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Dive Review of Rocket Frog in
Costa Rica

Rocket Frog: "Good Diving, Disappointint Operation", Aug, 2016,

by Kevin W. Meyer, NY, US ( 2 reports). Report 9014.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Just came back from a 9 day trip to Costa Rica which included 7 days of diving, 2 of which were with Rocket Frog. Initial reaction was good, nice shop, nice boats. The owner of Scuba Dive Costa Rica in Playa Flamingo (see seperate review for SDCR) called RF while we were out diving because their boat was full the following day. Staff seemed friendly enough and off went to dive. Our first dive went well, visibility was good and seas were calm. The diving was easy and very good, lots of life surrounding the rock formations. Surface interval was pleasant with fruit, snacks and water. During the interval the guide gave us a briefing of the site but also mentioned that he had never dove it. This is not that big of a deal since my wife and I are used to natural navigation. The second dive began well, decent viz, little current, but after about 20 minutes the guide signaled that he was going to ascend and look around. I could only assume he was trying to get a bearing on the boat to head to another rock formation. We waited several minutes in the sand before he came back down but he never descended all the way. We began to follow him and he spent the next 15 minutes or so swimming into the blue about 20 feet above the bottom. At this point my wife, myself and the second RF diver had no clue where the guide was going. I could have caught up to the guide but was in no mood to chase him. So after going through several hundred psi swimming in the blue I signaled to my wife and we agreed to ascend. The second RF diver wanted us to stay down but there was no point. On the ascent we drifted and saw the guide heading to a mooring line. He then proceeded to remove something from it. Once we surfaced the guide told us that he had originally gone up to attach his computer to the mooring line because he forgot to set it to nitrox and did not want it to go into deco mode because he needed it the next day. So my wife and I just let it go and joked about the distance swim at the end of the second dive. We returned to shore with out further incident and went back down to Playa Flamingo. The diving at Ocotal was good and a little different than Flamingo so we decided to return to RF 3 days later and give them another go. This turned out to be a mistake. We checked in and headed to the boat with the second diver from the first day. At this time there was no sign of the guide for the first day which suited my wife and I just fine. On the way to the skiff that would take us to the dive boat the young RF diver carried our gear and hastily ate what looked like a piece of cake. He commented that he was eating his lunch. We arrived at the skiff and we were met by the guide for the day and saw that it was in fact the same guide as the first day we dove with RF. My wife and I just shrugged it off and said to each other that he can't possibly get lost again. So into the skiff and off to a small RIB we went. This was not mentioned earlier and not a very big deal but it would have been nice to know ahead of time that there would be no marine head on the boat, the first boat was a larger pontoon boat with marine head. The faster RIB was nice because it cut down on travel time so there was a positive side to the different boat. We got to the first site and got a briefing, suited up and would have to do a backroll of the RIB, something we have done many times. So both of the RF divers roll in and that leaves me to help my wife maneuver around so she can back roll in. The RIB operator made no effort to assist at all. Please don't think that I am looking for things to find fault with I am simply going over the reasons for my less than positive review. We get a briefing about the sight and talk a little about how the site is 5 seperate large rocks but we are only hitting the first 2. So down we went and again the diving was good, lots to see and nice viz. 2/3's of the way and 2 rocks into the dive the young RF diver indicates that he is having an issue with what seems like his ears and he is going to go up. We watch him go up and then see our guide look at his compass and start swimming away from the second rock into the blue. The next 10 minutes were spent swimming in varying directions with nothing to be found. My wife and I looked at each other and signaled that we had had it and indicated to the guide we were going to surface. On the surface we found out from the young diver that he went up because he was feeling dizzy and not having an equalization issue. It was decided that he would not make the second dive. We had a short surface interval which was cordial but muted do to the fact that the guide managed to alter the dive plan, not tell us, and then get lost. 2nd dive when we decscended the first part was to be spent looking in the rubble for seahorse and harlequin shrimp. As we looked I noticed my wife was having an issue with something. She was sitting on a sandy section of the bottom and fiddling with her BC inflator. We spent a few minutes assessing the problem and determined that her inflator would not shut off completely so she was going to abort the dive. The only way the guide knew there was a problem was when I went and got him and told him that my wife was going up. We ascended the mooring line to 15 feet and hung and my wife went to the surface. I waited for her ok signal but what I got was a shake of the head and a shrug of her shoulders so I went up to see what the issue was. Well it turns out that there was NO boat. I went up and looked around and sure enough the boat was gone. We looked around and saw that the boat was about a 1/4 of a mile away at the beach. After yelling and whistling for a minute or 2 the boat heard us and came over, my wife told told me she was fine and insisted that I go back under and finish the dive. I was wanted to rip into the boat operator and young guide but that would not have solved anything at that point, but I did remark that thankfully this had not been a real emergency. There was never any mention at any point in time about the boat leaving the mooring. Even if the boat operator said that he was going to move it I would not have been ok with it. So after some more insisting from my wife I dropped back down and finished the dive. The dive was very nice, I encountered 3 or 4 dolphins underwater chasing a school of jacks which was a real treat to see. After the dive the trip back to the shop was even more quiet that the surface interval. We went in paid our bill and left. I was in no mood to get into anything with the shop owners. Like I said the diving was never an issue. There is plenty to see, lots of fish life, good viz, and easy diving. I am sure if asked the guides and owners would have a different version of this, however certain things are fact, dive guide getting lost, dive guide not being familiar with dive site, guide spending time looking for mooring to hang his computer so it would not go into deco mode, changing the agreed dive plan without talking with us and boat being taken to beach with divers in the water without knowledge or consent. Next time in the area we will be using a different operation as I feel this one was lacking on several levels. Each item by itself is not much of an issue (except moving the boat, major safety violation in my eyes) but all of it together adds up to not using Rocket Frog Divers again.


Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving New York, Florida, Utah, California, Aruba, Bonaire, Belize, Cayman Brac, Fiji
Closest Airport Liberia Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-90°F / 27-32°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-50 Ft/ 8-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Staying with and surfacing with guide
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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