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Guanacaste/Bat Islands aboard the Okeanos Aggressor II

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#1 GrtDay


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Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:28 PM

"We've done close to 30 liveaboards and do not do shore diving.  This Aggressor franchise was top notch and had a stellar crew.  Captain Mauricio was amiable and very capable.  The dual cooks were over the top in quality, presentation, quantity, and taste.  Some of the best food we have ever had!  Eduardo, the head waiter anticipated and fulfilled our every need.  He was incredible. The dive staff was attentive, safety conscious, and more-than-capable.  Miguel, the Chief Engineer had everything running perfectly.  This old Wind Dancer was in really top notch condition and had an incredible staff.

It's a 12-16 hour boat ride from dockside to reach Guanacaste/Bat Islands.  Very enjoyable as Eduardo kept our drinks full.  High levels of anticipation made the boat trip seem slow....But we arrived the next morning and ready to dive!

The diving...Well, let me start by saying "it ain't for sissies!"  Guanacaste/Bat Islands is a newly opened pristine advanced dive site seldom ever seen by divers.  I have never succumbed to wearing a wet suit and this trip got me don such.  My dive computer showed 82 degrees at the surface, but only once, it flipped down to 71degrees….and the next reading said “WTF?”… and that is bloody cold!  

There was minimal coral life as we know it in the Caribbean or Western Pacific.  Most all of Costa Rica is volcanic with lots of volcanic boulders teeming with fish like we’ve never seen!   Nutrient rich Pacific currents keep the massive schools of fish everywhere.   We have never seen such large schools of fish, effortlessly parting to accommodate invading divers. 

The surge was strong and very disconcerting, slamming us around and creating obstacles for all but the most experienced and physically fit divers.  Most challenging was to dive from the Okeanos very-well-equipped dive tenders.  We are used to stepping off the boat into the water.  I had a new BC and needed to re-learn how to adjust my buoyancy with it.

Visibility was also challenging.  (Could be the season?)  Bull Sharks came to investigate but only looked like shadows.  30-40' was normal and 60' maximum visibility was infrequent.  

This site is relatively virgin in it's lack of diver impact.  Very healthy reefs and fish.  Many sea horses and squadrons of Spotted Eagle Rays.  

Photography subjects were bright and plentiful, but the surge and debris in the water made for photography HELL!

Not sure I would go back with so many other easier-to-dive sites in the world, but all in all, the Guanacaste/Bat Islands Okeanos Aggressor made for an excellent dive adventure.  All advanced divers should do it!”

Nikon D200 in an Ikelite housing, Dual Ikelite DS-125's on Ultra-Light arms, Nikkor 10.5, 12-24, 105 and 60 macro, 17-55-

#2 chrisdarke



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Posted 07 August 2017 - 03:45 PM

Hi there,

glad you enjoyed Bat Islands! Not sure what you meant when you said 'Bat Islands is a newly opened pristine advanced dive site seldom ever seen by divers' as we locals have been diving that site for years!