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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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Lanzarote; Playa Blanca
Dive trip report


It was family hols time; this year to Playa Blanca in Lanzarote. On the off chance (that being I had organised it over the web) of some diving I took my gear. The outfit I hooked up with were Dive College Lanzarote. They are located on the beach between the Natura Palace and Rubicon Palace hotels and are run by a nutty mix of Dutch and Brit folk who love their diving. I booked a 6 dive package and they agreed that any further dives would be charged at the same rate. Nitrox is available (costs 8 euros extra) and you can choose 10, 12 or 15 litre tanks.

Before I get to the dives, I would recommend this lot they are safety conscious, professional and of course absolutely bonkers, I`ve never met a gang who love what they do so much!! Add to this, once they are happy with your skills they will let you dive unaccompanied; great if you are into photography etc.

So; the diving, I didn`t know what to expect from my first Atlantic sojourn but here is a run down on the dives

Dive 1; Timanfaya House reef

This was a checkout dive, actually a shore dive as most of them were. They do boat trips on Mondays and Thursdays (see later)

A 14m dive for 60 mins saw some barracuda, lots of fish and urchins; scenery not too brilliant but if you are into small stuff it was an OK dive. My first learning point was that despite a 5mm full length wetsuit I was shivering at the end of the dive ; water temp 22 degrees. Decided to wear a 7mm hood and 3mm gloves for the next dive

Dive 2; Rubicon housereef

A 20m dive for 62 mins; again a shore dive in front of the shop. Lots of volcanic rock forms with attendant moray eels, cleaner shrimp ans a large variety of small fish; nice comfy dive; this time toasty thanks to the additional hood and gloves

Dive 3; The Cathedral

This site is based on Puerto del Carmen so they bus you there. Its a full day out in conjunction with dive 4. This dive was again from the shore down to a huge cavern at 32m. The shore drops off steeply until you reach a reef which drops down to the cavern. Its big enough to get about 20 divers into and deep enough to stir the adrenaline. Here live a shoal of huge Grouper and we got to see an Angel Shark for good measure. On the way back you get to see air bubbles escaping through the cavern ceiling; neat. Pity my camera packed up !! 32m for 41 mins; thank god for nitrox

Dive 4; Unknown wrecks

After a hour or so SI, its onto a RIB to transport you to the unknown wrecks; about a 3 minute ride. This was an amazing dive; you roll in, look down and 20m below you see the first of the wrecks, an intact cargo ship about 50m long and standing more or less upright. Then you look a bit further and there are 3 more wrecks all broken up at 35m.

The vis was superb and the wrecks brilliant. Apart from metal we saw huge trumpet fish, barracuda and flatfish. Watch you computer though; its easy to rack up deco time. Just in case they hang backup tank/regs at 6m. Brilliant dive; never seen so much at once plus at the same time due to the vis !!! 28m for 41 mins and only racked up 1 min deco on top of the safety stop

Dive 5; Rubicon Housereef

Another quiet bimble to 19m; saw lots of spanish dancers (no not that type sadly!!) and nudibranches. Saw more morays and a ray as it disappeared into the distance. Had great fun with the sand eels

Dive 6; Flamingo wall

A 18m for 66 mins dive on a man made wall (presumably sea defence system) This was fun as between the boulders there were loads of spider crabs, octopi, Stargazers and Skorpionfish

Dive 7; the Blue Hole

This is not a blue hole as you might imagine, but it is a deep swimthrough of about 10m at a depth of 32m. Here the floor disappears to 50m+ so care is needed. The swim thru was good as was the huge Grouper that guards it. On the way back to shore the dive is interesting in that there are so many moorings you have to navigate thru the resultant spaghetti. Another good dive to 29m for 41 mins.

Dive 8; The Cathedral again

Couldnt resist doing this again, particularly as the DM was happy for me and a buddy to do it on our own while he took the group elsewhere. Again a nice dive to 31m for 49 mins. This time there were no Groupers but there were a few Cuttlefish ambling around.

Overall

What can I say; minimum 20m vis on all dives, a relaxed but highly professional dive outfit, 23 euros a dive, sun shining (32 degrees). This is not the Maldives or anywhere that you get prolific UW life but its different, its fun, its relaxed. I would recommend Dive College lanzarote and would use them again.  I took around 200 UW pics and will be posting some here and also on my website in the next few weeks. If you want any info; email/PM me and I will get back to you.

Dive safe
 

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Good report,
               I look forward to seeing some pics
regards
Steve
 

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Nice summary Kirky.

Shame you didn't get to Mala, you see some interesting sights.

And thats before you get in the water.

Adrian
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Mala - top dive, the sights are worse when you get out, ask the 14 yr old lass we dived with 2 yrs back. The best line though was from the dive guide, a young lady, who let us all know in the most innocent terms that she had a big hole around the back. 6 old boys nearly exploded!
Glad you had a good time Kirky, I really liked Lanzarote from a diving point of view, but prefered Easter time, even got to see Angel sharks then.

Matt
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (MATTBIN @ July 30 2003,09:43)]top dive, the sights are worse when you get out
especially from underneath  


Still thats what most of us will look like when older.
 

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Yes Mala - I remember that one was where I put my hand down on an electric ray hidden in the sand - an interesting experience!


Robert
 
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