Equator DivingEquator Diving
Forgot password?

Cocos Trip Report, September 2016

Cocos Trip Report, September 2016
Our September 2016 trip to Cocos Island on Sea Hunter Liveaboard enjoyed a smooth crossing from Puntarenas with a Humpback Whale and Dolphins making an appearance along the way. Our smooth crossing meant an early arrival at the island and plenty of time to prepare for our first dives! A couple of months before our trip started El Nino had ended and we were now entering a period of La Nina which meant slightly cooler waters – something that Hammerheads love!

For the next seven days we would dive Cocos Island’s best sites. Cocos is constantly changing week to week so you never know which will be the best dives sites on your Cocos trip. For our trip the best dive sites were Dirty Rock, Alcyone and Manuelita Outside. At Manuelita Outside we were treated to cleaning stations full of Hammerheads coming very close for photos, a Manta Ray, huge schools of Bigeye Trevally, and the ever patrolling and inquisitive Tiger Sharks. Tigers are a relative newcomer to Cocos, first appearing a few years ago, and their numbers have been steadily increasing every year. Now a dive at Manuelita gives you almost guaranteed Tiger Shark sightings!

Whilst Manuelita Outside was providing the action during the day time, it was Manuelita Coral Garden that was providing the action during the night. Here we did our night dives with Cocos Island’s famous swarming Whitetip Reef Sharks, hunting out sleeping fish with the aid of the large Black Jacks. One of our dive group also encountered a large, curious Galapagos Shark on their night dive!

Whitetip Reef Sharks on night dive (Ben Jackson)

Another Cocos favourite dive site is Dirty Rock and on our trip it didn’t disappoint, providing amazing Hammerhead encounters, schooling Skipjack Tuna, Yellow Fin Tuna that were bigger than us, Galapagos Sharks and big schools of Bigeye Trevally and Mullet Snapper. At both Manuelita and Dirty Rock it was wonderful to watch the Hammerheads turning onto their sides whilst being cleaned by small groups of Barberfish.

On every dive at Alcyone we were able to find the classic Hammerhead wallpaper that has made Cocos so famous. Trying to count the number of Hammerheads before your eyes was simply impossible but it was clearly in the hundreds! One remarkable thing was that our two dive groups diving at different sites on different sides of Cocos at the same time would both be encountering large Hammerhead schools highlighting the huge numbers of Hammerheads that must gather around Cocos Island. At Alcyone one of our dive groups also encountered a Whale Shark and Dolphins. Cocos is home to many Dolphins and you often find they will escort you to your dive site! Alcyone is truly one of Cocos best dives sites and whilst it’s the Hammerheads and Whale Sharks that often make the headlines we also encountered at Alcyone plenty of large Galapagos Sharks, Whitetip Sharks and Marbled Rays.

Schooling Hammerheads at Alcyone (Ben Jackson)

Other dive sites visited during our trip included Dos Amigos, Punta Maria, Submerged Rock and Viking Rock, and although we encountered Mantas, Dolphins, Galapagos Sharks and plenty of Hammerheads at these sites it was hard for them to compete with Alcyone, Dirty Rock and Manuelita Outside on this trip!

Of course a trip to Cocos is not all about diving, during our time at Cocos several guests voyaged to 1,000 feet in the DeepSee submersible, we had a land visit to Cocos Island, we learnt all about the various pirate treasures still buried on Cocos Island from our wonderful cruise director, Manuel, and on the last night we partied Sea Hunter style!

Cocos Video

Filmed by Karsten Lindgaard on Equator Diving’s September 2016 Cocos Liveaboard Trip.