Okeanos Aggressor Captain's Logs

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OP
Aggressor Adventures

Aggressor Adventures

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Okeanos Aggressor Captain’s Report July 27- August 5, 2013

Average Water Temperature: 82 F (26 Celsius)
Average Visibility: 80 ft (25 mts)
Wetsuits: 3mil, maybe more if you get cold easily.

Mind Blowing, Breath Taking…

This is what I wrote last week, but someone said the same this week, and I am using it again as this was a life changing experience. Again my lack of English does not let me describe what we had this week in a way you really can understand, so if you really want to know what I am trying to say you must come here and live this experience. I heard this expression after we had a close encounter with a mother HUMPBACK WHALE AND HER CALF! We were coming out of a dive, and while doing our safety stop these two whales came so close - and I mean close. My heart stopped because these two giants were so incredible!

This of course is without mentioning the five dives we did in Dirty Rock. Listen to this - five dives in a row and we saw whale sharks in every single one of those dives! I must also add that in one of the dives we saw two whale sharks together, and I was able to recognize three different ones because of the markings! We could not believe it. We were all so happy!

On our last day of diving we did Manuelita in the morning (my old favorite) and just five minutes after we entered the water a 12-foot tiger shark showed up! Right after the tiger, a big Galapagos shark went by, and then almost by the time we were doing our safety stop a whale shark past by making it an awesome dive! To make the day even more incredible, our next dive was done in Dirty Rock and while playing in a huge school of jacks that was so amazing that our guests started to call - ‘Jacknado’! Then an 18-foot whale shark came into the school of jacks shaking us all up. This whale shark stayed with us for the rest of the dive, going around the divers and into the school of jacks. All of this while three silky sharks were patrolling the water close to the jacks, hoping for a fish to get distracted so they can get their meal J

This week the hammerhead sharks were a little shy, but still, we got to see schooling hammers in Alcyone and had close encounters in Manuelita. The big animals almost made us overlook the small stuff, but even when some of our guests wanted more of the big ones the small ones were still there, so that way we paid a visit to see the frogfish, the red lipped batfish, and more.

The weather had a good balance of sun and rain and our crossing both ways was nice. Plus the crossing back to the mainland was sunny, which made everyone very happy.

Thanks to all of our guests: Sergio, Henrique and Patricia, Fernando, Jason B., Carlos J., James, Jose Luis, Carlos F., Christine and Jason, Frances, Evan and Lisiane, Alan and Fiona, Altan and Kimberly - for a great week of diving.

Crew this week: Capt. Beto, Chefs Douglas and Emanuel, Engineer Luis, Steward Osayuki, Deck Hands William and Eduard, Boat drivers and Divemasters Xavier and Warren. Photos by Alberto Muñoz.

Stay tuned for more….

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OP
Aggressor Adventures

Aggressor Adventures

ScubaBoard Business Sponsor
ScubaBoard Business Sponsor
Messages
567
Reaction score
16
Okeanos Aggressor Captain’s Report August 10 – 20, 2013

Average Water Temperature 82 F (26 Celsius)
Average Visibility 80 ft (25 mts)
Wetsuits: 3mil, maybe more if you get cold easily

Crew this week: Capt. Beto, Chefs Douglas and Emanuel, Engineer Luis, Steward Osayuki, Deck hands William and Eduard, Boat drivers and Divemasters Xavier and Warren. (Photos by Alberto Muñoz and Alessandro Rossetti)

I’m going to start on our second day of diving, but let me tell you why, because even now I am excited about it! We had just finished diving at Punta Maria, where we had spent 20 minutes with a 20-foot whale shark (I even got my picture taken with this giant), along with a couple of Galapagos sharks and dolphins, not to mention, white tip sharks and marble rays - all in one single dive!

We were in the panga halfway back to the Okeanos Aggressor when this enormous fin came out of the water! My jaw dropped. I knew the second I saw the big fin what it was…. an ORCA - a huge Killer Whale coming straight at us.

Some of our divers wanted to get in the water with it, but I couldn’t let them. Have you seen the teeth on those whales? No way. J Besides the rangers would not let us do it as this is one of their little rules, including no swimming with whales or dolphin unless they come to you while diving.

Anyways, this is how Cocos has been for the past few months. We are seeing a lot of the unexpected!

The weather this week was nice as we had lots of sun, but by the end of the week we started to get some of the usual rain. Also, the water was cooler in some places with the thermos getting down to 71F degrees – Brrrrrrr. All you had to do was get to shallower water and the temperature was a toasty 81F. This was a big change and the good thing about it was that the dive sites became full of life - all kinds of fish and the hammerhead sharks came closer to the divers as they were getting cleaned. If you keep your body close to the rocks they do not mind if you are there. But of course we had to pay the price for this - the current. There were two places where the current was really going – Manuelita (my old favorite) and Dirty Rock. Everywhere else the current was okay. The thing with the current is no big deal, if your mind is set to play with it instead of fighting it. If you learn to go with it you’ll be having the greatest dives of your life.

Our first day at the island also had surprises. The check out dive was outstanding, with thousands of fish, but the cherry on top of the cake was - two harlequin shrimp doing their preparation to feast on a starfish. I spend 20 minutes looking at them, imagine! So far this year, I’ve had at least 20 whale shark sightings, and only this one time I’ve seen the harlequin shrimp!!

Our second dive was just as amazing, because just as we entered the water a 12-foot Tiger Shark swam right by us! We went all crazy. Then later in the week we found three frogfish on a single rock and then we spotted four eagle rays. Plus, we had lots more Galapagos sharks on our dives. Then, there was the whale shark that sneaked right up on us while we were looking at the hammerheads getting cleaned.

One day we were coming alongside the Okeanos Aggressor when one of my onboard crew pointed about 20 yards out from the boat where he spotted a Manta feeding on the surface. We all grabbed our fins, masks and snorkels, jumped in and spent some time watching the manta with its mouth wide open and the cephalic fins directing food to its mouth. It just keeps getting better and better, but don’t take my word for it - come and see it for yourself.

This week I also had my birthday and one of the best surprises you can get on a day like this is having two old friends be on the trip. Brenda and Richard, an American couple I have known for many years, as a matter of fact I met them in my training week in the CAYMAN ISLANDS many years ago, were aboard…It feels so nice to get to see those you love.

To top off the trip our crossing back to mainland was sunny, which made everybody very happy.

Stay tuned for more.

Thanks to all of our guests this trip: Evgeny, Alexey, Nikita, Kirill, Tatiana, Aleksandr, Sergei, Igor, Vladimir, Steve, Pavel, Dmitry and Natalia, Alessandro and Barbara, and especially my old friends Richard and Brenda, for a great week of diving.

Captain Beto

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OP
Aggressor Adventures

Aggressor Adventures

ScubaBoard Business Sponsor
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Messages
567
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Okeanos Aggressor Captain’s Report August 24 - September 03, 2013

Average Water Temperature: 82 F (26 Celsius)
Average Visibility: 80 ft (25 mts)
Wetsuits: 3mil, maybe more if you get cold easily.
Crew this week: Capt. Beto, Chefs Douglas and Emanuel, Engineer Luis, Steward Osayuki, Deck hand William, Boat drivers and Divemasters Xavier, Marvin and Warren. Photos by Alberto Muñoz.

Once again I am here thinking of what to write, how to describe such a beautiful week of adventure in an isolated island so far from civilization. So here is how our week started - two orange frogfish, a tiger shark, a whale shark, huge Galapagos shark, marble rays and hundreds of hammerhead sharks……….All in one day! You must come and see it for yourself, this place is just getting better and better. It has been windy and sometimes the waves are a little tall, so there were places we could not visit, but the action was on the sites we went to. My old favorite Manuelita was just really hot. To me it was the best site for the week. We saw almost everything there that is to be seen here. So many hammerheads, marble rays, and then the silky sharks started to show up. What a place, it is amazingly beautiful!

The other sites had action too. The Galapagos sharks were in big packs in Punta Maria. The first time we made it over to this site, the Galapagos sharks we saw were small compared to those we saw just a few days later. For some reason the Galapagos sharks had taken this place over as their cleaning site, but by the end of the week the eagle rays started to come here as if they had been somewhere else at the beginning of the week.

Since we had some photographers aboard that were seriously interested in the red-lipped batfish we started a quest in Ulloa Island, which is the regular place for this elusive little friend. Just as we finned our way around the rock a huge tiger shark past by, and then minutes later this same 14-foot tiger shark came back. This extremely exciting encounter made us all forget about the batfish. But, days later we found six of them in the shallow side of Manuelita when we were looking for the black frogfish. We did find the black frogfish as well.

There were hammerheads everywhere this week. They were schooling right on top of Alcyone. It is amazing how many sharks are in one of those schools. During one of our dives here a thermocline came in stirring everything up in its path. The strange thing was that we had been here earlier for the first dive of the day and the conditions were close to perfect with warm water, no current, and lots of action. But this second dive was as cold as 66 degrees F (18 C) in spots - so imagine some of us diving in a 3 mm suit…. but it was fun! We had to come up some (shallower) as the warm water was on the top. It was the same behavior for the rays and white tip sharks. They don’t like the cold water, so they come to shallower water. While swimming around a dolphin went by being followed by silky sharks and a school of yellow fin tunas. They were after a school of yellow tailed scads that had gather in a big ball. We kicked as hard as possible, but the action was on the move and just couldn’t keep up with the fish.

The night dives!! Just awesome!!! The hunting keeps getting better in the shallow side of Manuelita, and lately Chatham Bay has been getting just about the same action as Manuelita with the white tip sharks hunting along with the trevally jacks. This week we also dived Wafer Bay and our guest Anastasia found a harlequin shrimp dragging this little pour starfish across the reef.

Our time together went by so fast for us, and all of our guests were easy going, lots of fun, and very safety-oriented. Thanks to David, Kenichi, Randy, Matthew, Sara, Anastasia, Marylou, Barbara, James, Iain, Ludovic, Bjorn and Allison, Scott and Lauren, Peter and Annmari, Andrew and Leigh, Michael and Karina, for a great week of diving.

Our crossing back to the mainland was sunny and everyone was happy.

Stay tuned for more.
Capt. Beto
 
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