Sub-Aqua Club – Tenerife Trip 2015 Report
10 divers from the UCC Sub Aqua Club made the trip to sunny Tenerife last week to escape the bad diving weather that has plagued the season so far. While there, almost 80 dives were logged in excellent conditions, with water temperatures averaging 23 degrees and 25 metre visibility, both a long way from the winter training! Ably guided by Ray, Cléo and Jose from Aqua-Marina, divers encountered a wide variety of wildlife, including massive Atlantic stingrays, moray eels (with one tiger moray), shoals of roncadores, barracuda and trumpetfish, with a few octopus thrown in for good measure.
The trip began on a cloudy Monday morning in Cork airport, before we boarded our 4 hour flight to take us to the Canaries. On landing, we were brought by bus to our accommodation for the week, which was helpfully just located upstairs from the dive centre! Aqua-Marina are centrally located in Playa de las Américas, a short walk from the beach and the main restaurant district and a five-minute drive from their launching site at Puerto de los Cristianos.
The diving itself began on Tuesday morning with a dive on Palm Mar Wall, a 26m dive with a wall rising to about 7 metres. The second dive of the first day was on the remnants of El Condesito, which sank without loss of life in 1972 while carrying sacks of cement to be used in the construction of Los Cristianos, lie in around 20 metres off Punta Rasca. The wreck has broken up in the last 40 years, allowing divers to swim safely in and out of the structure. This was the first wreck dive for some of the group, and it was obvious from their faces on surfacing that they’d caught the metalhead bug.
Other diving highlights included two dives with the stingrays at the amazing El Acuario (the Aquarium), a visit to a statue at 32m and the wreck of El Meridian
El Meridian was a WW2 German minesweeper that saw peacetime service in Tenerife as a dolphin-watching vessel before being scuttled in 2005. Lying on a sandy bottom at about 30 m, she has since become a magnet for both divers and native sea life. She is still in excellent condition, with the bridge and cabin intact and the crow’s nest (added in the 1970s to give her a “pirate ship” look) still fixed to its mast.
When out of the water, we enjoyed as much of the Tenerifean nightlife as energy allowed, which was surprisingly little! The land-based highlight was a barbecue at Graham and Magda’s villa in the hills, which featured an entire fillet of steak on the barbie for hungry divers (one of the most impressive sights of the trip).
The summer trip away is usually a great motivation for pushing through the training to get to experience a type of diving which is very non-Irish! Thanks again to Aqua-Marina for looking after us, and we hope to see you again.