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Dive Review of Cocos Dive in
Australia/Cocos Island

Cocos Dive, Mar, 2005,

by Peter Donahue, MA, USA . Report 1974.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Told to be back in 1 hour, although we seldom were.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was nowhere for cameras on this boat.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 (www.cocosdive.com) 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 neighborhood.

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 activity.

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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