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May 6, 2007: Malpelo to Cocos

Do you know what’s worse than putting on a cold, soaking wetsuit at 7:45 in the morning?” Eric asked me this morning.
“No, what?”
“Putting on a cold, soaking wetsuit at 6:45 in the morning.”

To accommodate our departure to Cocos, our dive times had been bumped up by an hour – 7AM and 10AM – so we could be on the figurative “road” by noon. The trip to Cocos has been scheduled for forty-five hours which should hopefully put us there in time for for an early morning Tuesday dive. We’re ready for both the break and the new dive sites – some of our divers chose to give their bodies a break today so we had less people on the skiffs as usual. But there were still dives to be done and we certainly can’t let those opportunities pass us by.

Dive 1: The Fridge Out

We dove the Fridge Out the other day, but I don’t remember it being as enjoyable as it was today. We dropped into a sandy path on the floor and watched as the hammers circled in and out of the area. We also had a little turtle come through to say hello, which was a nice treat since I haven’t seen one in a while.

School of Hammers

We moved around to the other side of the reef where a school of jordan snapper floated in the surge. I love kicking through the center of these massive schools of fish – there are so many bodies and they close right around you when you swim into them. Makes for beautiful photos and often a great surprise. After I emerged from my “school time” I found myself three feet from a gorgeous spotted eagle ray and, as I raised my camera to snap a shot, saw a hammerhead three feet above that. Slightly flummoxed to determine which to capture via camera, but I managed. I also managed to catch the eagle ray on video:

Renee’s Grouper friend showed up again, but this time with buddies. What they actually like is to play in the bubbles we make from our regulators, and they tend to come very close and explore. One of them sat in front of my mask for thirty seconds, getting closer and closer until it finally took a big nip against my mask. I squealed and could hear Lucien chortling through his regulator.

Eric’s pic of me and the leatherback bass, pre-nip
Dive 2: Castaway

Our last dive at Malpelo was a lovely one. The hammers were strangely friendly and inquisitive – coming close to us for some really great shots. We also found a little turtle nibbling on the reef and many different fish floating about the surf. A lovely way to end our time here at Malpelo.

Friendly Hammers

Boat trip to Cocos Island

Shortly after we disassembled our gear, the crew pulled the skiffs out of the water and secured them to the Sea Hunter for our two-day voyage. I showered and fell asleep on the upper deck, where it was chilly and windy but still outside. There’s little more to report for the rest of the day – we made use of the boat’s DVD library and watched a number of movies to pass the time – one of which was “The Perfect Storm”, a questionable choice film for a boat trip but there you have it.