Dirty Rock – An Underwater Barbershop

Photo courtesy from Undersea Hunter

Located at the western part of Cocos Island adjacent to the famous waterfall, Dirty Rock has a similar dive profile with Bajo Alcyone where you need to descend and traverse a vertical rock that drops down up to 35 meters (115 feet) where the big boys of the deep await you.

Dive Profile

Type of Diving: Liveaboard and Deep Diving
Maximum Depth: 35 meters (115 feet)
Average Depth: 30 meters (100 feet)
Visibility: 20 meters (66 feet)
Water Temperature: 73 – 75 OF (22 – 24 OC)

The Usual Dive Plan

Photo courtesy from Matthew Meier – Photoshelter

When your skiff boat arrives at this sheltered channel with volcanic boulders and rock pinnacles rising just above the water, you will plunge down and descend initially to 20 meters (66 feet) where you can have the first sighting of the underwater big boys: the hammerhead sharks. Some divers have discovered, especially those who have been diving in Dirty Rock for several times, that there is no need to go deep just to see hammerhead sharks where good light and visibility is much better. In some instances, you can already see a hammerhead shark during your anchor line descent.

But if your dive plan includes the objective to see the large school of passing Hammerhead Sharks, then you may need to descend further to 25 meters (82 feet) to a cleaning station where all the close action happens. At the cleaning station, you will notice that the one in-charge of cleaning the hammerhead sharks are the Black-nosed Butterflyfish (Johnrandallia nigrirostris) or commonly called as the barberfish. Kidding aside, it’s just like a hammerhead shark going to a barbershop where all the trimming and cleaning happens.

Action in All Direction

Photo courtesy from Dive the World

Aside from hammerhead sharks taking turns in the open barbershop, several species of fish surround the reef where you can compare its busyness, or should we say liveliness, to a metropolitan city. Coming in every direction and populating the lower portions of the reef are marble rays, leather bass (Dermatolepis dermatolepis), Yellow Amarillo snappers (Lutjanus argentiventris), whitetip sharks while a thick school of jacks occupies the outer ledges of the reef system making this an over-all spectacular display of marine wildlife. It does not just end there. The bounty of this site can still be observed during your ascent where green sea turtles and hawksbill sea turtles can be seen foraging in coral heads. A good way to end this dive is the presence of playful bottlenose dolphins where divers have seen them during their safety stop.

Book Cocos Island Journey


Undersea Hunter Group: www.underseahunter.com

National Geographic: www.nationalgeographic.com

Dive Site Directory: www.divesitedirectory.com

video courtesy from sulyokpisti

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