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Scuba Diving Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Dive Site: Dirty Rock
Location: Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Description: Hammerhead dive
Depth: 0 - 35 metres (0 - 115 feet)
Visibility: 20 - 25 metres (65 - 80 feet)
We visited Dirty Rock three times during our trip and it was, in my opinion, the second best dive site (only very slightly behind the best dive site of Bajo Alcyone). Dirty Rock breaks the surface and drops down to about 35 metres and is covered in barber fish - the cleaner fish of the scalloped hammerhead. As soon as we got in the water here we saw hammerheads. They would just come by continually during the 45 minute dive passing within feet of us. The first dive I did here I made the mistake of thinking I needed to go deep to see the hammerheads. By the second dive I realised I could just sit on the reef at about 20 to 25m and see just the same spectacle in better light conditions. I even managed to find myself nose to nose with a few hammers!
There were turtles, marble rays and eagle rays here as well and the white tip reef sharks always seemed to swim in front of your camera lens just as you were building up for your best hammerhead shot of the week! There were also some huge red starfish that must have been over a metre in diameter and you can't miss the sea urchins, especially when you get their spines in your leg... There were jacks in their thousands; the ball of them was so dense that when my buddy went into it I really couldn't see any trace of him at all - not even the hint of any bubbles. It was spectacular! Look out for wahoo and hunting tuna as well: sit back and watch the reef fish dive for cover as a hunting tuna cruises in from the blue. Even the hammerheads seemed to cower when they saw one!
But the overall experience is one of hammerheads, which were everywhere you looked (left, right, up, down) and this was one of the sites where we experienced the quintessential 'wall' of hammerheads, the other being Bajo Alcyone. Simply incredible, especially when we felt we were 'part' of the hammerhead shoal.
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