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Gaz Cooper

Member Since 10 Feb 2011
Offline Last Active Mar 20 2011 06:34 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Dive Galapagos Prime Whale Shark Time

15 February 2011 - 01:11 AM

It all sounds good Gaz. What are the chance3 of doing longer trips up to Darwin and Wolf. I know that the 10 day itinerary trips were stopped and also the combined land/dive trips. Do you know if these will be allowed in the near future. It just seems a hell of a long way to go for 3 days diving.

Who are the crew on these boats? have they got much experience of Darwin and Wolf. I havent been to the website yet and expect the answers are there.

Stew


Hey Stew

Nobody knows what or what wont be allowed in the future that will be determined by the Ecuadorian government and no one has control over what they decide but I can tell you all the boats are requesting more time at the Northern Islands and will continue to do so as they know that s what divers want.

As for the crew, while the boats are brand spanking new the operators have been operating in the Galapagos Wolf Darwin for close to 20 years and the Crew will be made up of very experienced tender operators and DM's whom are working right now in the Galapagos and they will join the boats when they hit the water. The Crews quarters will be the best on any boat as the owners understand just how long these guys spend on the boats and have provided features and benefits not available on the other liveaboards.

Be sure to let me know if you have any additional questions Stew

all the best

Gaz Cooper

In Topic: Whale sharks

13 February 2011 - 07:18 PM

I am looking for a good destination to dive with some whale sharks. Any suggestions for a good site, time to go, and operators for this? I have considered Holbox and Cabo but Holbox Manta divers seem only to offer snorkeling trips. Thanks

Well 2 of the best places to see Whale Sharks are the Galapagos Islands from late Aug onwards where the chances you will see lots of Whale Sharks at Wolf and Darwin are very good in my last 3 trips on each trip we hit double digits in sightings.

The other location is in Southern Belize in Placencia on the May June July full moon cycle where the snappers come to spawn at Gladden spit and the Whale Sharks follow to feed on the eggs. you have to time it perfectly right on the full moon phaze for the best chances to see them.

Both places offer great photo ops up close and personal

Check out my websites for more information on both locations I have a trip to the Galapagos going in September 3-10 see the commercial forum for details and the Belize experience it might be too late this year as they fill up fast and its government controlled but I can still always check for you. see my Dive Belize site for that just do a search for my name you will get the site or you can get there by visiting the Galapagos site too.

Gaz Cooepr

In Topic: Galapagos or Cocos

11 February 2011 - 06:48 AM

Like others have done both, Galapagos just a few months ago, there are galleries, trip reports, multimedia shows at our site.

IMHO the major difference between the two is time spent with Sharks, hammerheads. During a 7 day live-aboard in the Galapagos you get 3.5 days at Wolf and Darwin where most of the big animal action is. In Cocos, most are 10day live-aboards and you spend all your time in shark rich spots.

Advantages Galapagos: More whale shark sightings (during right season) Bigger schools of hammer heads. Bigger Sharks.

Advantages Cocos: More time and opportunities to photograph the hammerheads and to us they did not seem as shy as the Galapagos hammerheads. Whitetip night dive WOW!

Its a tough call but if you really want the best chance to shoot hammerheads I would lean to Cocos.


Each trip can be a totally different experience, depending on what time you go and how lucky you are.

We hardly saw any Hammerheads at Cocos but saw loads of Mobulas where as at Darwin and Wolf there were thousands of Hammerheads and they were not shy at all with great photo opportunitys at both locations.

I would agree there is something about Cocos that is quite alluring and the diving is not as challenging as the Galapagos but as mentioned dive sites are closer and more compact.

And as for night diving at Cocos LOL I skipped it an had a Beer instead not really up for white tips bumping me throughout the dive LOL

One thing is for sure, you can't go wrong with either of these dive destinations.

Gaz Cooper

In Topic: Cocotinos reports please

11 February 2011 - 12:59 AM

I stayed at Cocotinos about 18 months ago for about 2 weeks. The Resort is very nice and I think the rooms are simply beautifully laid out. I didnt have any problems with the meals as I enjoy the local style food and more so when its available as a buffet so I can pick and choose small samples first and go back for the stuff I liked.
I stayed in the room closest to the recpetion and I didnt hear the call to prayer. I heard that others could hear it from rooms further away from reception. I also heard that these rooms away from the reception/dining area are very very nice and would be suitable for a honeymoon couple. The people who stayed in there called it the "honeymmon suite".

I found the diving out infront of the little bay where Cocotinos is located actually quite good. I preferred to dive there than going to Bunaken.

Here are some shots from that trip:


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The business end
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Hairy?
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The poser
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The jet

Regards Mark


Hey Mark


WOW Those shots are fantastic! I love the turtle one talk about crisp sharp focus


Gaz Cooper

In Topic: Galapagos or Cocos

11 February 2011 - 12:47 AM

Hi All

For those that have been to both destinations or just one I would love to hear your input! I would love to do both but I dont think I can squeeze them into the travel budget!

I love all marine and wildlife but the big stuff has always attracted my eye!

Love to hear any suggestions, companies, hotels, info from the water and topside.

Thanks!

Kelly


Hey Kelly

I have been lucky to dive Cocos once a few years back and also Galapagos Islands multiple times since I run a dive travel company doing trips to Galapagos.

Cocos Islands is really great diving and the island is really beautiful especially at dusk and dawn after the rain, when all the cliffs are covered in waterfalls cascading down into the sea really a cool site.

The diving, I really really enjoyed, and while on this particular trip I did not see as many Hammerheads as I expected we did see some but white tips were literally everywhere, and on one occasion my buddy and I were hovering a few feet above hundreds of them trying to all get at one fish that had sought shelter in a rock crevice.


Fish life was amazing and plentiful and the big stuff that constantly showed up on almost every single dive were Mobula Rays, tons of them all flying by in squadrons that hung around us for most of the dive and I remember heading to one divesite on the zodiac and seeing the tips of their fins breaking the water as if waiting for us to get in. Really Really Cool

Since my buddy and I were taking photos we often lost each other and surfaced alone (not recommended of course) but on one of my safety stops sitting in Blue water I thought I saw something in the distance but it was too far away and blurry with the thermocline, then all of a sudden out of the blue came a Sailfish, it swam right up to me and then darted off. It was so fast I did not even have time to lift my camera for a shot, of course no one believed me back on the boat haha.

Overall I really liked Cocos and will definately go back again, The 36 hour crossing was great also although I have heard horror storys of the weather but I was lucky it was pretty much flat calm and we saw literaly thousands of Spinner Dolphins jumping, quite a spectacle and then later we saw Orcas.

Galapagos

Well this has to be the grand daddy of Big Animal diving and I have a lot of dives there and all I can say is, on one trip we saw 19 Whale Sharks 15 on another 16 on another and that is combined with Dolphins, Turtles, Mantas, Sea lions, thousands of Hammerheads, and Galapagos Sharks and Silky Sharks many on a single dive. It really is a fantastic destination and like i say on my website just as every muslim has to make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime a diver should make a pilgrimage and Dive Galapagos once in there lifetime it really is that good and anyone that has dove there will back up what I am saying.

The best diving is located at the remote Wolf and Darwin Islands and most of my trips were specifically in September as this is prime Whaleshark season.

While Cocos is really great diving, if you cant dive both locations and have to choose just one, then the choice would have to be Galapagos hands down, for big animal life it just cannot be beat. Photography is excellent and you will get up close with pretty much all the wildlife especially the Galapagos Sharks and Silkys and a wide angle lenses/fisheye is definately the order of the day.

One thing to add

Galapagos is not for beginners it is advanced diving in challenging conditions such as strong currents and sometimes rough seas. divers wanting to Dive Galapagos should be physically fit, completely comfortable with their equipment and be proficient in buoyancy control and have at least 50 dives if not more.

Hope this helps Kelly

Dive Safe

Gaz Cooper