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Dive Review of Undersea Hunter in
Costa Rica/Cocos Island

Undersea Hunter, Feb, 2008,

by Ed Noga, Ohio, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3901.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over, from Lake Erie to Micronesia, from the Caribbean to the Galapagos.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 68 to 75 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Everyone was on nitrox, so we had depth limits. Most of the dives were 100 feet or less. They wanted you back in the boat with 400 lbs. We dived in groups of six, always led by the divemaster. We all were provided with transponders, whistles and safety sausages.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments UH caters to photographers, with lots of room for all you equipment and plenty of electrical connections. You dive off pangas, and the captains and crew handle cameras very carefully. Fact is, the divers' interest with getting pictures of hammerheads and feeding reef sharks became an obsession for many. We'd do a dive at a spectacular site, and some people would whine that the viz wasn't good enough for their pictures, making it a lousy dive. I put my camera away halfway through the trip and just enjoyed the diving.

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 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Isla del Cocos via the Undersea Hunter is as good as advertised, 11 days at sea to a fabulous site. We totally lucked out weatherwise, since often the Pacific beats you up on the way to the island. We had flat water all the way there and back again, and only a touch of rain while we were diving. The hammerheads are the main attraction. It's different than in the Galapagos, where schools of dozens of hammerheads cruise just beyond your camera range. At Cocos they come to cleaning stations. The divers hide behind rocks--usually at depths of 100-60 feet--holding their breath to avoid bubbles, and photograph the big boys as they cruise by. Sometimes the sharks come in groups of 5-7, but more often it was 2-3 sharks, big and beautiful. Another special attraction was the night shark dives. Everyone sticks together about six feet off the bottom (OK, more like 2 feet, but we were told to be six feet), shining our lights down on the rocks. The black-tipped reef sharks use the lights to hunt fish, and if they find one--oh my! It's not completely natural, since the sharks are following the lights, but it isn't a stupid shark feed. We did about four dives a day, a couple at 100 feet. There's lots of other sea life, too, about everything you'd want. The crew was outstanding, and the divemasters--Juan Miguel and Edwar--excellent. The boat is quite comfortable, and the cabins really spacious. We also got to visit the island, inhabited only by rangers and volunteers who are trying to stop long-line fishermen from raiding the waters of the marine park. We took a rugged hike to a waterfall where we cooled off in the water. As we sailed home the boat stopped halfway back, and most everyone jumped overboard to swim in the gorgeous, 10,000-feet deep water. This isn't a cheap trip, by any means, but they don't get much better.
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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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