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Take one look at the images and video from this trip and you will see just how spectacular Cocos Island was this week! Before we get to the orca encounter lets give you an update on the usual suspects: Hammerheads were schooling in large numbers at Alcyone, Manuelita and Manta Corner. Galapagos were seen at Manuelita Outside, Manuelita Channel, Dirty Rock and Manta Corner. Tiger sharks were in the Channel, Manuelito Out, and Dirty Rock. The elusive blacktip shark was seen at Alcyone and Manuelita outside. Alcyone was one of the star dive sites this trip and what more could we ask for then giant schools of hammerheads, orcas, tunas hunting, eagle rays mating, and even a manta ray!

The Orcas:

A pod of 10 orcas (8 adults and 2 calves) visited Cocos Island this week, while this is not common sighting, we have seen them on occasion (third time in 3 years). This was however the first time that we had ever encountered the orcas hunting/teaching their young.

Upon visiting the dive sites, especially at Alcyone and Manuelita, we saw these incredibly large animals displaying what appeared to be teaching sessions for the 2 young calves. We believe this is the primary reason these orcas came to Cocos Island. They were there to teach their young how to hunt. When Dive Master Edwar Herreño shot these incredible photos he said that the orcas were using both a silky shark and what appeared to be a newly born silky shark (possibly the fetus) to toss around to their calves (like a toy).

The video of the orcas hunting down the tiger shark happened on our very last day at the island. We noticed the tiger shark at the surface after we completed a dive to Manuelita. The tiger shark was incredibly agitated, as one would be if being hunting by two orcas. The orcas patiently tormented the tiger and seemed to enjoy tossing him around and tiring him out. Once they had finished playing with the tiger, they ate only his pectoral fins. The last thing we saw before heading back to Sea Hunter was the two orcas flipping and tossing the carcass of the tiger.

This was an incredible moment and we think it could even be the first time such an attack (involving a tiger) was captured on video. Big thank you to all who were there that day and especially Edwar Herreño for putting together the video for all to see!
© copyright by Edwar Herreno
© copyright by Edwar Herreno
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

© copyright by Edwar Herreno
© copyright by Edwar Herreno

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   60 ft / 18 m
Water Temp.   76°F / 24°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Avi Klapfer

Only hours into the crossing to Cocos and we already had our first big animal encounter...Humpback Whales! We watched as these amazing whales breached just feet from the bow.

Once we reached the island our first dives at Manuelita were quite exciting because we had already seen tiger sharks! At Punta Maria there were some Galapagos patrolling the reef but very few were getting into the cleaning station.

At Dirty Rock, hammerheads (HH) were seen in the blue as well as on their approach to get cleaned by the barber fish. We also saw several Galapagos Shark, yellowfin tuna and D.R's famous massive school of jacks.

The south side of the island was a bit calmer, as there was not a whole lot of activity during this trip. Although we did happen to see a BAITBALL on the way from one of the dives in the south. Dolphins, silky sharks and tunas were surrounding a school of mackerels.

Here's what you're all waiting for..the hot spot of this trip was 100% Alcyone! At this site we had many epic dives *the dives of liftetime for most of us*. Dolphins were hunting among schools of jacks, whale sharks were passing in front of us in pairs, HH were around the blue, eagle rays were mating, and all of it happening in the middle of massive schools of mullet snappers and big eye trevallies.

In conclusion, we might not have as big numbers of HH as other years because of the el Nino effect, but this island is a unique world class destination for so many other reasons!!! At night the white tip reef sharks were hunting as usual, even a Galapagos showed up on a couple of occasions, which made the dives even more exciting!

An interesting detail to mention from this week has been our silvertip shark sightings. Once a resident at Cocos Island, these shy sharks appear to be making a comeback. We spotted them on our safety stops in the blue after dives to Dirty Rock and Punta Maria.

Cocos is really amazing right now and all the guest left with big smiles (as well as the crew)!!! We can't wait to return - Jim and Brayan
© copyright by Avi Klapfer
© copyright by Avi Klapfer
© copyright by Avi Klapfer
© copyright by Avi Klapfer
© copyright by Avi Klapfer

© copyright by Avi Klapfer

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   50 ft / 15 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by UHG
© copyright by shira katsir
© copyright by shira katsir
© copyright by shira katsir
What an amazing week of diving! This trip we were very lucky to have on board several members of the UHG Family aka repeat clients! The trip seemed to be sort of a reunion for both guests and crew as everyone seemed to know each other in some random way or another.

Just hours after departing Puntarenas we spotted a small group of humpback whales and we stopped so we could watch these magnificent giants breach the surface. Moments after we had continued on with our journey a pod of dolphins could be seen riding the bow wave.

Once we reached Cocos Island we were in for a very rainy week! As you know, August is part of the rainy season and it rained nearly every day. We did have sunny mornings and a few clear nights but the majority of the time it rained.

As for the diving, it was fantastic! Once again whale sharks were seen nearly every day. Dirty Rock, Alcyone, and Manuelita Outside all had whale sharks! The Blue Team was in for a amazing treat when a young whale shark circled 4 times to stay with the group - simply incredible.

The biggest schools of hammerheads could be seen at Dirty Rock and Alcyone. On several dives to Dirty Rock the cleaning station was packed with hammers. We just sunk behind a rock and gazed in awe. Tiger sharks were seen on the first day at Chatham Bay and also a few times in Manuelita Channel and Out.

The hunting whitetip night dives were absolutely fantastic this trip (both in Chatham and the Coral Garden). A few lucky divers had the dive of a lifetime when a Galapagos shark and a tiger shark showed up on the night dive to Manuelita Coral Garden.

We had one sunny day to visit the island and guests got to step foot on the island itself. We crossed the bridge made out of confiscated fishing gear, saw the ranger station, and even watched as deer and pigs grazed.

We were very sad to leave Cocos this trip. We had such an amazing time with our old friends and we wished we could stay a bit longer. We hope to see you all again very soon~



Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   45 ft / 14 m
Water Temp.   79°F / 26°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
It was an amazing trip full of big animals, starting with the star of the show, the whale shark. We saw a whale shark almost every day! Even though the last two days of diving had reduced visibility, our close encounters with marine life and big pelagic travelers made up for it in the end. These big and beautiful animals were in almost every dive, including Manuelita, Dirty Rock and Alcyone.

Tiger sharks also made several appearances at Manuelita. Dolphins were hunting in Dirty Rock and the yellow fin tunas were hunting in Manuelita Outside, Alcyone and Dirty Rock. We had good Galapagos shark action at Punta Maria and our night dives left everyone in absolute awe because the whitetips, black jacks and galapagos were all hunting. A Galapagos tried to take a bite out of one of the whitetips, but luckily, the whitetip managed to escape with only a slightly grazed tail.

As usual, Cocos delivered her magic on the last day. Our final dive to Alycone yielded 3 different whale sharks and lot of action!! Mullet snapper spawning, big yellow fin tunas hunting with almaco and black jacks and a very long safety stop with a female whale shark feeding at surface. We spent 40 minutes with this incredible giant and returned to the skiff with huge smiles.

We left Cocos with a boat full of very happy divers who were sharing videos, photos and experiences... pura vida!!!

© copyright by Edwar Herreño
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

© copyright by Edwar Herreño
© copyright by Edwar Herreño

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   45 ft / 14 m
Water Temp.   81°F / 27°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
Humpback Whales!!!
Before we catch you up on all the shark activity form this week in Cocos Island, we wanted to make sure to tell you about our amazing Humpback Whale encounter. While surfacing from a dive to Alcyone we saw the most incredible site. A pod of humpback whales including a male, female and calf near the surface. Check out the amazing video by our Dive Master Juan Manuel...

The best places to dive this trip was Alcyone, Dirty Rock and Manuelita simply because the action was outstanding and we got to see a great variety of sharks! We saw hammerheads, tigers, Galapagos sharks and WHALE SHARKS several times! Dolphins were seen at Alcyone and Dirty Rock and we even spotted a seahorse while diving Pajara! From the biggest fish in the sea to one of the tiniest, Cocos Island never ceases to amaze us!!!

Till next week - Juan Manuel, Mao and Hector
© copyright by Judy Dirckx

© copyright by Judy Dirckx
© copyright by Judy Dirckx
© copyright by Judy Dirckx

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   60 ft / 18 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
The underwater action this week was solid. We encountered hammerheads in the cleaning stations, mainly at Manuelita Outside but also at Alcyone and Dirty Rock.

Whalesharks once again stole the show. We spotted them at Alcyone and Manuelita Outside! We also had fantastic opportunities when diving Manuelita to observe Galapagos and tiger sharks. Tiger sharks were spotted around Viking Rock and Manuelita.

The giant schools of jack swarming all around Dirty Rock were incredible. We also saw Pacific manta ray in our check out dive in Chatham Bay. Dolphins seemed to be loving almost all of the dive sites (Punta Maria/Dirty Rock/Alcyone) while yellow fin tuna and blacktip sharks were hunting at Dirty Rock, Alcyone, and Manuelita.

We are really excited that the whale shark season has begun! They were favoring Manuelita and Alcyone (two on the same dive) and Viking Rock (chances of seeing big animals on our afternoon dives have increased).

Night dives to Manuelita Coral Garden and Chatham Bay were also terrific. We saw a lot of whitetips and black jacks hunting. One interesting detail from this trip was we noticed an increase in the amount of marbled rays (big females and many males) this is red flag that tells us that mating season has begun!!!

The best day of the trip was also our last day of diving. Manuelita was on fire!!! We had great visibility and lot lot lot of hammerheads moving very close to divers in the cleaning stations. It was a terrific way to wrap up our dives in Cocos.

-Yoyo and Brayan
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   50 ft / 15 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy

Whale Sharks were dominating the action at Cocos this week. We spotted these giant fish on dives to Manuelita, Dos Amigos Grande and Dirty Rock.

The best dive sites were Alycone, Manuelita Outside and Dirty Rock. We had some interesting encounters at Dirty Rock where we saw dolphins hunting. Then we had a very curious turtle that seemed to be playing with us throughout the dive, as though we were cleaner fish and she was begging for some attention.

At Manuelita we spotted a Manta Ray and a tiger swooping by the second cleaning station.

Big thanks to Edwar Herreño for these amazing photos!!!
© copyright by Edwar Herreno
© copyright by Edwar Herreno

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   50 ft / 15 m
Water Temp.   83°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Edwar Herreno

During our first dives at Manuelita we had the first encounters of Tiger Sharks, Galapagos sharks and few shy blacktip sharks (which are becoming a common sight at the island), hammerhead were not getting into the cleaning stations but on the other hand the reef was loaded with fish! Schools of blue and gold snappers and blue fin trevallies were all busy patrolling the reef.

The second day at Punta Maria we saw few Galapagos sharks at the cleaning station while at Dirty Rock the elusive hammerheads were showing up but not in big numbers. The third day we went to Alcyone and also there we saw some HH but not what everyone was expecting. The fourth day, everything started to change, at Small Dos Amigos we had the first sight of a whale shark and at Big Dos Amigos mobulas were seen in front of the entry of the big arch. From that day on, we started seeing much more marine life in most of the dive sites that we visited, like Dirty Rock or Alcyone.

A good example of it were the dives that we did at the legendary Alcyone, there we dove along whale sharks on different occasions, dolphins were hunting right in front of our noses, and a the end all the divers could see the picture that we all have in mind when we think about Cocos Island: a wave of HH passing above our heads, definitely dives to remember the rest of our lives!!

Night dives were very active, white tip reef sharks were congregating in big numbers looking for potential prays. The average water temp above the thermoclines was around 83F below the thermocline the water was a bit colder 80F.

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   50 ft / 15 m
Water Temp.   80°F / 27°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
Hammerheads were back in action this week in Cocos! Cleaning stations were filled and divers were ecstatic! The most popular spots were Dirty Rock and Dos Amigos Paqeno. Whale sharks were also loving Cocos this week and we had many chances to dive with these giants (Shark Fin and Dos Amigos Pequeño). We also encountered dolphins hunting in Dirty Rock.

Check out the awesome video from our good friends Andreas and Gabriele Baldauf who celebrated their 21st trip to Cocos Island!

See you next week!
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   50 ft / 15 m
Water Temp.   80°F / 27°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Natalia Martin de Pablos

This week we were joined by a group from the USA, Venezuela, Switzerland, Israel and Spain. The conditions at the island were lovely, the ocean was very calm and the sun was shining most of the time, except the last day, when it rained a lot!

At Manuelita the protagonist was the tiger shark, these sharks were seen at most of the dives around this islet. Hammerheads, Galapagos and yellowfin tunas were frequently seen there as well.

Punta Maria and Dirty Rock started out quiet but as the trip went along it seemed the acton got better and better, especially at Dirty Rock.

Dirty Rock was by far the hottest spot this trip, we saw eagle rays, yellowfin and black tuna, gigantic schools of jacks and massive schools of hamerheads, especially on the last day.

Small Dos Amigos was also also quite good, just by sitting at the cleaning station we had encounters of up to 5 different species of sharks (white tips, black tip, Galapagos, HH and a whale shark!

Alcyone was once again slow this week, as it has been for the last trips, but even there we saw super big schools of mullet snappers and big eye jacks. The star of the trip though, especially for the lucky yellow team has been the whale shark, they saw it on four occasions: Dirty Rock, Submerged Rock and Small Dos Amigos.

At night the whitetips were hunting in packs at Manuelita Coral Garden and Ulloa. The average water temperature above the thermoclines was 82F and below 79F. The viz above the thermoclines was very good (70-80ft), and below poor (40ft). Is a good sign though that we are experiencing cold water currents!! The crossing back to Puntarenas was very calm and the super happy divers spent most of the time having a sun bath on the sundeck or editing their unforgettable pictures :) - Jim

**Big thanks to Natalia Martin de Pablos for these amazing images**
© copyright by Natalia Martin de Pablos
© copyright by Natalia Martin de Pablos
© copyright by Natalia Martin de Pablos
© copyright by Natalia Martin de Pablos

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   60 ft / 18 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by UHG

SPECIAL PRETOMA TRIP!
The best diving sites this week were Dirty Rock, Punta Maria and Alcyone. Hammerhead action was consistently good all over the island and we even saw a gigantic 12m/39ft whale shark at Dos Amigos and Dirty Rock.

Tiger sharks were gravitating towards cleaning station #2 at Manuelita and over at Pajara we saw a 5m/16ft tiger!!! Juvenile black tip sharks were seen at Alcyone and Dirty Rock. Even with higher then usual water temps, we were still seeing great action. And as for the night dives, well they continue to be superb!

As this was a special PRETOMA tagging expedition, we were marking sharks and taking samples. We also helped the group capture several turtles so they could tag and track them. It was a very successful trip with a wonderful group! - JM and Yoyo

Shark/turtle tags:

Manuelita Channel : 2 blacktips, 1 Galapagos
Alcyone: 2 Hammerheads
Dos Amigos: 1 Hammerhead
Punta Maria: 1 Galapagos
Dirty Rock: 1 turtle
© copyright by UHG
© copyright by UHG
© copyright by UHG

© copyright by UHG
© copyright by UHG
© copyright by UHG

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   65 ft / 20 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by UHG

This week we were joined by a group of divers from the States, Germany and Russia. The dives around Manuelita Island have been particularly good because we consistently saw tiger, Galapagos, hammerhead sharks and even the elusive blacktip reef shark! So, if your asking yourself which dive site was the fan-favorite, we'd have to go with Manuelita!

Dirty Rock was a close-runner, as we were seeing plenty of hammerheads entering the cleaning stations as well as out in the blue. Galapagos sharks, eagle rays and gigantic schools of bigeye trevally were also consistently seen at DR.

At Punta Maria there were Galapagos paroling the reef, and we occasionally saw dolphins, accompanied by schools of yellowfin tuna. We also saw 3 silvertips in the blue.

Alcyone was a little bit quiet for hammerhead activity but we had one of the most amazing dive of the entire trip here!!! A 9m/30ft whale shark circled the group for half the dive. What a breathtaking encounter!

Highlights at the other dive sites included seeing a Pacific Manta at Silverado and having 2 tigers circling us at Pajara!!!!!

We took our chances on the south side of the island and were met with an extremely strong current. We decided not to head back there, and instead, we ventured to the best dive sites of the week (Man/PM/DR).

Night dives continue to be extremely exciting! There was a lot of whitetip reef shark activity to the delight of all the divers. The water temperature was around 80F-84F from the surface down to 80ft-100ft, we hit a few thermoclines in which the temperature dropped down to 76F.

Overall, we saw a terrific variety of marine life, and we'd like to think it was in part due to our lucky non-diver talisman Susan!

This group brought positive energy and lots of laughs to the week!!! It certainly helped create a fun atmosphere around cheering for the Costa Rican soccer team as they battled in the quarter finals at the World Cup!!! Even they were singing with us the "ole ole ole ole tires tires!" at the end of the game!!! -Pura Vida! - Jim and Brayan
© copyright by UHG
© copyright by UHG
© copyright by UHG
© copyright by UHG

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   60 ft / 18 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Edwar Herreno

Whitetip reef sharks and divers at Manuelita Coral Garden - Night Dive

Diving in Cocos this week was excellent. The hottest dive site of the trip was Dirty Rock, as the cleaning station was loaded with hammerheads! Manuelita Island gave us solid action all week long and cleaning station #2 was the best for hammerheads. A few Galapagos could also be found on our dives to Manulelita, but they tended to stay closer to the outside. The best place to see Galapagos, as always, was over at Punta Maria.

A pregnant tiger shark was spotted in the Channel, and she passed by a few times to check us out. While we are accustomed to seeing tigers around Manuelita, this week we spotted one at Shark Fin Rock.

Just when we thought Manuelita couldn't get any better, we got the surprise of a lifetime when a bait ball formed (on the outside) and a frenzy of dolphin, silky, and tuna jumped into the mix.

It was a terrific trip both above and below the water. The weather, abundance of life, and our fantastic guests (new members of the family) made this an exceptional trip to Cocos Island. Big thanks to Edwar Herreño for these stunning photos that truly capture the moment!
© copyright by Edwar Herreno
© copyright by Edwar Herreño

© copyright by E. Herreño
© copyright by E. Herreño

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   60 ft / 18 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

We were joined this week by divers from France, Japan, New Zealand, United states, and Germany. As soon as we made our first dives in Cocos we knew that something had shifted since last trip. Suddenly the action increased triple-fold and it stayed this way for the remainder of our trip. Aside from the incredible diversity and explosion of action, we also noticed a chance in temperature. A thermocline with water temperatures dropping down to 76f cooled off the dive sites bringing with it a plethora of sharks and other marine life. a

Manuelita was particularly active this trip. Big schools of hammerheads were patrolling the reef and even though the cleaning stations themselves were slow, the sandy bottom of Manuelita and the blue waters were teeming with hammerheads. Aside from all the hammers, we also saw a whale shark, eagle rays, large schools of jacks, mullet snappers, rainbow runners and the occasional safety-stop dolphin. If tiger sharks are your thing, you'll be happy to know that we were seeing them on just about every dive to Manuelita, Ulloa and Pajara.

Hammerheads were also favoring the blue surrounding Dirty Rock. Over at Galapagos Central aka Punta Maria, our very friendly Galapagos sharks were circling around the cleaning stations. Though they made it look like a breeze, the strong currents at this site made this dive a bit on the challenging side.

This brings us to the fan favorite, ALCYONE. We are happy to report that Alcyone was loaded with hammerheads (particularly in the blue). Night dives also ranked as one of the best dives during the week, there is just no way to prepare yourself for seeing a tiger shark and a Galapagos shark cruise in out of the pitch black waters to within arms reach of you. T

The crossing back to Puntarenas was very calm and sunny. Our group of divers were extremely happy with the trip and we are extremely happy that Cocos Island is exploding with life!

© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   56 ft / 17 m
Water Temp.   80°F / 27°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

This PRETOMA expedition started with a bit of a choppy crossing to Cocos Island. The initial dives at Manuelita were really good! The Blue Team had an encounter with a tiger shark, while the yellow team had encounters with hammerhead and Galapagos sharks.

Punta Maria has been at her best in the early morning. The Galapagos sharks were congregating at the cleaning stations and we had very good dives here al week long. At Dirty Rock we could see the hamerheads but they were in deep waters. Over at the pinnacle, on the very same dive, were gigantic schools of jacks.

At Alcyone we also saw groups of jacks and some hammerheads in the blue as we were ascending to do the safety stop. On the south side of Cocos we had a terrific surprise! As soon as we descended at Small Dos Amigos a few Galapagos and hammerheads were hanging around. The strong current and surge didn't allow us to stay with them for a long time, but it made for a very exciting start to the dive.

After we explored the divesite all around the island, we spent the last three days heading back to our favorites: Dirty Rock, Punta Maria and Manuelita. Because this was a PRETOMA research expedition, the divers/researchers were busy collecting samples of shark skin tissue in order to collect data to find out about their behavior.

Other activities that we did besides diving was changing receivers to keep track of sharks and turtles, and we also marked turtles with satellite tracking devices.

Even though the group was working very hard, they still managed to have fun and maintain a high energy atmosphere!!! All the divers were keen on collaborating and attending all the more than interesting presentations made by Randall, Todd, Maike.

Everyone had a fantastic trip, even when we arrived to the harbor the divers refused to leave Argo! ;P - Always a terrific sign! -Cruise Director Jim
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   60 ft / 18 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

Hammerheads were loving Alcyone and Dirty Rock this week and because of that so were all the divers! Just check out the video to see what all the excitement was about. Tiger sharks were also out and about this week and the best sites to see them proved to be Dos Amigos Grande, Manuelita and Silverado. Each encounter with these giant sharks is special but we were in for a special treat on one dive, as we observed a tiger going after a turtle (who hid for his life in a nearby cave).

Night dives were particularly good this week. On one night dive to Manuelita Coral Garden we were rewarded by yet another tiger shark encounter... spooky but thrilling.

Safety stops are often the best part of a Cocos Island dive and this week showed us exactly why... BAITBALLS! The first was at Dirty Rock and the other was at Alcyone.

Great action underwater and a terrific group of divers aboard Sea Hunter made this an unforgettable trip!
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   40 ft / 12 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
This week we were joined by a jolly group of divers from Australia, Germany and the USA. Once we reached Cocos Island the sun was shining and the water was incredibly clear. Once we completed a pleasant check-out dive we went to Manuelita, where we had a fantastic surprise waiting for us, an 18ft whale shark that swam right in front of both groups.

The hottest spot of this trip was hands down Dirty Rock. Even though there were strong currents, we were rewarded with huge amounts of fish! Big schools of hammerheads in the blue, massive schools of jacks, Galapagos sharks, eagle rays mating and even a whale shark passed by the pinnacle in one of the dives.

Punta Maria was pretty exciting as well. We had a lot of Galapagos shark activity especially early on in the trip. At Manuelita the tiger sharks were passing by very close to divers, so the photographers among the group were very excited to have such close up shots!!

At Alcyone we also saw huge schools of jacks that were just astounding. The night dives with the white tips were extremely active, and on one of the night dives a Galapagos shark emerged from the darkness to surprise all the divers.

The diving has been really good, but what has made this trip so special was the great sense of humor and camaraderie among the whole group. There was no place for sad faces, even when all the clothes of one of the guests (Jeff) turned green after he put in a brand new green t-shirt while attempting to do his laundry :P

The sun was shining most of the time, we even did a photo tour and a walk around the island. And the water temp was an average of 80F with some thermoclines at 100 ft. at which the temp dropped few degrees. - Cruise Director Jim

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   70 ft / 21 m
Water Temp.   80°F / 27°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

What a fantastic trip! We had memories that will last a lifetime (just check out the guestbook comments and the photos and you'll see what we mean). Even with the cloudy skies and slightly rough sea conditions we still managed to have some memorable encounters with Galapagos sharks, tiger sharks, turtles, and even mating marble rays (Pajara)

Best sites for hammerheads were Manuelita, Punta Maria and Dirty Rock. Alcyone was on the quiet side for hammers, but we did see 2 Galapagos sharks there which made for an interesting dive!

Till Next Week - CD Juan Manuel
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   50 ft / 15 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   50 ft / 15 m
Water Temp.   81°F / 27°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Costa Rica Por Siempre

Specail Trip: Costa Rica Por Siempre
This week we hosted a group from Costa Rica Por Siempre (CRPS), which is a non-profit that manages the public-private conservation initiative developed by the Costa Rican Government.

This short trip was a follow up to a visit they made 2 years ago aboard MV Undersea Hunter. This is all part of the organizations management of how the $ 3.5 million contributed by both the government and private foundations are being implemented.

Along with the CRPS members we also had several international and domestic journalists aboard who were documenting the progress of these initiatives. CRPS invited the media in order to document the challenges of preserving this Island as well as the enormous efforts of the rangers to protect Cocos Island and actions that are being carried out to support their work, including the placement of a radar.

While on the island CRPS conducted several meetings with the rangers, staff, national and international journalists regarding the process and implementation of the National Strategy for Maritime Surveillance and Control.

Please visit their website to learn more www.costaricaporsiempre.org.
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   60 ft / 18 m
Water Temp.   84°F / 29°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
With Argo back from Mexico we couldn't wait to head to Cocos Island and get back to hammerheads, tiger sharks and boobies! Joining us on our adventure were 18 divers from all over the globe (Brazil, Italy, Israel, Germany and the USA). Initial diving conditions were a little funky (warm water temperature, poor visibility and not a lot of underwater activity). Thankfully the funk did not last long and by day 4 the conditions shifted and the seas became teaming with life.

Hammerheads were clinging to the cleaning stations and yellow fin tuna were hunting in Dirty Rock. Galapagos Sharks were doing their thing in Punta Maria and schools of hammers could be found cruising in the blue waters of Alcyone.

Our favorite dive site of all was Manuelita. No other spot could compete with Manuelita's incredible amount of hammerheads circling close to the cleaning station, in the blue, and near the sandy bottom. We also witnessed big tiger sharks passing incredibly close to us in cleaning station #2. Eagle rays, black tip sharks and Galapagos sharks were cruising over the sandy bottom as well. Those dives were simply AMAZING, everyone was talking about it during the Happy Hour and BBQ!!! Rounding out our simply amazing experience were the macro dives (afternoon/3rd dives), which were full of of eels, lobsters, and lot of small creatures...perfect for all the super duper photographers in the group.

At Punta Maria the Galapagos sharks were patrolling the cleaning station, and Dirty Rock was full of life as well, there were hammerheads in the cleaning station and large schools of jacks congregating around the pinnacle. It was precisely there where we had an epic dive, we spent the whole dive right in the middle of a massive school of jacks while a group of dolphins were feeding among them, another reason that made us realize why Cocos Island is such an exclusive place!

With almost 6 action packed days of diving under our belts we decided to add a whole other element of adventure to the trip and step foot on Cocos Island. We made a pleasant walk around the Ranger Station and then most adventurous among us went for a long hike from Wafer Bay to Chatham Bay! The divers were bonding throughout the trip and it was a joy for us to hear them exchanging stories about their experience. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the mainland and the smiles on everyone's faces reminded us how incredible Cocos Island National Park is and why we should be working to preserve, protect and enjoy it!
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   65 ft / 20 m
Water Temp.   84°F / 29°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Edwar Herreño

As usual the sun was shining as we departed Puntarenas and made our way to Cocos. We were joined by a group from Germany, led by our loyal dive partner, Sigi Smith. The way to the island was very pleasant, the ocean was completely flat and everyone enjoyed the stunning sunset. The conditions at Cocos were really good, the weather was nice, the water was warm and clear and the divers very excited!

We did the firsts dives at Manueltia and we saw big schools of blue and gold snappers, goat fish, bigeye jacks and white tips. The next day at Punta Maria and Dirty Rock we also had tones of small marine fauna, including a great variety of fish.

At Alcyone and Submerged Rock we also encountered large schools of fish like blue fin trevallies, white mouth jacks and rainbow runners, just to name a few. In the south of the island the conditions were equally as favorable and we saw big schools of fish and even a few eagle rays.

The most exciting day was when we dove Manuelita Outside. It was here that we saw two tiger sharks and three Galapagos at the same time! They were hanging around the same area until they decided to move somewhere else after a few days. Even thought this trip won´t be remembered as the 'enormous schools of hammerheads trip', we enjoyed seeing the many different species of marine life that inhabit Cocos. The diversity and sheer quantity of species is breathtakingly unique.

One of the dive sites in which we’ve seen more marine life has been Dirty Rock, where there is always action! The final thrill of the trip was our hike from Wafer Bay to Chatham Bay followed by a spontaneous disco dance party on Sea Hunter that created the perfect celebratory close to an amazing week of diving! - Jim - Cruise Director
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   80 ft / 24 m
Water Temp.   84°F / 29°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Herreno

After a fairly quiet crossing, where we enjoyed spectacular sunsets and were joined by a few dolphins riding the bow, we reached the island ready to start our week of diving in paradise. In our checkout dive we observed hundreds of reef fish and whitetip reef sharks. One of the groups even saw a tiger shark!

On our second dive we ventured to Manuelita Island and once again we encountered tiger sharks, as well as Galapagos sharks. In Dirty Rock we also saw a few hammerhead sharks, who swam into the cleaning station. Then in the safety stop we were engulfed in a school of jacks that swirled around us like a giant fish tornado.

Our dives to Punta Maria were full of Galapagos shark encounters and at Dos Amigos we were extremely impressed with the abundance of life. There were marble rays crossing all around us as we made our way around the rock.

The sunny weather made our hike on Cocos Island a wonderful experience and we ended the hike with a dip in the waterfall. Our return voyage was extremely peaceful, allowing us to stop mid ocean and enjoy a swim. We even saw a few dolphins passing by us as we floated in the open ocean.
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   70 ft / 21 m
Water Temp.   78°F / 26°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

Expedition to Cocos Island with CIMAR and Conservation International
Forceps, collecting bags, measuring tapes, quadrants, transects, cameras, identification guides and whole lot more equipment were involved in this weeks expedition. Led by Dr. Jorge Cortes, the group was a mix of researchers from CIMAR and Conservation International.

The objective of the trip was to do research on different organisms that inhabit Cocos Island. To conduct the research many different kind of data was taken, such as samples of different marine life. The scientists are trying to assess the health of the reef by taking measurements of the growth rates of different species. Through various other methods, their study hopes to find out about the state of the ecosystem at the island.

The conditions were superb most of the time. On the way to Cocos the ocean was flat like a lake. Once we got there, the sun was shining and the water was very calm and clear; which helped a great deal when trying to conduct research. The third day in the evening it started to rain and it rained the whole fourth day (viz took a hit).

The last day the sun was shining again and the viz also improved. The water temperature was about 82F, except when it rained, then it went down to 78F. There were no currents except when we dived Dirty Rock, even though it wasn't strong. On the way back to Puntarenas we even stopped to swim in the middle of the Pacific ocean. At the end of the trip a group of biologists stepped back on the mainland, full of useful information and very happy with such a successful expedition!!! - Cruise Director - Jim
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   90 ft / 27 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Andrea Pivari

The crossing to Isla del Coco was fairly quiet, the guests enjoyed the sun deck during the day and at night they watched the stars dazzling in the night's sky.

On our very first dive we only caught a far away glimpse of a tiger shark, but on our second dive we had an amazingly close encounter that left us all in awe (check out the above photo snapped by our guest Andrea). Throughout both dives to Manuelita we were engulfed in schools of snappers and pacific creole fish. Hammerheads were seen on just about every dive to Manuelita and tiger sharks came by for inquisitive passes as well! We also saw tuna hunting and there were quite a few marble rays around as well.

The best dive site of the week was Dirty Rock!!! The hammerheads were coming up from the deep water and passing through the cleaning station in great numbers. As we crossed over to the pinnacle we saw hundreds of hammerheads in the blue and we watched as their silhouettes filled the crystal clear water.

Punta Maria was another one of our favorite spots this week. We gathered in the cleaning station and hung around for 25 minutes as Galapagos sharks passed through the cleaning station.

***Blacktips were seen at Dos Amigos Pequeño and we spotted a cownose ray in Manuelita Channel***

Another beautiful week of diving! We can't wait to head back to Cocos next week - Dive Guides Federico and Mao
© copyright by Benoit
© copyright by Debra
© copyright by Benoit

Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   70 ft / 21 m
Water Temp.   82°F / 28°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Lynn Morton

© copyright by Lynn Morton
© copyright by Lynn Morton

Our first day in Cocos was a bit rainy, but the rest of the week we had beautiful sunny skies, blue seas and just a little bit of current. Our adventure began with our checkout dive to Manuelita Coral Garden. Almost immediately our divers were surrounded by schools of snappers, groupers, whitetips, and even a Galapagos shark and hammerhead came to welcome us. Our good fortune at Manuelita continued and we saw tiger sharks on several occasions.

The week continued with incredible dives to Dirty Rock and Punta Maria, where jacks were schooling in giant tornado sized schools. Schools of hammerheads came from out of the blue and the Galapagos passed so close that we could almost reach out and touch them.

Some interesting sights this week included seeing a tiger shark in the Punta Maria cleaning station (alongside Galapagos sharks), a silvertip at Viking Rock, and blacktips at Dirty Rock and Manuelita Coral Garden.

Near the end of the week it came time to visit the island where a Park Ranger accompanied the group, providing a brief history of the island, as well as a few interesting facts. Our crossing back was quiet and sunny which gave us the perfect opportunity to do an open ocean swim in the crystal clear blue water.
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   70 ft / 21 m
Water Temp.   79°F / 26°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
© copyright by Shmulik Bloom

What better way to begin 2014 than with a picture perfect crossing to the most beautiful island on the planet. The cool sea breeze and picturesque sunny skies set the stage for the group of dolphins that rode the bow wave of the Sea Hunter.

Upon reaching the island everyone was eager to jump in the water and even with a few rain clouds in the sky, the abundant marine life teeming below the surface was about to make up for it.

One of our favorite dive sites this trip was Manuelita, where we encountered Galapagos sharks, tiger sharks and hammerheads schooling in shallow water. Punta Maria was buzzing with Galapagos sharks, and even they seemed surprised by the school of hammerheads seeking out the cleaning station. Alcyone simply could not be beat, the schools of hammerheads in the blue was breathtaking.

The calm ocean conditions of the summer allowed us to travel to the unprotected far end of Cocos, and dive a site called Shark Fin. While there we encountered eagle rays as well as giant marble rays that were curiously approaching divers.

After a memorable week of diving we returned home, but not before stopping mid crossing to take a swim in the open ocean. Summer is an amazing time to visit Cocos Island, we can't wait to return. Till Next week - Federico and Mao
Dive Conditions
Currents  
mild
strong
Visibility   45 ft / 14 m
Water Temp.   79°F / 26°C
Weather
Climate  
sunny
rainy
Sea  
calm
choppy
Crossings
to Cocos Island  
calm
choppy
to Puntarenas  
calm
choppy
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