cocos trip report with pictures, August 2019

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Erwin Poliakoff

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I just finished a wonderful trip to Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica on the Argo liveaboard. It was excellent diving, and an very well-run dive operation. I recommend it highly. The trip was chartered by Ultimate Dive Travel, and I use them frequently to arrange my diving trips. I have been very happy with them, both for their recommendations of good diving locations, and for their service, in general. I flew into San Jose a day early, and overnighted at the Marriott near the airport. It was a little pricy, but a very nice hotel. The next day, our group was loaded into a small bus and taken to the port at Punta Arenas with a couple of stops. It was about a 2.5 hour drive. We got on the liveaboard, and it was very nicely laid out and well-maintained. It was a 36 hour ride to Cocos. The conditions of our boat ride were very mild, but I have heard that it can be rougher. In any case, it was a leisurely ride out. My cabin was comfortable, and on the spacious side for a liveaboard. The food and service on the boat were great. We did three dives a day, which suited me fine. The water was warmer than I expected (81 F mostly), although there were some significant thermoclines that made a hood a good idea. We say a lot of sharks, including schools of hammerheads. As usual, they were more shy than a photographer would like, but relatively cooperative. There were too many white-tips to count. Some dives had other types of sharks, including a number of Galapagos sharks, and an occasional tiger shark. We also saw several whale sharks, which was a first for me. The visibility was okay, but I have been told it is typically betters. I would estimate we had about 60' vis on most dives. I was pleased to see relatively attractive and healthy reefs (hard coral), and lots of fish life. We did 7 days of diving, then headed back for the trip home. I also did the 1000' submarine ride, ridiculously extravagant. We did not see that much, but it was still a lot of fun, and a definite bucket list item. Here are some photos from the trip.

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01_P8020052 scalloped hammerhead shark by Erwin Poliakoff, on Flickr

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02_P8080020 scalloped hammerhead shark by Erwin Poliakoff, on Flickr

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08_P8060004 whale shark by Erwin Poliakoff, on Flickr

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19_P8030024 moray eel by Erwin Poliakoff, on Flickr

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17_P8040113 peacock flounder swimming by Erwin Poliakoff, on Flickr

The link to whole album can be found here: 2019 Cocos Flickr album

Erwin
 

iamrushman

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i really enjoyed reading the trip report...the photos are spectacular...thanks for sharing.
 

drrich2

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Love that 1st hammerhead shot; I still haven't seen one diving, and they're on my wish list. Doubt I'll make Cocos Island, though.

What sort of depths and dive times were you guys doing? What time of day or night were the dives? How many, if any, were night dives?

Tried to look at your album but Flickr seems to be having issues at the moment; their page indicates they know this.

Richard.
 
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Erwin Poliakoff

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Love that 1st hammerhead shot; I still haven't seen one diving, and they're on my wish list. Doubt I'll make Cocos Island, though.

What sort of depths and dive times were you guys doing? What time of day or night were the dives? How many, if any, were night dives?

Tried to look at your album but Flickr seems to be having issues at the moment; their page indicates they know this.

Richard.

The first two dives typically went pretty deep (80-100 ft) and the third dive was typically a max depth of 60'. All dives were day dives (usually 8am, 10am, and 2 or 3pm). There were no night dives because there had been a tiger shark attack and fatality (last year, I believe, though I am not sure of the details). Most dives were 55-60 minutes long. Yes, I just noticed that the Flickr website is flaking out at the moment. Sorry about that. It really is thrilling to see the hammerheads. There were lots of them on almost every dive.

-Erwin
 

Johnoly

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Brought back memories, I Loved Cocos.
Did you see lots of waterfalls on land from the dive skiffs?
Great picts and report Erwin !!
 
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