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I gotta say first of all that, getting back form Menorca has left me cold ever since.  I seriously do not recommend coming from 90 degrees to the UK at this time of year.  Brrr!!

When we got there we hooked up with a dive centre and arrahged a program of dives.  However, this dive centre was so badly organised that I refused to dive with them any further.

On the plus side, the dive with them was on to the malakov, which looked great.  Having motored out to the site I ended up having to go down the anchor line and drag the anchor along the seabed to the wreck.  Plenty to see on the wreck including morays, barracuda and a whole host of other fish.  (Don’t know most of ‘em!)

The wreck itself lies upright at around 38m on and is in quite good nick.  Very interesting.  Digger, go back and do it.

After this bad start I contacted Martin Lawrence, who has set up Blue Water Scuba after the demise of Crystal-Seas.  Jolly nice chap.

Because I had had a bad start the other dive centre, I think martin determined to show me the best of Menorca.  And that he did…

We started off with a shore dive at Pont’den Gil.  This is a cavern dive really but it is spectacular.  After hauling our gear down this cliff, including getting over a gap in the rocks with the sea crashing in below us, in we jumped.  Swimming along in the fabulous visibilty we descended and went through a swim through.  After a short fin along the bottom, into the black cave we went…

What a place.  Every diver should go to Menorca and do this dive.  It’s fantastic!  As the cave gets narrower you become more aware of several things at once.  Where your buddy is, your contents gauge and the surroundings.  You start to see stalactites (they are the ones that come down, like tights see?!!) and stalagmites.  And ones that have joined up, what are they called?  Eventually you surface in a cave with no light bar your torches.  And everyone has the same look onm them.  The WOW face.  The rock formations are amazing.  One looks like a frog, one is giving you the finger and there is even Buddha’s temple in there somewhere.  Top dive.

Then there is the moonpool, anothert cave but you surface in an almost perfect circle of rock into an airspace.  

Fossil cave, which is self-explanatory.  Another good easy caveern dive.

I shan’t mention the 6 metre giant stride to get to the last two dives!!!

Plenty to see.  Lots of different diving and a top dive centre to boot.  Ble Water scuba is a good setup and martin, if you read this, I hope your plans for the future soon come to be.  Thanks for the dives and sorting out the Crystal Seas thingy.

If you’re planning a holiday next year, try Menorca.  Martin can be contacted at [email protected]

And now for some pics....
 

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Hi Andy,

I've just come back from two weeks in Menorca. Who was your first dive with? I visited dive organisations in Cala Galdana, Fornells and Cala Torret. We ended up diving with S'Algar Diving. Although I did not visit Ulmo Diving S'Algar looks to be one of the biggest dive organisations on the Island. After Crystal ceased Trading earlier this year how did you know to Contact Martin? Did he work at Crystal? Did you dive with them before?

We stayed at another resort since S'Algar is a little boring and just drove to S'Algar every time we dived. They operate two Hard boats, each capable of taking ten divers. There is lots to see in the south east corner, even for the twelve dives we did. I dived the Moon Pool twice, once from the boat, just outside the entrance and the second time from the shore about 75-100m to the north west, when the wind blew strongly from the SE. Did you dive any other of the SE dive sites? There are some lovely swim throughs on the Isla de la Aire just south of Punta Prima and in and around the SE side of Menorca. One right next to the Moon Pool on that same rocky outcrop in Cap d en Font is Cathedral Cavern which is featured in this months Dive magazine. We did not dive this as you required a Padi Cave divers qualification, which S'Algar Diving have just handily started offering. The two weeks we were in Menorca were 5th Sept - 19th Sept, when were you there? I read a Diving guide book to the Balerics my folks brought back for me in May which shows nice drawings of the Pont’den Gil but we never dived this, this year, next year perhaps.

Has Martin any plans to put together an Website as I'd really like to see what he has to offer. From your post above it looks like he doesn't have a boat yet as you mentioned shore dives? Reading the guide it mentions taking a short boat ride out from near Ciutadella is the best way to see the Cave. We're definately diving in Menorca next year as we've hardly seen all the dive sites S'Algar offers let alone those on the North, and West sides. You mentioned diving the Malakoff, the french steamer from the 1920s. There is an other wreck in pristene condition on the west coat whos name escapes me for the moment. This one is in similar if shallower depths but was sunk in the 1950s and is very recognisable as it sits on the sandy sea bed and has not been broken up.

If your planning on returning to Menorca you look at the www.Menorca-net.co.uk guide which although not specifically a dive website, does list all the resorts and places to stay, as well as giving handy advice like car hire and bus and taxi costs etc.. There is even a small forum.

Dave C
 

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Hi PADI cave diver?------do they really do this?

What happened to Crystal Seas? I dived loosely through them in 1999 and am genuinely interested in what happened, and what/who has taken things on.
Had great vis and an enjoyable cavern course at the time.
Cheers, Malcolm.
 

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Coming out of a cave...
 

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I wasn't gonna say who the dive centre were, i'm not sure if I should or not.  Don't wanna seem vindictive.

I knew of Martin from his Crystal seas days although I hav enever dived with him before.

And yes, I was there at the same time as you although we stayed at the other end of the island.

Martin has promised a website soon, so we will probably put a link on from here for him.

the wreck you mean is the Fransiquita, which we didn't get to dive.  Supposed to be good though...
 

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This rock has been christened the love tunnel!!
 

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And here's one of our kid entering a cave.
 

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For a start, Andy, name the centre. We are all working together at Yorkshire Divers to try and make sure the rest of the guys don't have to waste their money doing dives with useless centres. We name and shame when there's crap kit out there, and we should be doing it with centres. I know who they are, and they deserve a bad rep, because they have an attitude I wouldn't go near, but I could have easily dived with them had they had a good morning.

The photos are good, I was in that very cave Little Dave is in. My matey said it was a month to the day that we did our little jaunt out there in a message this morning. I want to go back. I really do.

Is that Adam in the love tunnel? Looks suspiciously like his gear, I wouldn't recognise his backside.

I can echo all of Andy's comments about Martin Lawrence and the guys at Blue Water Scuba. They're doing all the right things to make it as fun and safe as possible, and they're a great bunch of guys.

As I understand it, Crystal Seas basically went down the pan after one of the major guys running the place died (don't know too much detail) and it basically wound down from there. All the assets were sold off and most of the guys working there long-term either moved on or setup on their own, buying bits from Crystal Seas to do it, and starting up a series of smaller centres. I'll try and get one of the guys to post a more accurate idea of what really happened.
 
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