ATOL 4112. ATOL Protection extends primarily to
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|Cocos Island Dive Sites
- DIRTY ROCK
A series of stepped rock pinnacles that break the surface and
drop down to over 200ft with small coral formations along the
upper reaches, and numerous caves hiding lobsters, snapper and
bigeye. Small schools of marbled grouper can be seen at 50-100ft.
Along the outer edge turtles, mantas and whale sharks are commonly
sighted. Schooling hammerheads are usually "guaranteed"
at 100-200ft along the outer drop-off, often coming up to 70ft.
It is advisable to get to the outer edge as quickly as possible
to maximise bottom time along the drop-off. Ignore everything
else until ascending!
- MANTA POINT
This ridge runs out from Cape Dampier on the south of Cocos, to
a depth of about 90ft before tipping off the edge. A deep gully
cuts between it and the mainland. Large schools of jacks and snapper
can be found within the gully and along the outer edge. Turtles,
marbled rays and white-tips can be observed along the reef top.
Mobula and giant mantas come in on the plankton rich currents
- water visibility is often poor (70ft) because of this. The more
diminutive mobula rays are usually seen in schools of up to 8
or 10, and we saw one very large giant manta, a good 18ft across.
Regrettably another diver swam straight at it to get his photo
and scared it away. Tuh!
Named after Jacques Cousteau's yacht, this is a seamount shaped
like an upturned boat. It is about 80ft to the top and drops down
to over 150ft on all sides. The top is swept by strong currents,
so you need to be careful you dont get swept off the edge
into blue water. Huge marbled rays can be found in the sand patches
on the top of the reef, often piled one on top of the other. Free-swimming
morays are common also.
- DOS AMIGOS
Two smaller islands off the South coast. Large numbers of white-tips
and turtles, as well as schools of jacks and snappers in a large
arch that starts at 70ft, dropping to over 100ft. There are excellent
photo opportunities within the archway.
- WAFER BAY
Located on the sand and rock bottom of Wafer Bay is the remains
of a shipwreck, supposedly a German whaling ship that sank in
the Fifties. When the tide is right, this can be an enjoyable
shallow or night dive.
The largest of the islets, off the north coast of Cocos, with
a steep slope off the western side, and shallow fringing reef
off the eastern side. A large cave on the seaward point is the
supposed discovery place of treasure. Along the western side hammerheads
and mantas are often seen, the former coming in to be "cleaned"
by angle fish and other species. The fringing reefs are home to
schools of surgeon fish and butterfly fish and garish orange frogfish,
and I found sleeping white tips under a large coral head. To observe
the hammerheads schooling at Manuelita you need to sit put on
the rock slope on the western side and wait for them to come in.
If they are there then you can see wuite literally thousands of
- SHARK FIN ROCK
This huge rock pinnacle in open water almost breaks the surface
the sea swirls round its upper reaches. It drops to well
below 200ft and is full of caves, swim-throughs and gullies choked
with lobsters, fish and morays. Then ighlight of this dive is
the monster school of jacks jacks that is frequently seen in the
open water around Shark Fin Rock. They are eminently approachable
and if you swim into their midst they will start to vortex around
you, a wall of fish on all sides. There maybe upwards of 20,000
individuals in this school. We saw mobula rays on the surface
at the end of your dive and snorkelled with them
- SUBMERGED ROCK
A flat-topped pinnacle that starts in 15ft and drops to 160ft.
Large whale sharks are common sights. The walls are pitted with
holes that are home to numerous morays. Go deep and spiral upwards!
- LOBSTER ROCK
As many as 40 white-tips can be seen sleeping on the sand at Lobster
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