Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dive Log: Lanzarote, Spain

The majority of our vacations involve some scuba diving and Lanzarote was no exception. We didn't make any advance reservations, preferring instead to get the lay of the land once we got there. So on our second day we walked around the downtown of Puerto del Carmen looking for dive shops. And, after only finding one on the main drag and knowing there were many others, we resorted to looking them up online. :)

We ended up spending 3 days with Canary Island Divers, a Padi school and dive shop. They not only were really close to our hotel, but had a reasonably priced dive package, a place to store our gear each night and we'd be diving in a very small group (just us, the dive master and one other person for the first two days and just the two of us and the dive master on the third day).

All 6 of our dives were shore dives as most of the action is right off the beaches. There are some dive outfits that take out small boats or zodiacs, but since there was plenty to see from the shore, there was no need to incur the extra cost or hassle. Here is my pros/cons list of shore diving:

  • no getting seasick on the boat ride out to the dive site
  • no jarring giant stride off the boat - just a smooth ease into the water
  • no getting my shins banged on the ladder when getting back in the boat
  • did I mention no chance of sea sickness? ;)
  • lugging all your gear and tank down to the beach
  • getting sand in your dive boots
  • having to dodge sunbathers on the beach while wearing a wet suit and tank
  • did I mention lugging all the heavy gear to the beach? ;)

The dive sites themselves were great. The highlight in Lanzarote is the number of fish. Not a huge variety of different fish, but the quantity is really something in some areas. At times you could just look up and see clouds of little fish swimming above you - really cool! We also saw a cuttlefish, which is kind of a quid like looking creature - very strange and very interesting. Octopus, arrow crabs, nudi brancs and one eagle ray also made appearances. They were very fun and pretty easy dives with little current.

Between dives, we had a coffee (or hot chocolate in my case) at a cafe on the beach. They had a plastic table outside on the terrace just for the wet, sandy divers that stop there between dives. The waiters were pretty grumpy (can't really blame them, we come in all wet and sandy and only buy drinks) but the drinks were good and helped warm us up a bit between dives. Then it was back in the water for dive 2 of the day.

After, we hauled everything back up to the van and then back to the dive shop where we had to rinse and hang all the gear. By then, we were usually tired and ready for some food and a nap.

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