Ok - now for the report. This was my second diving trip to Gran Canaria and the second diving with Scubasur on the south of the island. The idea was to dive twice a day for 5 days and to catch a bit of sun in between.
Dive site : Anfi Reef
Max depth : 22m
I'd not dived this before but, as the RIB was taking two newbies out I thought I'd tag along! Paco (the DM) was giving the briefing on the RIB and casually mentioned that the max depth was 42m! - "Erm - ok" I agreed, thinking about the 12l on my back and exactly how long it was going to last at 42m!! Thankfully, it was a mis-translation and the true depth was 22m. Dropped straight down onto a sandy bottom and followed the reef out for about 20mins before turning and returning back to the line. Not a very exciting dive, but with viz of over 20m and having spotted a barracuda, moray eel and a shoal of Yellow Snapper, it was well worth it just for that alone.
Dive Site : Balito Reef
Max Depth : 16m
I've dived this reef before but only under guided tours. On the RIB, there were some more students finishing off courses and another guy, David, from England. I buddied up with David and my briefing was along the lines of "Ok Jay, your a DM now so you take David, follow the reef on your left. When down to 130 bar, turn and follow it on your right!" - OK! We dropped in and started to follow the reef around. We went right out to sea, ran out of reef so followed it a bit further to the left. Plenty of life here - Parrotfish, Snapper, Barracuda etc. There are usually some Moray Eels tucked in the crevices but despite sacrificing numerous urchins (or 'black spiky bastards' as the locals affectionately call them), none paid us a visit. With our air down to about 140 bar, I signaled to David that we should return. Giving the universal signal for "Wheres the fecking boat then?", he gave the equally universal signal for "F**ked if I know, you're the DM!". No problemo! Glancing at my compass, I made an educated guess and took a bearing over the coral. 200m later and we landed on the guideline with about 5m to spare - pretty good eh? Once at the line we still had about 100bar to play around with, so we messed around in the vicinity, attacking more urchins, feeding fish and generally gimbaling around until time to surface.
Monday morning :
Dive Site : Puerto Mogan
Max Depth : 20m
This was the dive I had been looking forward to most of all - a dive on the wreck just outside the mouth of Mogan harbour. There is a tourist submarine that periodically comes out of Mogan and so they purposely sunk a boat here to give the tourists something to look at. Last winter, they sunk a new wreck about 100m further out to sea and I hadn't seen it before. Again, I buddied with David and we dropped onto the first wreck before heading off to find the new one. It loomed out of the distance and made the Stanegarth look like a dingy! We skirted around the outside, again seeing Barracuda, Snappers and the usual suspects before deciding to do a bit of wreck penetration. Into the hold, down the stairs into the lower compartments before scaring the crap out of a student by popping out of the hold in front of her - her face was an absolute picture! This was the first wreck I had done such a deep penetration into and it was magnificent! Siobhan (one of the instructors) had brought her video camera down so I have that to watch on those cold and lonely winter nights to come. After about 25 mins, we headed back to the first wreck which has, unfortunately, started to deteriorate badly since last year so no penetration here due to the chance of falling infrastructure. After about 10 mins, David signalled that he could hear something. We turned around and there was the fecking submarine!! Dirk, the main instructor, told me later that a couple of weeks earlier, he had been diving in zero viz after a storm and had been heading to the other wreck when he actually swam into the sub! He described the look on the pilots face as he swam headlong into the cockpit window! One for the scrapbook if it had been on camera!
Dive Site : Pasito Reef
Max Depth : 16m
Back to Balito this afternoon - the school were taking 3 Scandanavian OWDs out for their skills and asked if I would tag along because they were having problems so a third pair of hands in the water may be useful. As it turned out, another DM came too so I decided to go off on my tod for a 45 min solo dive (ooh Andy, see what you've done to me!!). Came back to help with their guided swim and spent most of the next 10 mins grabbing fins of divers deciding to bolt for the surface, helping one of the Scandi's expel his lunch through his reg and the other usual delights that a DM has to face. Still, at least he managed to feed the fishes!! Was last back on the RIB to find one of them lying face down on the side tube, looking extremely ill!
Dive site : Pasito Blanco
Max depth : 19m
This is another favourite of mine - Pasito is a 25min boat ride and lies approx 2 miles offshore. Tons of life on this - tens of thousands of Snapper, barracuda, a shark, a Stingray, crabs, and so much more. Spent alot of time actually picking crap off the reef (plastic bags, bottles etc) - made me realise just how much we are fucking up the environment when you are finding these on a reef so far out to sea. Viz was a good 25m on this dive and we were down for nearly an hour. On the boat back, the winds had really picked up and the journey took well over 40 mins back to harbour.
Unfortunately, the winds picked up so much that the afternoon dives were cancelled and the next day, the swell was a good 3-5 metres all day with 10-15 foot breakers!. One the Thursday (my last day for diving) we took the RIB out in the morning with another 8 divers. Paco dropped in to weight the anchor and returned to say the viz was about 1 metre. Did anyone want to dive? Jay did!! Unfortunately, the other divers took a vote (a fucking vote!! - BSAC anyone?) and I was voted out 8 to 1! Warm water poofs!
So that was that, no more diving I'm afraid and my 10 pack turned into a 5 pack instead. Disappointed as I was, I had some great diving over the week. Gran Canaria has suffered some terrible storms over the winter and this has killed alot of coral but the new growth is already starting to appear. It is easy when diving in water that is already 21c with normal viz in excess of 20m to forget that this is still the Atlantic and can, at times, be quite unforgiving in terms of currents etc but I can truly say that I enjoy the diving there everytime. My heartfelt thanks to the Scubasur team for everything they did for me and I look forward to returning in October this year when I have been promised some more extreme diving with Dirk (the owner and instructor).
Quality report my son... Altho you made me snort coffee out of my nostrils with the submarine story... funny story, but not funny having coffee all over me keyboard for feks sake... can you warn me the next time you intend to be humorous please...
Do u have anymore piccies of the wrecks you descibed Jay?
Lol .. I have been on the submarine that comes out of Peurto Mogan when I was on Holiday in 96 is the wreck still covered with fake treasure ?? I remember seeing divers when I was in it and wishing that the girl I was with would fall off a cliff so I could spend the rest of my holiday with a cylinder on my back rather than having to accompany some landlubber in a giant cylinder... never mind .. it all worked out for the best
And my new girlfriend is more than keen to get hooked up on a course next time we go away on vacation.
Once it gets into your system you can't get the bloody thing out.
Unless you pay for the retail version it installs adware, spyware and any other bloody ware...I'll have nothing to do with it mate, I'm really sorry too cos I'd love to see your video but I'll never install Realplayer on my clean system again