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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Costa Rica/Cocos Island

Aggressor Fleet: "Cocos Island on the Okeanos I", Apr, 2018,

by Carol D Cox, FL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports with 13 Helpful votes). Report 10199 has 2 Helpful votes.

Photos Submitted with this Report


Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We dived in March 2018. This was about 4 months after the tragic tiger shark attack on a woman and her divemaster which occurred on the other boat in the area. After an inquiry to Aggressor about the incident we were told we would not be able to dive Manuelita or do the night dives.

Aggressor arranges hotel pickup at two hotels in San Jose. The night before our pickup, we received a message from the Aggressor Office that we would be picked up two hours later, at 12 noon. Since this was hotel check-out time, the timing seemed great. Late the next morning, well over half the 22 Aggressor guests assembled in the lobby. I heard a lot of French being spoken, so quickly downloaded the offline French module to my phone – which turned out to be a good move.

A luggage truck and large van arrived on time to pick us up. We quickly learned we were not going straight to the Okeanos I. The boat had just come out of dry dock and needed a little more work before it was ready for guests. The Aggressor staff had kindly arranged for a tour of the crocodile river south of Puntarenas where the boat is anchored. Our air-conditioned van included wifi and lots of colorful commentary from the driver. Our tour included lunch and a boat tour to see the wildlife on the river. It was great Aggressor arranged the tour instead of leaving us to sit in a hotel lobby for hours, but it would have been nice to know ahead of time so we could have brought along the right gear - hats, camera gear, bug spray, etc…

After the tour, we were shuttled to the boat and welcomed on board with a glass of champaigne. We received the usual briefings and settled down to dinner as the boat pulled out of Puntarenas. There was no rush to assemble cameras and gear because we had a 36-hr crossing.

The guests consisted of two groups from France, two French Canadians, a solo Frenchman, three single Americans, and my group which was 3 Americans and two Brits. The French and 1 American who spoke a little French, sat at the long table, leaving the Americans and Brit to sit at the smaller table. The groups could have ended up very polarized, but one of the French Canadians arranged for a name game the first night to help us get to know each other. On the second night, dinner was filet mignon with real wine glasses (we got plastic or paper when the ship was rocking), so I opted to break out some fine red wine I had brought. Using my google translator, I gifted one bottle to the French, and received a lot of kisses and goodwill in return. The Aggressor serves some decent cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay from Chili, but they only carry one brand.

The diving was very much what we expected in Cocos. The most hammerhead sharks I saw on one dive was 12. Many of the divers could not resist chasing the sharks, although everyone had been instructed in advance to hide among the rocks.

By this time, guests were allowed to dive Manuelita again, but night dives were still off the menu and it may be permanent. The boat did a total of 21 dives over 6 ½ days. These dives were done on 10 different dive sites--we did Dirty Rock four times. It was OK with a few hammerheads, a bold Galapagos shark, and the occasional sighting of a large female tiger shark, but I am not sure it was worth 4 trips. Besides the sharks, I found lots of small fish to photograph, including cocos barnacle blennies, bluespotted jawfish, cocos triplefins, angelfish, and butterflyfishes.

Currents were manageable, temperatures ranged from 76 to 84, and visibility was from 50 to 90 feet. Maximum depths were usually around 95 feet, but were as shallow as 55 and deep as 110.

Passengers were offered two shore excursions during the trip. The first was a visit to the Ranger Station and a short walk to the hanging bridge made of confiscated fishing gear. About half the guests went on this tour and enjoyed the fresh water swimming hole. The second excursion was a rugged hike to the top of a hill for a view of the surrounding waters. I opted for another dive instead and was glad for it when I heard how muddy and steep the trail was when the group returned.

At 2:00 am our first night, the fire alarm in our room went off. My husband couldn’t turn it off so I went to the wheelhouse to find a crew member. By the time I returned, my husband had pulled the alarm off the wall and yanked out the battery. The second night, the alarm chirped all night so they changed the battery. It went off again another night and we got a new alarm. Then more chirping and another battery charge. Finally we were due for a good night’s rest.

Then, we had a large storm come through. The seas stayed calm in our sheltered bay as lighting flashed and thunder roared. As the storm died down, I heard some odd squaks. My husband cracked opened our door to find a large booby taking refuge on our deck. On a subsequent night, we had about 8 boobies drop in on the boat. They left a fowl mess on the boat which the crew cleaned with bleach.

The crew worked very well together and were very responsive to the customers. The divemasters were knowledgeable. Once the divemasters got to know the divers, you were either led around, or allowed to follow along at your own pace as long as you surfaced in an hour and stayed with a buddy.

The food was decent although a bit bland and/or overcooked at times. Some of the local Lizano Salsa and hot sauce helped. The cabins were a bit small compared to most boats today. They were configured like the older Aggressor boats with a double on bottom and a twin above. Our room did not have enough headroom to sit up. In addition, our door opened to the sundeck and didn’t have a number on it. Several times, passengers mistakenly came into our room looking for a bathroom. Rooms 3 and 4 are not for the claustrophobic with space for only twin bunks below and above. The quad felt fairly spacious, but storage was at a premium with all the beds in use.

There normally was plenty room on the camera table, except after the first morning and afternoon dives when there would be two large trays of food where people needed to put their cameras. There was a camera rinse tank on each side of the boat. Crew would put the cameras on the camera table, and it was up to the photographers to put them in the rinse tanks.
Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, Turkey, Palau, Truk, Mexico, Red Sea, Cypress, Guam, Indonesia, Revillagigedo, Costa Rica
Closest Airport San Juan, Costa Rico Getting There San Juan Airport, taxi or uber to one of two Aggressor hotels

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 76-84°F / 24-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-90 Ft/ 15-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 110 ft max depth. Surface in 60 minutes with 500 psi. Stay with a buddy.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 1 stars 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 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments It would be 5 stars if it weren't for the trays of food on the camera table.
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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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