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Vanessa Garnick Animal Planet
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
Vanessa Garnick, Animal Planet
THE SUB:
Well, I thought this experience was fantastic enough - being able to swim down to 120 feet and breathe in and out on a Nitrox mix…then entered the SUB (who I lovingly dubbed the DEEP SEA HUNTRESS), a yellow submarine none the less!
The bubble closed around us - all cozy and happy in our special sub socks, armed with cameras of every shape and size. We headed out to Everest - a newly discovered sea mount. And then it happened - we started going DOWN. The sight of being halfway submerged - below you the deep blue and above you the sky high blue - until the waves wash completely over you - and you start descending, and may I mention in total comfort—was the most magical. The outside lights turn on and you are off - we saw marble rays and sharks, and things you can never see just diving because it is too deep, and then HUNDREDS of hammerheads were circling above us - like a great slow tornado. Unbelievable! This is the shot we wanted. We could look fully 360 degrees around us- I felt like I had my own bubble world, and the saddest thing was when we ascended----I never wanted it to end! Didn’t they say there was food and water for up to 72 hours? I must say- I am a DeepSee Sub Addict, maybe I’ll start a club for others too…hee hee

Randall Arauz Marine Biologist
© copyright by Undersea Hunter Group
Randall Arauz, Marine Biologist
I was fortunate enough to board the DeepSee submarine during my last expedition to Cocos Island, during an exploratory dive to a sand bank 100 meters deep and approximately 1 mile from the island. Just the thought of being among the first three human beings to explore this habitat was quite exciting. However, more exciting, was the sight of numerous forms of marine life scattered along the ocean floor, ocean life that until this date had not been documented to occur at these depths. For instance, two of the most abundant fishes observed included batfish (Ogcocephalidae) and searobins (Peristedion sp). The specimens observed however, consisted of juvenile animals, less than one inch in size, suggesting this habitat may well be a rookery for these species. Scythe butterflyfish (Prognathodes falcifer) were observed flittering over piles of small rocks distributed evenly over the sandy bottom, sharing the habitats these piles of rocks provided with juvenile groupers. I would like to add that at no time did any of the animals we encountered show any sort of fear or stress. In fact, we were approached curiously by one devil ray (Mobula sp), while silky sharks and sailfish were observed during our dive hovering obliviously over the submarine. What an experience! No doubt, the DeepSee dive was not only fascinating in itself, but the potential for scientific research and expansion of our knowledge on the biology and ecology of the fishes of Cocos Island is enormous and exciting.

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