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Monday, October 21, 2019
Through HWSAC (your local BSAC club), you can enjoy the full range of club and training activities - including specialist skill development courses - as well as weekend dive trips, diving holidays and social activities.

Dive Tales


"Go down the anchor chain and wait in the lee of the wall."
"Once everyone's there we go over the top of the wall, and down the other side."
"If there's an adverse tide running on the top - pull yourself along using your hands."
"Don’t try to fin against the tide."
"Only  a  w*****  fins against the tide when he doesn't have to.

This was a typical briefing from Graham our host at Tenerife's 'Island Divers'.  His other half Sonia handled the RIB topsides while our HWSAC group explored the volcanic undersea delights ofTenerife.   This particular wall was the start of the Paraisio dive where we met a  friendly ray, a shy octopus and many arrow crabs: hand-sized spidery chaps with the vertical pointed bodies from which they are named.

Our five diving days followed a typical pattern:  
Drive a short distance from our apartments to Graham and Sonia's.   Load 22 full cylinders and our diving gear into their battered old VW van.   Drive twenty minutes to Colon Harbour.   Load our gear onto Graham's 12-man RIB and motor out to the morning dive site.   The most distant site we visited was about half an hour from the harbour.

On our return: swap the empty cylinders for full ones, lay out our clothing in the sun to dry, then congregate at 'Yachting', a harbourside café, where we had a table allocated for lunch each day.

After the second dive pass the cylinders up the harbour wall and re-stack them in the VW.  Clear out the RIB completely before a last drink at 'Yachting'.   On our way back,  call in at Graham's to unload and wash all our kit before hanging it out to dry on the overnight racks.  Around 8pm congregate at apt. 111 otherwise known as 'the bar' for a quick snifter before setting off to our chosen restaurant.

During the week we saw some good sized octopus, varieties of cuttlefish, morays, some large pipefish, a selection of crab types, sting and eagle rays, green turtles up to 60 cm across and a large pod of dolphins (from the surface).
Other beasties spotted during the week include Lizard Fish, Trumpet Fish, Scorpionfish, three types of Bream, Goatfish, Wide eyed Flounder, Sharp Nosed Puffer,  Pygmy File Fish, Blue Fin Damsel, Ornate Wrasse, Red Parrot Fish, Barracuda, Fire Worms, and Cardinal Fish.

On the Thursday we dived the Condosita wreck with its 'frozen' cement bags.   An interesting highlight was to watch a blissful moray being 'cleaned' by an arrow crab that delicately picked it way along its compliant host in search of titbits.  The turtles at Palm Mar have lost all fear of divers and are inclined to scrabble amongst your air hoses with their flippers and 'land' on your head.

The water temperature was just about OK for a 5mm semi but quite pleasant if you're prepared to wear a hood as well.   Visibility was always 20-25 metres and we only once found ourselves in a significant tidal stream.

Congratulations are due to Emily who qualified as Sport Diver this week despite riding the RIB in a cowboy hat.   Competing in the style stakes was Eunice who insisted on taking her silver Gucci handbag on the RIB every day.   She re-gained lost brownie points by consuming negligable air while diving.  Eunice completed her sport diver practical assessments at Tenerife and only needs to complete bits of her theory now.  Also, congratulations to Steve Wilkins on gaining his Sport Diver qualification.

James (the heavier of our two James's) successfully completed his final assessment for Dive Leader.   Obviously very worried about having to shepherd Len, "the pupil from hell", through a dive, James forgot to bring his weight belt aboard.   Try as we might we couldn't find anything in the rules that would immediately fail him so we cobbled up a substitute belt out of old engine parts and sent him down on schedule.  James made amends later that night by chewing a lizard's head in the chinese restaurant.

During the week Steve's daughter Gemma joined us to do a try dive with Graham during which she met with a variety of exotic fish and had an encounter with a turtle.  Its hard to see how a try dive at Handy Cross with its hair clips and elastoplast is ever going to match up to that.

Tragedy !   Len's Gimp pants have fallen into the harbour and sunk without trace.   Disregarding our pleas to send the gimp top overboard as well,  Len kitted up and descended into the oily murk.   He grovelled around in the mud for a while and much to our surprise emerged with a two-metre grin and the wayward pants.   Len was coated in harbour oil and even after a good hosing down won't need to put any fresh Brylcreem on for a month.

After two days of diving we had a 'rest' day and the group split up to pursue a range of activities that included taking the cable car up the mountain (beautifully clear views), geo-caching on quad bikes (don't ask), and playing around in rock pools.   Somebody 'accidently' found a naturist beach where their camera 'accidently' went off and took a picture.   Luckily it was very small (the picture).

On Monday, the last diving day, the party paired off in grades and set out to log depths on the Sans Soucci Wall which drops to just over 42 metres.   Sports divers levelled off at 35 m and the Dive Leaders tried their luck at the bottom.  Uncle Len volunteered to be shepherd and hovered at a depth where he could keep an eye on everybody.   The best depth reading of the day was logged by one of the DLs who, it is rumoured, dug a hole in the sandy bottom and pushed his computer in as far as it would go.

As the week wound down there was just one more thing to sort out - the annual Tenerife drug deal.   Our man went off to find the best price, did the deal, and came back - clutching two packs of high-dose Stugeron.  Hopefully on his next boat ride he won't feel the need to deposit his breakfast in the harbour on the way home.

We can't thank Len (and Rita) enough for organising the Tenerife 2007 trip and I for one would be happy to return next year to do it all again.


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# EKendall
05 October 2007 19:06
Ah very good report Stuart!....I just wish to add the handbag was Prada....not Gucci! LOL.

It was a fantastic week- thanks to great diving and even better company! Thank You all! specially Len!

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