The home port of the Sea Hunter is Puntarenas, on the west coast of Costa Rica. It takes just over 3 hours by car to reach Puntarenas from the capital San Jose. Sea Hunter offers 10, 11 and 12 night trips to Cocos Island from Puntarenas. All Cocos Island trips offer a maximum of 7 to 9 days of diving.
The crossing to Cocos Island takes about 36 hours. You get 7-9 dive days, which makes the trip worthwhile. All divers must arrive in San Jose at least one day ahead of cruise start. It is also recommended to have one night after cruise end. Pick-ups are done only from 4 host hotels in San Jose.
The 36m (118ft) long vessel comfortably accommodates 18-20 divers. The cozy lounge is a great spot to relax. In the dining area, guests can choose from a wide selection of food from the buffet menu. They can also help themselves to a free coffee machine (even cappuccino) and tea, and non-alcoholic beverages and beer are available. Outside, there is a large deck that is partly shaded.
The ship caters completely for divers on the large diving deck. There are plenty of camera racks, charging stations and fresh water to rinse the equipment. The ship also provides Nitrox refilling units. All electronic equipment is state of the art and meets current safety standards. There are two 8-meter (26ft) fiberglass skiffs.
There are 8 double/twin cabins below deck and two suites on the upper deck. All cabins are air-conditioned and have private bathrooms. All cabins come with a flat screen TV with DVD player, custom cabinetry, and a luxury, private bathroom with granite countertops, and 110V outlets. Each Suite has a distinctly themed room, with hand-painted artwork by Carlos Hiller. The boat can take up to 20 guests.
Cabin 1 - Twin cabin with 2 single beds (bunk bed style)
Cabin 2 - Twin cabin with 2 single beds side by side
Cabin 3 - Twin cabin with 2 single beds (bunk bed style)
Cabin 4 - Double cabin with queen size bed and optional upper single bed
Cabin 5 - Twin cabin with 2 single beds side by side
Cabin 6 - Twin cabin with 2 single beds (bunk bed style)
Cabin 7 - Double cabin with queen size bed and optional upper single bed
Cabin 8 - Double cabin with queen size bed and optional upper single bed
The main deck houses a study, the galley, the dining room, the lounge, camera and dive gear storage and the dive platform.
Suite 9 - Double cabin with one queen size bed
Suite 10 (Owner's cabin) - Double cabin with one queen size bed
The Sea Hunter is all about diving. 3 dives are possible on each dive day. Each dive is accompanied by a dive guide, who leads the dive if desired, otherwise independent diving is announced. All dives are conducted after a detailed briefing with skiffs. Nitrox is free of charge. The dives are often quite long and no-decompression limits are reached quickly, so diving with Nitrox is highly recommended. Divers will individually be equipped with satellite tracking devices, to assure no one gets lost out in the open sea. A safety sausage is mandatory for each diver and should be brought on board. If you don't bring your own, Argo supplies safety sausages to all passengers. 12L (80 cu.ft.) aluminium tanks are provided. A limited supply of 15L steel tanks is available and should be requested in advance. The 12L tanks are standard INT (not DIN). The 15L tanks are DIN. Adapators are available. Water temperature is about 26C to 29C (78F-83F), although it can be a few degrees lower under the occasional thermocline.
The DeepSee submersible is available on almost all of the Argo and Sea Hunter trips. The submersible is usually placed on Argo, but is also available for Sea Hunter guests when both vessels coincide at the islands for 2-4 days. Guests have the opportunity (at extra cost) to explore the underwater world with the submersible up to 305 meters (1000ft) depths! An absolutely special and amazing experience for sure! It is recommended to reserve and prepay your DeepSee dives in order to guarantee your seat.
Cocos Island and the Galapagos possess some of the most spectacular dive sites in the world. You can be guaranteed to see heaps of big fish! Most dives are done close to surrounding rocks and islands. The cleaning stations in these areas attract schools of hammerhead sharks. On almost every dive you will encounter huge schools of fish, mostly jacks and barracudas and large fish such as silky, silver tip and tiger sharks, manta rays and mobulas. Whale sharks and dolphins are not uncommon and can be spotted on almost all routes. Turtles, moray eels and lobsters are everywhere. With a little luck, you may encounter chasing sailfish or whales. Night dives are offered depending on diving conditions.
You should know...
While diving Cocos Island is extraordinary and beautiful, the Cocos Island area is very remote. It is not recommended for inexperienced divers because it is an open ocean destination that requires advanced open water diving skills. The minimum required level of certification to dive at Cocos is Open Water and it is strongly recommended having at least the specialties of deep & night diver. It is also recommended to have a minimum of 25 hours of diving experience, since some dives are deeper than 30m (100ft). Currents and visibility can be entirely different in just a few hours. The dive guide on board will always be the final authority as to wether a passenger can do any specific dive.
The vessel is in radio contact with the Undersea Hunter Fleet office in San Jose during office hours. There is also a satellite phone on board, which costs USD 3.50 per minute.
Spectacular diving is guaranteed with the Sea Hunter. If you love diving with large fish, Cocos Island is one of the best dive locations in the world. Excursions are not suitable for beginners.