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Dive Review of Undersea Hunter/Dive Vessel Argo in
Costa Rica/Costa Rican Dome

Undersea Hunter/Dive Vessel Argo: "Know Before You Go.", Jan, 2014,

by Michael Marmesh , FL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 7914.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 1 stars
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments It sounded so cool on the Undersea Hunter website. Join the Big Animal Expeditions trip to the " Blue Whale Cafe" at the Costa Rican Dome. Snorkel with and photograph the largest animals that have ever existed on the planet. Well sign me up even though it's the first trip of its kind to the area.
What went right. There were Blue Whales at the Dome, an area roughly 200 to 350 miles west of the mainland. Richard Sears, the Blues researcher, was a patient and generous font of knowledge throughout the whole trip.
What I should have thought about and known beforehand. The Costa Rican Dome is not a seamount but an underwater upwelling of nutrients where the Blues come to feed during the winter. Visibility was not like the pictures on the website but more like thin pea soup. Would never be able to see a whole 80 foot whale in one visual field. A client of mine who lives in Costa Rica asked why i went in January because it's such a windy time of year. Big wind equals big seas, at least ten feet some days. They can't for safety sake launch the chase boats in those conditions. Finally, Blue Whales surface only briefly maybe 5 to10 times in a row then dive for as long as 20 to 30minutes. Predicting where they would come up and getting there in a chase boat was no easy task. Long story short,I was in the one lucky group that got to be in the water and actually see a whale for maybe 10 seconds. And it was A Brydes, the second largest, not a Blue.
To their credit , the Undersea Hunter people, after checking the weather forecast and realizing they wouldn't be able to launch the chase boats for days, took us down to cocos Island to dive the last 2 days of the trip. Although hearing one of the divers announce that his last of 6 dives there was his 25th career dive was a bit disconcerting.
This trip cost about $10,000 or $1000 per second of whale viewing time. Caveat Emptor.
Websites Undersea Hunter   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Multiple Caribbean locales. Costa Rica, Cocos Island, Galapagos, Palau.
Closest Airport San Jose Costa Rica Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 72-82°F / 22-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 10-50 Ft/ 3-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales 1 or
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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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