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Dive Review of Okeanos Aggressor in
Costa Rica/Cocos Island

Okeanos Aggressor, May, 2003,

by Steve Wenc, IN, USA ( 2 reports). Report 818.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Belize, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Canada
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 73 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits determined by your nitrox mix. Before every dive you are required to log your maximum allowable depth.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Plenty of tables, shelves and rinse tanks. Cameras were handled with care. Photo pro did a nice job processing slides.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Nitrox is a must at Cocos Island and the course can be taken on board. I used an air computer as a backup and it went into deco several times. This is no place for newbies. We did four or five dives a day with the first four about 100ft. One day I totalled 459 ft. for five dives. There is no chamber on the island and it's too far from the mainland for helicopter evacuation. Inspite of this there was plenty of dive freedom. I dived solo in a group all week. Follow the leader was not the norm, just stick to the dive brief and get picked up. A safety sausage was required and provided. We hit a few strong currents and noticeable thermoclines down deep. The amount of marine life was incredible. Dozens of whitetips on every dive, scattered hammerheads, abundant marble rays, several eagle rays, a couple mantas and a few turtles. Massive schools of fish to feed all these predators and plankton for the rest, to the detriment of visibility which was 50-100 ft. You would have to do the night dive at "Shark Rodeo" to believe it. Hundreds of whitetips on the prowl. The bottom was mostly volcanic rock with very little coral. Bring your gloves. The Okeanos was old but seaworthy. The food,service and accomodations were OK. Now for the bad. The dive deck was often permeated with exhaust fumes from the generator. I didn't see any oxygen kits on the small dive boats and some divesites were 20 mins. away. The divestaff left a lot to be desired. They did not pay attention to detail. On one dive, after handing me my camera and allowing me to descend solo, my divemaster fired up the Zodiac and zipped out of sight. I took a compass bearing, beat feet, and was fortunate to find the rest of the group. I suspect he blew the location and didn't realize his error until I was already down. The next day I came within arms reach of the props when the driver squared up the boat in 6ft. swells without checking my position. Our divemaster sat out a night dive without telling us about it (regulator problems!). He also missed the next morning's dive when he forgot his dive gear and refused our offer to go back and get it. I don't think any of us found the actual divesite(Silverado), so we didn't see any silvertips. The kitchen plumbing leaked through the ceiling and onto our bunks and they refused to fix it until after our 36 hr. journey to port. Whew! We didn't have a last night's party as is the custom, and we never once set foot on the island as promised either. However, we did see the park rangers when they came on board to collect the $35per diver per day park fee($210). Those that didn't read the fine print were pleasantly surprised. The spectacular diving at Cocos Island is worth the time, money and inconvenience of getting there. I"m not sure the Okeanos Aggressor, "The Ultimate in live-aboards", is the best way to experience it.
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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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