Cocos Island was one of the earliest of the nearby 'thriller' destinations, which had no pretty coral reefs in the era when everyone wanted coral reefs, forced divers to cruise 300 miles each way out of the West Coast of Costa Rica--and yet still took off as a cult favorite for divers. I had the good fortune to represent the earliest boat to regularly cruise there, and did a number of cruises myself to test the diving.
It was as good as anyone could have hoped. Thousands of hammerhead sharks gathered at depths of 100 feet or so, making the use of Nitrox an important weapon in photography. A number of divers used rebreathers, though I found that the depth profile made Nitrox work pretty well.
A number of volcanic pinnacles are on the shelf around a massive central island laced with many waterfalls. There are often currents which require divers to carefully plan their entries and exits to avoid a long ride out to sea. Not only are there huge schools of hammerhead sharks and white-tipped reef sharks. Dense shoals of snappers and groupers rush about, in and out of crevices in the stony formations.
This is an early story I wrote after a trip to Cocos. Shortly after this, we also were able to access Malpelo, which is described elsewhere in this gallery.
We thereafter referred to the Galapagos, Cocos and Malpelo as the Golden Triangle for big-animal divers. All were similar, but different enough to require that a serious diver go to all three in his or her career--and some people went to each several times!
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