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Dive Review of Undersea Hunter in
Costa Rica/Cocos Island

Undersea Hunter, Aug, 2006,

by Gary R. Nachtigal, TX, USA . Report 2714.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Just about all locations around the world - South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, central Pacific, Eastern Pacific, etc. Lots of liveaboards and shore based.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge, currents
Water Temp 81 to 71 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Stay within Nitrox limits. Surface after one hour. Stay with the group because of strong currents.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 2 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 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Nice protected table area for working on equipment. Each diver is given a nice size cubical area under the table to store equipment and charge batteries. Both 110 and 220 provided. Large rinse tank. The crew is very experienced in camera / video equipment handling. The pangas have a nice covered camera storage area. There were two film crews on my trip shooting Hidef with large housings. No problem. They know how to take care of cameras.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I was on the Undersea Hunter in 91 and the Sea Hunter in 95. Both are excellent boats and have great diving operations. The sharks, rays, dolphans, big animals, and big schools of fish are all waiting for you. If you haven't been to Cocos, ya'll go. If you haven't been for awhile, ya'll go.

This is advanced diving in currents and surge. You will want to dive Nitrox for the extra bottom time and safety. If you get cold, bring a 3 - 5 mm wetsuit. Most of the dives were in 78F, with thermoclines down to 73 and one at 71. A light hood won't be a bad idea to keep you warmer. Due to current and surge, you will need to hold on to the rocks. Make sure to bring a pair of gloves, I used the Deep Sea Barnacle gloves and had no problems.

The crossings can be rough, especially the one out to Cocos. Make sure to take the proper precautions - patch, Bonine, shock watch - I take them all and sometimes use them all at once. Our crossing to Cocos was relatively smooth and everyone was happy. Our crossing back was almost flat. Cocos offers many protected bays for the boat to moor in, so you will sleep good at night and be comfortable during the day. We had great weather in the middle of rainy season, so we were blessed.

The dive guides give excellent briefings. The pangas go to different locations, so you are diving in small groups. The drivers are great with quick pickups when you surface. They give you extra safety equipment to use prior to the first dive, including a EPIRB Personal Radio Diver Locator. The Hunter boats run a top notch diving operation.

The diving is done from pangas that have tank racks in the center. You never have to deal with your tank, except put it on and do a back roll. There is a ladder to climb back in the boat. The only suggestion I would make is to get ladders with flat steps. I dive with full foot fins and the round steps did not fit my unprotected feet so well, but for the divers with booties, it is no problem.

The food was excellent. I was very impressed with the barbeque we had one night, and being from Texas, that is saying something. The rooms have a lot of storage, wall closets and under bed drawers. The crew was always friendly, they kept everything clean and they even did our laundry.

You can go on shore to visit the ranger stations and see the rock carvings. Well worth the time between dives. You might see a wild pig as I did.

In San Jose, I stayed at the almost new Courtyard by the Marriott. I would highly recommend it. Nice size, clean and quiet rooms. Just across the parking lot, within a few hundred feet are several international restaurants - Costa Rica, Cuban, Peru, Brazil, Outback Steakhouse and my favorite Hooters. For a few dollars you can take a taxi to the downtown area and spend hours walking among the shops or visiting the museum and parks. Of course you can take tours to see the many wonders of Costa Rica. This is a wonderful place, so don't hesitate.
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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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