Not just Shark
Pictures: Elasmodiver contains photos of sharks, skates, rays, and
chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web
based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to
encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in
shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project
containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark
There are now
more than 5000 shark pictures and sections on shark evolution,
biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed
shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster
list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous
articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so
difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures
are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:
Schooling Scalloped hammerhead sharks congregate at various
sites around the island. The sharks arrive to take advantage of cleaning
stations. Divers at sites such as Halcion cling to the edge of the seamount
trying to avoid being noticed. The hammerheads are generally shy but
occasionally come close enough to be seen clearly. Even when they are less
cooperative the spectacle of hundreds of Hammerheads swimming by high above the
divers is extremely memorable.
Whitetip reef sharks are present on every dive you will
probably do at Cocos Island. They are easily approached especially on closed
circuit, and at night they come alive and swarm over the reef in search of
concealed fish like a marauding pack of wolves. Its an amazing experience to
follow the pack which will use your dive light to hunt by.
Silky sharks are also present on most dives although in
lesser numbers. But, if a bait ball occurs they materialize out of the blue and
fire themselves like torpedoes at the writhing balls of fish. Silkies are also
attracted to the Undersea Hunter's new submersible 'DeepSee'. which cruises
deeper sites around the island.
Silvertip sharks come in to the shallows at a place named
Silverado. Up to 7 or 8 sharks are often present at this cleaning station and
they are very tolerant of divers, allowing them to approach within a few meters.
Blacktips and Galapagos sharks are usually seen out in the
blue but will join in when bait balls are formed.
Marbled rays are also seen on just about every dive and can
be easily approached and photographed, while Mobulas, Mantas, and Eagle rays
tend to be more difficult to get close to.
Operators: The Sea Hunter
and Undersea Hunter run out of Punta Arenas on one to two week trips. Avi Kapler
and his partner Yosi Neeman have perfected the art of 'off shore live aboard
diving' and they are tremendously experienced in catering to the needs and wants
of shark divers from around the world. In the past they have provided support
for all manner of international film crews from Howard Halls IMAX team to BBC
film makers and a host of others. Recently they went one step further by
installing a Seamagine Hydrospace Triumph class submersible called DeepSee. With
this they are now able to visit as deep as 1500ft where they hope to discover
many amazing new creatures perhaps including some poorly known sharks and rays.
The Okeanos Aggressor holds the third license to operate in
Cocos Island's waters. Keeping the dive ships limited has allowed the forward
thinking government of Costa Rica to keep Cocos in pristine condition.
The Undersea Hunter and Sea Hunter leave Punta Arenas on Costa Rica's Pacific
coast for the 300 mile crossing to Cocos, every week during the year. Trips
aboard their ships need to be booked well in advance although cancellations
often allow one or two divers to join at the last minute.