water.  There is no room to do anything on this boat.  You
sit and listen to Dieter's stories...most of which are entertaining.

On the way to the first dive site, we came upon a pod of dolphins.  Dieter
threw us in to amuse the dolphins, directing us to swim up and down in
hopes the dolphins would come close.  He circled us, going full speed,
making waves and the dolphins loved it.  They buzzed us.  They clicked at
us.  They were all over the place - beside you, over you, under you - 30
minutes later, I was out of film, out of breath, and we hadn't even got to
the dive site yet!

The diving was different than Christmas Island.  Lots of large animals.  6
manta rays on the first dive, flying along the bottom, underneath us.  Some
of the divers didn't see them as they were chasing another pod of dolphins
and avoiding the sharks that seems to be everywhere.

They threw in an anchor and Dieter carries down a second one.  No one tends
the boat.  We went off as two separate teams.  Karen led my buddy and I and
we often lost sight of each other and finished the dive solo.  Karen spots
numerous small animals and is an accomplished photographer.  She often
directs you underwater as to where to be to get the best photos.  Dieter
led the other divers and both of them carry rattles that they shake when a
large animal appears.  By the end of the first dive, you learned that the
sound of the rattle to start looking up because something big was in the

There is a dugong that lives here.  He is 1500 miles from Australia,
probably got lost in a storm, but seems in good health.  We searched for
him on two different dives.  No luck the first, but the dive was wonderful.
 Karen found lion fish living in an old barrel, cannons left over from the
Australian Civil War, and on the second dive I hear the rattles.  No one
was near me and out of the blue a huge "thing" is coming at me. 
It was the dugong.  We chased along with him, shooting like crazy.  It was
wild.  At one point, he pooped.  The fish shot up from the bottom, looking
for a meal.  A shark shot up looking to eat the fish.  It was a frenzy of

Lunch and the two hour surface interval was on a small island.  While Karen
laid out numerous salads, cold cuts, bread, tea and coffee, all home-made
by her, we snorkeled in a rip full of sharks, schools of fish, giant clams.
 The place was wonderful.

Diving was $180 AUS per day with lunch and tanks and weights included.  We
stayed at Cocos Beach Bungalows (a thirty second walk to the dive shop) and
while at Christmas Island stayed at The Sunsets (a one minute walk to the
dive shop).  Twin shared accomodations were $1820 AUS per person, both
islands included, for 1.5 weeks.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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