Central AmericaScubaSouth America

May 13, 2007: Cocos Island

Our last day of diving. Today we had three dives scheduled and will depart for the mainland just before dinner.

Dive 1: Dirty Rock

This was one of the best dives we’ve had at Dirty Rock, which is saying quite a lot since Dirty Rock has always been some of our best diving. There was a huge school of hammerheads waiting for us, so many picture opportunities. We moved on from the cleaning stations and, though the current was too strong to get to the pinnacles, we swam through schools of fish to get to the other (gentler) side of Dirty Rock. There we found six or seven marbled rays relaxing in the calm water.

Dive 2: Alcyon

Continuing with our “best dive” streak – a great way to end our time at Cocos – Alcyon delivered with a massive school of hammerheads. We divers spread out over the entire site, each of us with our own personal cleaning station and each of us with unhampered access to heaps of hammerheads.

Hammers everywhere

Hammerhead getting cleaned, and white tip in the distance

Dive 3: Manuelita Channel

Our last and final dive was a gentle dive through Manuelita Channel. There were a handful of hammerheads in the sandy area, but because both skiffs splashed in around the same area the hammers moved away from all the bubbles. I hid off on my own for a while, hoping to lure some sharks closer but soon it became a bit cold and the group was moving into the channel so I followed. I met up with Janet and Greg just as the current kicked in to our advantage so that we didn’t have to kick at all – the current just moved us along the reef and through the channel until we found the rest of the group. The dive ended in the coral gardens, a lovely place for a natural safety stop.

Leaving Cocos

We left Cocos about an hour after returning from our last dive, and we all sat on the deck and watched it disappear into the distance. We begin the long, 36-hour boat ride back to Costa Rica. Back to the real world, sadly. This has been a wonderful break from life for a while and, though the boat ride will be long, I’m not quite ready for it to end.

After dinner, Eric, Lucien, Renee and I shared a bottle of wine and talked about diving, business, vacations, and – strangely – the physics of airplanes. It’s unusual for an entire dive boat to get along after two weeks together, but we’ve all done so nicely and it’s been a special trip. I’m sorry to see it end. I’m even more sorry since I have no diving plans in the near future while everyone else has additional dive trips planned within the next few weeks. Eric is off to Komodo. Lucien is off to Tahiti, etc. Me? I’m off to Dutch Springs in PA for a certification dive or two – very cold, and not nearly as exciting.