This has certainly been a difficult year and as such the planned Seahorse club trip to Lanzarote in November had to be cancelled.
However, a small window of opportunity did open up in December and 4 Seahorse club members seized the chance, along with Ayrton and Josie who had their SSI Open Water theory done and were coming out to do their training.
Cat Briggs and Gareth Morgan travelled to Lanzarote a week before the Bryers, they had some great diving with Cat getting to see her first Angel Sharks.
The Bryers joined them a week later on Sunday 13th December having tested negative for Covid 19. The Easyjet flight over was well managed with everybody adhering to the wearing of masks, bar codes were scanned upon entry into the island and negative test certificates handed into the hotel upon check-in.
We had a total of 6 days diving with 2 dives a day.
Day 1 started at the Old Harbour in Puerto del Carmen
We dived the Cathedral on the first dive, max depth around 40m depending on tide. This dive is always good because of the scenery, the deep blue water is broken by lava formations, reefs and caves. A brief visit to 40m allows a good look into the Cathedral, often you will find Grouper hanging around in here and some nice corals, sometimes some colourful shrimp can be found in the nooks and crannies. It is easy to get a deco penalty on this dive but that can be worked off on the long swim back.
On our second dive we swam out to the right across to the Blue Hole, again a very scenic dive with Angel Sharks, Barracuda, Nudibranchs, Arrow Crabs, a lone Grouper in the hole (we couldn’t go down to see it properly) and Paul the Octopus.
Day 2, North of the island
We drove up past Mala for the first dive at the Canyon. This is a difficult site to get to and not for the faint hearted but well worth it for the scenery, there was not much life around but we did see a couple of Torpedo Rays.
We de-kitted and drove down to Mala for the second dive. Again, quite a difficult entry point for this dive and always worth it for the scenery.
Day 3, Puerto del Carmen
We fancied something different today and so took a RIB out of Puerto del Carmen to dive the harbour wrecks. We started with the deep wrecks lying at a maximum depth of 40m. Again, a close eye needs to be kept on NDL but we did hang around to watch the big Ray with deco penalties being worked out on a very leisurely ascent culminating in some nice swim throughs on the Los Erizos, a 50m steel transport vessel lying on its starboard side in 23m of water. Interestingly this wreck now forms part of the harbour wall.
For the second dive we took the RIB out to a little dived reef, I am not sure of the name, but it is something like Punta Dinosa. There were 3 separate groups on the boat and we had agreed a 45 minute dive plan. After 45 minutes we surfaced and got back onto the boat but had to wait another 10 minutes for the last group to arrive. Apparently the ‘guide’ had managed to piss off an Angel Shark which then promptly attacked him taking a chunk out of his fin!
Day 4, Playa Flamingo
Located down in the south of the island diving from Playa Flamingo is always a ‘must do’ dive. Mandy was particularly keen to do this dive as dive 2 we planned to dive with Ayrton and Josie who had just passed their SSI open water.
A gentle walk down the beach leads into a sandy, shallow part of the sea which is protected from the elements by a large breakwater running all around it. Fins on and a moderate swim out to the small gap in the breakwater, once you manage to navigate over the rocks you then drop over a wall to 18m, invariably through shoals of fish. We have seen all sorts out here from Butterfly Rays to Angel Sharks, lots of Barracuda, Trumpet Fish, Octopus and if you are very lucky a Canarian Lobster.
Dive 2 was great, and Mandy fulfilled her dream of diving with Ayrton. We saw a great free swimming Angel Shark on this dive.
Day 5, Playa Blanca
Back down South again today for a couple of RIB dives onto some of the many reefs around the south coast. The first dive was on the pipes, not so much life around today as we have sometimes seen in the past but a nice leisurely dive with the pipes making navigation back to the boat very easy.
Dive 2 was on one of my favourite reefs adjacent to the Atlantic Museum, Las Coloradas. Some of the group were dropped off at the museum, we decided to give it a miss and dive the reef which has fantastic lava formations, swim throughs and caves.
Day 6, Old Harbour, Puerto del Carmen
It is always nice to dive from the Old Harbour and for the first dive today we explored a little dived reef to the north of the Cathedral. Similar landscapes to the Cathedral with deep Blue water extending below 40m. Lots of Grouper make this a fantastic dive with a long swim back across the sand whilst keeping an eye out for Angel Sharks.
Our final dive of the week was the ‘Black Beach’. A 5-minute walk from the Old Harbour gets you around to the Black Beach, take it steady as you need to do this fully kitted! The walk is definitely worth it as this is the Cephalopod centre of Lanzarote, this is Mandy’s favourite dive for obvious reasons!!! The dive is even better at night.
An almost empty flight back on Sunday and home to Christmas and 10 days of self-isolation.
We will be reorganising the Seahorse Club trip to Lanzarote in November 2021, we will put the dates up at the beginning of the year.