Top Ten Reasons to Dive Coco Island
Costa Rica's Untamed Wilderness
by Brad Gerber, Aug. 1997
One of the many reasons (besides diving) I enjoy my work is the people I meet. For example, there are my friends, and two of the most sincere and respected people in the diving industry, Avi Klapfer and Yosy Naaman. Captains and owners of the two vessel Hunter fleet, they have been around the world; from the Red Sea to Micronesia; captaining live-aboards much the way most of us drive cars. And, if they were to maintain cars the way they maintain their live-aboards, they would be impeccable; clean and comfortable and in excellent working order, just like the live-aboards, the Sea Hunter and the Undersea Hunter.
Having a captain and owner you respect and trust is number one in my book when thinking about any live-aboard trip. There are also many other things to consider when booking a live-aboard for the adventure of a lifetime. The top ten reasons I would go to Coco Island (off the coast of Costa Rica) with the Sea Hunter and the Undersea Hunter are:
1 Coco Island is wild and pristine. Approximately 300 miles southwest of the port of Puntarenas on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Coco lies below the hurricane belt. The island is mountainous, with almost sheer cliffs, has no aircraft landing strip, is almost inaccessible and covered with waterfalls. Yes, Coco is wild and pristine.
2 There is an incredible variety of marine life, both big and small. From dolphins, Manta Rays and Hammerheads to Harlequin Shrimp and Redlipped Batfish, the variety of marine life found at Coco is some of the most unusual and diverse found anywhere in the world. Hammerheads school in the hundreds, dolphins, Manta and Mobula Rays make the unusual a common occurrence. There is marine life for every type of photographer and videographer and plenty of it.
3 Every trip is unique. Some people return to Coco year after year. Why not? One year there might be Whale Sharks, the next Orcas, mating sharks, a shark giving birth or even a Sailfish sighting. All of these are unique: At Coco the unusual is common and guests can expect the unexpected.
4 Life aboard these live-aboards is never dull. During one trip a photographer kept getting closer and closer to a Manta Ray at a site called Dirty Rock. The photographer was getting great shots of the Manta's wide open mouth when the strobe cable snagged on the animal's cephalic fin and the Manta took off with $7,000 worth of camera gear. Hunter fleet trips are a lot of fun and Captain P.J. keeps things light and easy with his great sense of humor.
5 The boats are state of the art, with many amentities. Both the Sea Hunter and the Undersea Hunter are both impressive live-aboards, used by cinematographers and film crews from around the world. The Sea Hunter is 115 feet long, with a beam of 26 feet. Very spacious, she is a favorite among divers because of her deck space. She accommodates 18 guests in six doubles and two triples, all with private bathrooms and showers. Common to both vessels are large camera and video work and storage areas, E-6 film processing and fully air-conditioned interiors.
6 The water is warm and clear. The water temperature ranges from 76 to 82°F, depending on depth. The visibility ranges from 80 to 100 feet.
7 You can use nitrox and/or become nitrox certified. Nitrox certification is available. The instruction team is highly trained and will teach you the benefits of diving nitrox as well as taking the time to make sure you understand it fully.
8 There are rebreathers available for guest use. If you always wanted to try a rebreather and never had the time, a Hunter trip provides the perfect opportunity. Both rebreathers and instruction are available. The Hunter Fleet has been training divers in rebreather use for more than a year and is discovering more and more benefits for photographers and videographers as well as those who simply want a more peaceful and tranquil dive experience.
9 If you get a group together you can go for free. The Hunter Fleet has a special offer that lets group leaders travel absolutely free. That includes airfare, hotels, boat; everything; absolutely free. Call for details.
10 You can contact the Hunter fleet; and book; direct. The Hunter Fleet reservations office is in beautiful Costa Rica but you can ask any questions or book a trip simply by calling (800) 203-2120, 011 (506) 228-6535 or 011 (506) 228-6613. You can fax your inquiries to 011 (506) 289-7334, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the company's Web site at www.underseahunter. com. Mail should be addressed to P.O. Box 025216, Dept. 314, Miami, FL 33102-5216.