Bristol Channel Divers
7 of us assembled at Bristol airport in late January dreaming of warmer climates and excellent diving. Our dreams and stops at duty free almost got the better of us as the plane tried to leave without us as revenge for completely ignoring all the “last call” messages. Sheepishly we got onto our seats hoping that no one on the plane would notice we were last to arrive.
We arrived in Tenerife just in time to watch the sun go down on the hour-long trip to our accommodation at Los Gigantes in Southern Tenerife. We soon settled into the three apartments we had rented and went for a look around the harbour before settling on our restaurant for the evening.
The next day dawned and we woke to discover the beautiful scenery around Los Gigantes. Huge cliffs surrounded the resort and you couldn’t fail to be impressed.
We had booked to dive with Los Gigantes Diving Centre, which was a 2-minute walk from the apartments. There were two dives a day from a hardboat, returning at lunchtime to the apartments for something to eat.
The owner of the dive centre, Neville, made us feel right at home and his knowledge of the local area and dive sites was impressive. The diving itself was excellent and just what we needed to keep our hands in over the winter months. There are no wrecks in the area as the sea bed quickly shelves to 2000m+ however there was plenty of interesting scenery below the water much of it volcanic rock which formed interesting formations and lots of places to ferret. For the seasoned ferreters there were the dangers of sea urchins to contend with however that didn’t stop Anwen finding a penguin who was subsequently named Teide and who has since became our mascot.
Amongst the highlights of the holiday were Gabi completing her qualifying dives, two fantastic dives hand feeding stingrays of all sizes as well as the chance to do 8 other dives. A great day out exploring Tenerife and almost getting to the top of Mount Teide, a dormant volcano, as well as sampling the delights each evening of the local bars and restaurants. We also went on a dolphin/whale-watching trip and saw some bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins and when we felt less energetic there was a local lido where we could use the facilities and relax and build up a sun tan.
After such a great week in the sun, we left for the airport with heavy hearts as well as our bags only to cause more excitement when Simon and Fiona were hauled back in front of the customs officials who didn’t like the look of their large camera bag. Fortunately a brief look inside was enough to satisfy the officials and we were on our way back to the rain and cold of Bristol airport.
Tenerife had all the advantages: only a short flight from Bristol; almost guaranteed winter sun; beautiful scenery and interesting places to visit when you didn’t want to dive. It was also a huge bonus that the accommodation was just 2 minute's walk from the dive centre so we could literally fall out of bed in the morning and we were there!
Respect Our Wrecks!