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Dive Review of Okeanos Aggressor II in
Costa Rica/Cocos

Okeanos Aggressor II: "High expectations, good, not great", Apr, 2017,

by Craig A Wood, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 26 Helpful votes). Report 9759 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Reservations: I made my boat reservations through the Aggressor website. It worked perfectly and communication was excellent. My requests for a specific room and nitrox went smoothly. I got a very significant discount on the trip due to an Aggressor anniversary that helped me decide to take this trip. I made my hotel, airport transfer, and extra excursion reservations through Aggressor Adventure Travel. These plans all worked out perfectly. I made my airline reservations myself.

Travel: I flew American Airlines to and from San Jose with one stop in each direction, Charlotte and Miami. My flight to San Jose was perfect. My flight home from San Jose was a nightmare. The flight to Miami was delayed very considerably, luckily I was comfortable staying in the hotel for 5-6 additional hours. The flight to Philadelphia was also delayed. I ended up getting home about 10 hours late and my luggage containing my scuba gear was delayed and ended up being delivered late the next day. Oh well, it happens, better on the way home than on the way down.

In San Jose, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Forum. The hotel was quite comfortable, quiet, good air conditioning, a fitness center and pool, a good breakfast buffet, and nice employees. The location was good, a choice of good restaurants for dinner right down the street. I had 3 days in San Jose before boarding and took 3 excursions. On the first day, visited Arenal Volcano and Tabacon Hot Springs. It was a very, very long drive, the volcano was partly covered by clouds, but quite impressive. The hot springs were a bit too commercial but relaxing and beautiful grounds. The best trip was on the 2nd day to Doka coffee plantation, Poas Volcano, and La Paz Waterfalls. The Poas main cauldron was eerily beautiful, stark and moonlike. A secondary cauldron was lush, green, and gorgeous. The walk down through the rainforest at La Paz with multiple waterfalls was exquisite. The 3rd excursion was just a half day in San Jose, a few nuggets, but pretty ordinary. I’m very glad I spent the extra time in San Jose, unlikely I’ll ever get back.

Boat and Crew: The Okeanos II is not a new boat but it is in good shape and well cared for. Our passage in both directions was smooth sailing, but, I hear it can be quite rough. My seasickness meds went unused. I shared one of the regular cabins with a nice young man from the Netherlands, who was my buddy. I had the lower, double bed, quite comfortable. The room had good size, adequate storage, good air conditioning, and a good bathroom with reasonable shower/hot water. The salon/dining room was comfortable. Meals were served buffet style from the bar. The food was generally quite good, varying from average to excellent.

The crew was great. Mauricio was the captain and one of the DMs, along with Anibal. The steward, William was absolutely wonderful. The chef, Jairol, and his assistant, Esteban, worked wonders. The RIB drivers, Jorge and Carlos were skilled.

The Dive platform was very efficient and easy to use. Each diver had their own tank station with under seat storage. All dives were done from 2 stable RIBs. The tanks and BCs stayed on the RIBs. Fills were all very close to 32% and to an average of 3220 PSI (3100-3350).

Diving: I went to Cocos with very high expectations of seeing large schools of Hammerheads, unfortunately, that was not to be. I did 24 dives in 6 ½ days, including 3 night dives. Many of the dives were to moderately deep max depths, with a dozen deeper than 100 feet and another 6 in the 90s feet. The average depth of these deeper dives was just under 70 feet. The water temperature was highly variable with some pretty distinct thermoclines on some dives. The average water temp was 81 degrees but varied from 76-85. I was never really too warm in my 5 mm full suit but I was often the only warm diver on the cooler dives. The visibility was between about 40 and 70 feet, often somewhere in the middle. Current was generally only moderate, but was brisk on a few dives. On one dive at Alcyone (one of two with a decent line, including Punta Maria), several divers were swept away from the line and had to be retrieved and redropped.

For me, the best dive sites were Manuelita Deep, Alcyone, Dirty Rock, and Punta Maria. We only got to Dos Amigos once due to excessive current. Whitetip Sharks and Marbled Rays were everywhere, often in large schools/groups. We fairly frequently saw solitary Hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks. Several Eagle Rays were seen on a few occasions. We got a brief glance of a Tiger Shark on one dive. We saw no Manta Rays on our visit. We frequently saw schools of larger fish such as Trevally, Tuna, and Jacks. Many of the tropical fish were unusual to me, mainly a Florida/Caribbean diver, such as Leather Bass, Spotfin Burrfish, Spotted Boxfish, Chinese Trumpetfish, Guineafowl Puffer, Bicolor Parrots, Yellowfin and Razor Surgeonfish… The 3 night dives were all very similar, large schools of Whitetip Sharks feeding in the dive and video lights. Though exciting at first, by the last night dive, I went off exploring the reef by myself, mostly with my light off.

I’m very glad I had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica and to dive off Cocos. Not every trip can live up to exceptionally high expectations.
Websites Okeanos Aggressor II   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Bonaire, Curacao, Turks and Caicos, Cozumel, Costa Rica, Panama, Cocos, Roatan, Maui, Oahu, San Diego, Cape Ann, Key Largo, Boynton Beach, Jupiter...
Closest Airport San Jose, Costa Rica Getting There I flew to and from Philadelphia on American Airlines. One stop each way, Charlotte, Miami

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 76-85°F / 24-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-70 Ft/ 12-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions No solo diving, buddy only (loosely enforced). Max depth 115 feet, I went slightly deeper a few times without comment. One diver warned repetitively regarding depth. No bluewater diving.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 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 2 rinse tanks, one on each side, clean water. Large camera table with compressed air. Crew handled cameras carefully, you handed down to the RIB, they handed back up.
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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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