Okeanos Aggressor II
January 18 – 28, 2017
Water Temperature: 80F
Visibility: 50 ft
What a wonderful way to start the new year with a beautiful calm crossing to Cocos Island. Half way through our 36-hour trip, we were amazed to come across a huge pod of spinner dolphin. They really didn’t not have time to come greet the boat since they were too busy herding fish and feeding. Jumps, spins and tail slapping were part of their day’s work. Our arrival to Cocos Island was met by their larger cousins, the bottlenose dolphin. This group played at the bow of Okeanos II all the way into Wafer Bay.
Our first day of diving was spent exploring both the deep wall and shallow side of Manuelita. About 6 – 10 hammerheads cruised quite close to the 2 groups of divers. Large schools of creole and striped snapper added to the scene. White tip sharks were unconcerned about the divers as they rested in the sand but the most exciting encounter was a very large tiger shark patrolling the walls and reefs.
Day Two the dive groups alternated experiences on Punta Maria, Dirty Rock and Pujara. While Punta Maria provided schools of brilliant red soldierfish and free swimming morays and a marble ray, Dirty Rock had many hammerheads coming into the cleaning station to be groomed by barberfish. The afternoon dive at Pujara was time for the divers to see the most beautiful jeweled boxfish and other small fish species amongst the unusual rock formations covered in colorful sponges and corals. Peering out of the rock were lobsters. The first night dive of the trip was at Manuelita Shallows to observe the white-tip shark feeding frenzy.
Day Three the Okeanos II moved to Chatham Bay. The divers started the day at Submerged Rock that has a small but extremely beautiful small archway. Repeat dives at Dirty Rock was the pick of the week and the favorite of all the participants. Seeing hammerheads in large numbers was never a problem at Dirty Rock. Also on the day’s schedule was Pujara and another night feeding frenzy at Manuelita Shallows, our second of three night dives of the week.
Day Four was at Dos Amigos Grande and Dos Amigos Pequena. The huge arch of “Grande” is a location to take a moment inside the archway filled with snapper and look out into the blue for larger species such as marble rays and sharks. The night dive back at Manuelita Shallows had everyone participating paying more attention to 2 very large orange frogfish than the feeding white-tips.
Days Five and Six were repeats of Dirty Rock with the biggest school yet of hammerheads. It was also the time to dive Alcyone, one of the world’s most famous dive sites. The massive school of jacks swirled around all the divers with no concern. It was quite an experience and although there is generally a current, it was the reason the jacks and other large species reside at Alcyone.
Our remaining days included a repeat of Alcyone, Dos Amigos Grande and Pequena. There was a surge but that is what brought in the hammerheads, 4 very large Galapagos sharks and 2 graceful spotted eagle rays. A special event happened on the way to DA Grande with a manta at the surface. Several divers had the opportunity to jump in the water to snorkel with the beautiful ray.
The return to Puntarenas was so flat and calm that the surface of the water reflected the clouds in the sky. The guests from Spain and America had a lovely week in Cocos and are surely going home with some wonderful stories to tell their families and friends.