Did the two-tank Night Dive with Kona Honu Divers and it was fantastic - very clean and safe boat, great dive masters, great diving. Saw over 30 Manta rays feeding on plankton. Was $180 US per person included all equipment and suit - even a $1 contribution to conservation efforts!
Just coming back from a liveaboard in Komodo.
Overall it's been awesome. Great diving, lots of fish, beautiful corals very well conserved, lots of fish, good for macro (nudibranchs) and larger fish as well (lots of turtles, black tip/white tip, 1 manta).
The visibility was pretty good all over, around 15m. Very few trash in the ocean, a couple of plastic peices that was picked by DMs.
Regarding the season:
The High Season for Mantas is November to March (don't follow the chart). It is also the wet season though.
The dry season runs from March to November. We had a few patches of rain though on October.
Dolphins are there but very shy. It is very unlikely you will bump into one.
As there are more and more dive operators and boats (about 100 apparently) it's getting more more busy and noisy and the dolphins will just avoid the crowd...
in terms of dive sites:
My favorites were The Cauldron and Castle Rock. This is were you will use a reef hook to have the chance to enjoy the show.
Try to dive there when it's either full or new moon so you will experience the strongest current.
Follow the instructions of the guide, stay close to the reef, at the same level and it will be fine. The operator (Komodo dive center) provided us hooks but it's a good idea to have your own. You will definitely use it!
Most of the dives were drift dives.
Finally as there is a large choices of dive center, choose wisely. Personally I prefer a small amount of divers (we were 9) than a more luxury boat which can carry 20 people. Komodo dive center always tried to beat the crowd by being the first group down at dawn.
Enjoy your stay
I understand it is off season during this time. Does that mean that there are no possibilities to go diving or snorkelling at all? Will the Diving centers be closed?
Is there nothing to see? To rough weather?
My husband and I are looking for a quick getaway dive trip and have Roatan or Belize in mind. What is the visibility and weather like during this time - especially after the crazy hurricanes the Caribbean has just experienced?
The Argo, one of the Undersea Hunter's boats, was our choice for our 10 days of bliss in Cocos Island. The crew was friendly and fun, the rooms were spacious, the food was amazing and the diving....oh the diving!!
The first dive was out checkout dive and it was a nice site, but what we learned later in the week was that this is where our night dives were to take place - and then it was a whole new site!! I'm not a big fan of night dives, but this night dive was one that I'll remember and relive for years to come! As the light faded and the only lights were our video lights and torches, the white tips came by the dozen to hunt - and we were part of the team! Big sharks, little sharks and huge trevally jacks scoured the reef for dinner. It was a site to behold, words can't do it justice.
The day dives were just as great! Alcyone was an early favorite as it is a hammerhead cleaning station and we were not disappointed. Close encounters were abundant. The picture burned into my brain though is the school of hundreds of hammerheads swimming above us...magical.
Not to be outdone, Manuelita Outside, had its own action waiting for us - a huge tiger shark coming in to have her picture taken...breathtaking!
Unfortunately, there are no turtles at Cocos any longer. When the tiger sharks came back to the island a few years ago, the turtles became their snack and that was the end of that.
The Argo also has the deep sea submersible available for 30m or 100m dives. A few of the guests went on that adventure and enjoyed it.
If you've had Cocos on your bucket list, it's time to get there and check it off!
Would you recommend diving and snorkeling here in Feb/March? Is either month better or less busy?
We dived 3 days with local dive center Aquarius.
Pros: Lots of turtles everywhere, nice coral, met many shrimps and curious unicornfishes on the night dive. We were lucky to spot dugong and dolphins.
Cons: Problems with organization, necessity to ride zodiacs(due to them I have problems with knees now)
In addition to that we spent 1 week on a liveaboard and must admit that 80% of nice videos I shot were during those 3 days of diving with Aquarius (Karim is the best guide ever!)
See also a link to my video (almost all of it was shot in Port Ghalib except for the sharks and barracudas that were in remote areas where we headed during liveaboard trip)
Forget the advertising.... no more whale shark since 7 years.... a lot of the coral grounds around mahe are just piles of dead coral, overgrown by seeweed. together with the disappearing polyps the fish life is also less than expected ! So , above the water the seychelles are still the pristine islands as everyone knows from the postcards, under water global warming is distroying most of the beauty.... perhaps the islands further away are less touched ?
The dive center was,ok, but no possibilities for noght diving, wreck diving, nitrox,....