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Dive Review of Undersea Hunter in
Costa Rica/Coco Island

July, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Ralph Baker, nv, USA
Reviewer   (6 reports)
Report Number 1255
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
PNG, Australia, Fiji, Galapagos Isl., British Columbia, caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, rainy  
Water Temp
65   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Surface immediatley if you can't see the wall, surface after 60 minutes
regardless of extra air.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Lots of camera space, roomy bins to store your stuff, rental equipment to
replace what breaks or you forgot. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
If your mantra is "Hammerheads" this is your place.  Sharks are
everywhere.  Hundreds of scalloped hammerheads, hundreds of white tip reef
sharks, usually at least one galapagos shark was spotted on every dive,
many many silky sharks, three silver tip (only at the Silverado dive site),
and one grey reef shark.  Add to this hundreds of marble rays, many
turtles, moray eels, a zebra eel, spotted snake eels, red lipped bat fish,
very very large yellow fin tuna, and enormous schools of jacks swirling in
the blue.  I never realized how noisy that many fish are! 

Tuesday morning was unbelieveable.  On the way to the dive site we snorkled
with bottle nose dolphins.  At the dive site there were 137+ hammerheads
(one of the divers tried to count them but stopped at 137) huge tuna,
several different kinds of jacks, and octopus.  When we surfaced a mobula
ray swam over and wanted to play.  We snorkled with it for several minutes.
 As we reached the Undersea Hunter a humpback whale and calf came by.  The
captain took us back out and dropped us off right in front of the whale. 
One snorkler got super video footage of the dolphins riding the bow wave of
the whale and the whale charging out of the green and swimming about 20
feet away.  Amazing.  Then we had lunch.  That was a hard 4 hours to top.

You dive from pangas.  Your gear is loaded and unloaded for you.  The dive
sites can be as much as 30 minutes away.  The boat anchors on the north
side of the island and some dives were on the south side. There is a dive
guide on every dive if you want to follow them.  The guide does blue water
diving and saftey stops so you can see more silky sharks and pelagic
action.  Nobody did a blue water dive on their own.

There were 14 divers on the boat and they were split between the two
pangas.  The Aggressor and the Sea Hunter also dive Coco, but both left the
day after we arrived, so we had the island pretty much to ourselves.

The thermoclines are drastic.  Often the temperature would drop 15 degrees
F in just a few feet.  Those wearing 3mm suites froze.  I rented a 6mm and
didn't wear a hood.  I was very comfortable both above and below the
thermoclines.  Wear the extra rubber so you don't limit your dives to above
the thermocline.

I also rented a semi-closed circuit rebreather.  I believe everybody had at
least one "up close and personal" view of a hammerhead.  I had
many many more.  The sharks (hammerheads, silver tips, white tip reef and
grey reef sharks)and marble rays would often come right up to my lens.  It
was very important to not move and not make bubbles.

Currents were ripping. That is meant literally.  Masks were ripped off
faces and fins torn off feet.  Two divers had their tanks drained in less
than 5 minutes after backrolling off the panga, because the current pushed
in the purge buttons of their octopus.  On several occasions you had to
pull yourself down the anchor line or pull yourself horizontally along the
face of the wall.  This can be even more difficult if you have only one
hand because the other is holding your camera.  That was another advantage
of the rebreather. No matter how hard you breath you still have about 2
hours worth of air.

They did 3 divers per day.  They offered a 4th dive at night, but after the
3rd night we stopped doing them. There was not that much to see in the more
protected spots for night dives.  The exception is the white tip reef
sharks feeding near Monuelita Island.  If it happens it is really exciting.
 They only did 3 daytime dives because they said they needed to leave
enough daylight in case you were swept off by the current.  They needed
time to find you before dark. This left alot of time for snorkling.  Don't
miss this opportunity. You will see more sharks, rays and turtles.

They provided a saftey sausage, whistle and radio transmitter.  The sausage
and whistle are in a small mesh bag.  Be sure and practice opening it
before you get in the matter. It is very difficult with gloves on!

This is a terrific trip on a fantastic dive boat, but only for those that
can deal with large temperature variations and CURRENT.
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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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