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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Costa Rica

Aggressor Fleet, May, 2012,

by Leona M Holaday, HI, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 6559.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Malpelo, PNG, Palau, Indonesia, Solomons, Red Sea, Coral Sea
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 82 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There were two tables set up for camera gear. Both were supposed to be for cameras and charging only, but one table was frequently used for snacks and drinks after a dive. There could have been more charging stations in a dedicated area, rather than randomly placed outlets in the salon.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The cabins were small as were the shower/bathrooms. I took my showers sitting on the toilet when the seas were rough because space was cramped and there was a troublesome ledge on the floor. There was no place to hang clothes. The a/c leaked water on the wall. There was a leak from the area of the reading light junction on the upper bunk during heavy rains. The cabins below deck smelled very musty and moldy. The boat is in need of an overhaul.

The crew was terrific as was the chef when you consider that he had to cook for 20 people. The steak, seafood stew, and shrimp scampi were outstanding. There were 6 Americans, 2 French, 1 English, and the rest were Germans. We separated into a panga for the Germans, and a panga for the rest and that worked well.

The diving is not for the fainthearted, timid, or beginner. This is a trip for the physically fit. It is adrenalin diving. Well worth it for the big animals.

Carlos is an excellent and watchful dive guide. Beto, the captain, was dive guide as well as videographer. I think his duties as videographer prohibited him from being a responsible dive guide. There were times when we were told not to exceed a certain depth, ie. 110 feet, but then the guides themselves would exceed the stated limits. As a consequence, there were times we would exceed safe limits ourselves.

The setup area for cameras was similar to other boats of its size. However there could have been more charging stations in a dedicated area rather than random outlets in the salon. Also, the camera table was supposed to be for cameras only, but people put their drinks on, and snacks were served on the same tables.

No clocks anywhere, odd when we are on a fixed schedule in an environment where most people have shed their watches. Shore hike required missing a dive. Given the amount of surface time we had (especially on the 3 dive days) this seemed unnecessary.I think they should have packed a bag lunch for people who want to hike and it would be easy to fit it in.
Divers should be prepared for ripping currents. Safety gear such as safety sausage or dive alert is essential as the groups becomes separated easily and the surface is often very choppy. Wine was kept hidden and had to be begged for. Beer however, was easily accessible. Overall though, a great trip, well worth the effort. PS: the cook had to cook for closer to 30 people (assuming you consider the crew people).

The only other issue I had was that they adjusted the return time to Puntaarenas to arrive the night before rather than the morning we were supposed to arrive. They did this to coincide with a higher tide. This meant that we ended up leaving for San Jose earlier than expected, arriving at the airport hours earlier than expected. To avoid having to sit in the airport for 6 hours I changed to an earlier flight, which cost me $75. Since the tides are known well in advance, they should be able to let people know accurately when they will arrive back in San Jose (just as they list variable hotel pick up times at the start of the trip based on tides). If I had known I would have arrived at the airport so early, I would have booked the earlier flight from the beginning and avoided the change fees.
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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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