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Dive Wild in Cocos!

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Cocos Island has been one of those bucket list dive destinations for all of my diving life. Back in around 2009/10 my friend was continuously encouraging me to take up diving knowing I loved the water and wildlife so much. It still took me some time to commit though and that commitment came after watching his videos from his Cocos Island trip. Seeing close up video of an abundance of sharks was something I could definitely sink my teeth into.

Fast forward nearly a decade and I was fortunate to win Undersea Hunters “Dive Wild” Instagram Photography Competition in 2019. This was a dream come true for me as having a young family meant the expense of such a dive trip was a little out of reach. Now I had the opportunity of a lifetime to dive one of the most sort after dive locations in the world. A trip was planned for May/June 2020 and the excitement with each passing day was immense BUT then Covid hit. Unfortunately, as Covid took a hold around the world the trip had to be postponed on four different occasions until I finally got my chance in May this year to visit Costa Rica and the infamous Cocos Island with Undersea Hunter onboard Argo.

My trip on the Argo began on May 16th. A 130-foot vessel that has a mix of research work ship and luxury yacht, providing 9 spacious rooms to accommodate 18 guests (14 on this particular trip). It also offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to dive a few hundred metres below the surface on the DeepSea Submersible. A trip on the DeepSea Submersible comes at an extra cost but would be such a unique opportunity that was unfortunately not available for our specific trip. Argo’s ability to transport the DeepSea Submersible meant the dive deck and outside space was more than enough for the 14 dive guests plus guides to get ready and then board the two dive skiffs to transport to the dive sites. A large and comfortable lounge and dining area coupled with a large sundeck provided ample space for relaxing on the long journey and between dives.

Once everybody was checked in onboard and all luggage accounted for, we set off on the mammoth voyage to Cocos Island around 350 miles into the Pacific Ocean. This was going to take around 36 hours and gave us plenty of time to get organised for the 7 days of diving we had planned over the coming week. Thankfully, after having not been on a liveaboard for 2 years and on a boat at sea for 9 months the crossing was very kind to me. A gentle swell meant any sea sickness was kept at a bare minimum and I was able to function and pay attention. Particularly important for the boat briefing and one that I was very impressed with.

Our host for the trip Juan Manuel was entertaining and kept us engaged throughout. The dedication to safety is what really resonated with me. It’s easy to get complacent when it comes to liveaboard diving and forget about the dangers that come with living on a boat. While Covid protocols were obviously dealt with, it was the issues with potential fires etc that I was impressed with. Unfortunately, we are probably all aware of the devastating liveaboard fires in recent years.

With times of adversity comes lessons and in some cases change. I believe safety has always been paramount, but with the fact that one of the fires was attributed to an electrical charging fault, it was particularly encouraging being told that anything left on charge in the common areas unattended at night would be unplugged for safety reasons. It was also pointed out that members of the crew would take it in turns to do 20-minute checks and sensors are used to ensure checks are being made. While we were all tired from our busy diving days and early nights were common throughout the guests, I did happen to stay up later one night to watch a film. It was pleasing to witness these checks first hand as the captain walked through numerous times marking the sensor each time.

It’s safe to say I felt completely at ease on the Argo for my trip to Cocos Island. The staff were accommodating for all our needs and went above and beyond to make sure our trip was safe and comfortable. The food was a delicious buffet and there were always alternatives if you didn’t eat a particular dish, while the diving from the two skiffs was well run with great help onboard and great guiding. I also feel I need to make a special mention for the theatre that was the scene of our entertainment – the island itself. Cocos Island was one of the most awe-inspiring places I’ve ever visited. An island of a thousand waterfalls and dense tropical rainforest it left me amazed with each passing turn – and underwater it was pretty special too! Stay tuned for my next blog with an overview of the week’s diving and also look out for the full article in Dive Travel Adventures soon.

More information

www.underseahunter.com

www.visitcostarica.com/en


Find out more about Sean, his photography and his hosted trips at: www.greatwhitesean.com

Sean Chinn’s scuba diving adventure started in a freezing cold quarry back in January 2011. Maybe the reason he wasn't instantly hooked! However, after an amazing trip to Indonesia in 2013, he realised he needed to see more of the underwater world. With no photography background, he enlisted some help in developing both his diving and photo skills. This kickstarted his diving and underwater photography adventure which has become something of an addiction. Seeing and photographing wildlife is Sean’s real passion in diving but he is always keen to try new ideas.

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Get up to 25% off your holiday in the Emperor Divers Autumn Sale

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Emperor Divers is offering some amazing Autumn savings across a whole range of liveaboard and daily diving holidays.

Among the highlights include 20% off selected sailings for the rest of 2022, early bird discounts for trips in 2023 and 2024 and a superb 25% off bookings for brand-new Emperor Harmoni.

There is also a 10% discount and extra free places for those booking charter sailings.

But time is of the essence as, not only do these offers sell out fast, the sale only runs until October 1st.

EMPEROR FLEET OFFERS

SAVE up to 20% on SELECTED 2022 SAILINGS

Secure the last available spaces for 2022 with discounts of up to 20% across Emperor’s Red Sea and Maldives fleet. These do sell fast and are updated regularly, please visit the website to check sailings under offer throughout the sale period.

SAVE up to 25% on Emperor Harmoni 2023 & 2024 SAILINGS

Confirm your Emperor Harmoni 2023 or 2024 departure before 1st October and save up to 25%

  • Emperor Harmoni 7 nights from €2,470
  • Emperor Harmoni 9 nights from €3,175
  • Emperor Harmoni 12 nights from €4,230

Applicable on selected 2023 & 2024 departures. Cannot be combined with standard group free places.

BOOK EARLY & SAVE 10% on 2023 & 2024 SAILINGS

Confirm your 2023 or 2024 Red Sea or Maldives liveaboard before 1st October and save 10%

SAVE up to €230 – Best of Maldives

  • Emperor Explorer from €1,890
  • Emperor Serenity from €1,795
  • Emperor Virgo from €1,660
  • Emperor Leo from €1,750
  • Emperor Voyager from €1,480

SAVE up to €130 – Red Sea

  • Emperor Elite from €1,075
  • Emperor Superior from €1,030
  • Emperor Echo from €940

Applicable on all 2023 & 2024 departures excluding the following: Maldives February & March 2023 & 2024 and Red Sea October & November 2023 & 2024. Can be combined with standard group free places.

10% plus EXTRA FREE PLACES for CHARTERS

  • Raja Laut, Indonesia: 10% off pp plus 10 pay, 2 free.
  • Serenity, Maldives: 10% off pp plus 22 pay, 4 free.
  • Elite & Superior, Red Sea: 10% off pp plus 22 pay, 4 free.

Charter Extra Free Places apply to all 2023 and 2024 departures excluding Harmoni, Explorer, Maldives and Indonesia February & March and Red Sea October & November.

EMPEROR DAY DIVING OFFERS

5 days’ diving package for €250, plus free 12L nitrox and full equipment rental for only €60

Applicable on prepaid bookings only for either Sharm el Sheikh or Marsa Ghalib. Minimum 5 day package for all 2023 dates excluding October and November.

EMPEROR VALUE

LOW DEPOSIT 10% deposit for FIT bookings and for a limited time only, €1,200 deposit for group and charter bookings.

EXTRA 5% DISCOUNT on back-to-back departures Looking for a trip that is more than 7 days, then book 2 x 7 nights with an additional 5% discount (5% off each trip). You can choose to stay on different boats, different itineraries and even depart from different ports.

NO ADDED EXTRAS, FREE NITROX, & COMPLIMENTARY WINE Emperor’s inclusive liveaboard pricing means no added extras; the price you see is the price you pay. All Emperor Liveaboards includes park and port fees, fuel surcharges, all taxes, free Nitrox and a glass of wine with dinner on any Red Sea, Maldives or Indonesia liveaboard. Cheers!

OFFER TERMS & CONDITIONS

These offers are for promotional purposes and for use by Emperor Divers’ partners and form part of Emperor’s AUTUMN SALE.

All prices are quoted per person, based on guests sharing a twin berth cabin and are for promotional purposes only. There are limited places on each sailing under offer and are subject to availability. Offers and free group places cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount unless stated.

Valid on new bookings received and confirmed between 18th September to 1st October 2022.

Group bookings (6+), full and private charters: €1,200 non-refundable deposit within 7 days, 10% due 60 days after confirmation. 25% due 26 weeks prior to departure. Normal payment terms with balance due 56 days prior to departure and cancellation terms apply.

For more, visit www.emperordivers.com/autumn-sale-2022

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: VL 4600PB Video & Blue Light from Bigblue (Watch Video)

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In a video shot exclusively for Scubaverse.com, Jeff Goodman reviews the VL 4600PB Video & Blue Light from Bigblue.

For more information, visit www.bigbluedivelights.com or email info@liquidsports.co.uk.

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Save up to 1/3 off a trip to Indonesia! Your chance to dive Bali, Komodo and Raja Ampat aboard the NEW luxury MY Emperor Harmoni for less! Launching in September 2022. Emperor Harmoni is Emperor Divers Indonesia’s brand new liveaboard. Built of Sulawesi Ironwood and offering a truly new experience to liveaboard holidays, experience a true sense of sailing the Indonesian seas in freedom, style, comfort and confidence with her two engines. Enjoy spacious diving and relaxation areas or relax with a massage on deck. Example price based on Bali departure to Komodo WAS £2900 / NOW from just £1995* per person based on sharing a twin luxury cabin including: 1 night in Bali before the boat departure with airport transfers One way flight from Labuan Bajo to Bali after the liveaboard with 20kgs baggage 7 nights onboard MY Emperor Harmoni with 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, unlimited drinking water, tea & coffee All diving with guide, cylinders & weights, Marine Park & Port Fees Free Nitrox 1 cocktail party on a local island (weather allowing) Return airport transfers * Price excludes international flights, these can be quoted at the time of reservation Booking deadline: Subject to availability. Other Dates available - book before 30 September! Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk. More Less

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