Tag Archive for: wrecks

On Tuesday mornings the scheduled dive at Calipso is the wrecks by the new harbour wall at Peurto del Carmen.

It requires a boat to travel to the entry point next to the wall which is used as a reference for decending the safety stop and for the acsent to the surface.

There are four wrecks in all.  As we decend we come across an imposing boat on its side.  It jutts from the wall, having been incorporated into the walls construction.  Time is not wasted on this wreck though as we drop off over the edge and swim slowly to the three as a greater depth of about 30 meters.

I am informed that all 4 boats are old working fishing boats the local authority sank on purpose specifically to support divers visiting the island.

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The deepest wreck lays like an old elephant carcass.  Its flesh eaten, rotted and scavenged from its bones.  Its ribs exposed and pointing skyward.   Made of wood, soon there will be nothing left of what used to harvest fish from this same sea.  In the meantime, it provides accomodation and food to a host of fish and other marine invertabrates.

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An old propeller sits on the sea bed.  Measuring about 2ft across, algae and corals cover the corroding metal as small atlantic damsels swim around to investigate the possability of food.

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Multi coloured turckish wrasse swim around the boats carcass weaving in and about flora covered wood.

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This wreck looks almost intact.  Its mast and rigging giving a ghostly feel to this man made environment.

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Up now to explore the first wreck we past.  It lays on its side.    It is much bigger than the others and sits on an imposing ridge overlooign the others.

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Looking at the wreck from below its bow, the light behind provides an eerie silluette.

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Portholes look out from the bridge.  Fish swim to and fro through what once were wheather proof.

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Looking up I see a shoal of sardines swimming overhead.  Not yet baitballs, their numbers are swelling.

Got up early following dreamless heavy sleep. I took the time to make a few cheese and salad sandwiches for packed lunch before I heard my 7:30am 'wake-up' alarm go off.

I was dressed and outside the gate for 8:30 and Laurence, the dive centre manager, pulled up just before twenty to providing me a lift to work.

I was briefed in the morning and it was explained to me that from now on I am to assist in greeting customers as they arrive and help them to relax.  (My first tranche of responsibility).

It was made clear that I would be diving with Babs in the morning on a wreck dive. Customers included in the mornings dive were two guys, Colin and Andrew; Colin works in the armed services, married 25 years and has a 21 year old daughter, whilst Andrew is a white Zimbabwean living in the UK, working in London.

All the kit (BCU, fins, mask, wetsuit, boots, regulator and weight belt) was taken from the individual hangers and placed into white stacking boxes, the boxes were in turn stacked into the mini-bus and we set off from Costa Teguise (base) South West toward Puerto del Carmen where some time ago three Spanish fishing boats were sunk explicitly to provide wreck sites for divers.

However intentional, wrecks are haunting places.  

With large surge-swaying seaweed-festooned ropes trailing upwards toward the light; and abstract lines of sun cutting down from the surface, one can only reflect on the serene battle between industry and nature.  A battle we can rest assured, in the long run, nature will always win.

During the dive we saw:

•    Three barracuda
•    Cuttlefish
•    Damselfish
•    Ornate wrasse
•    Starfish (with a missing and re-growing leg)
•    Urchins
•    and a skeleton of a dolphin.  

Best bit of the dive:  I went into a small cave, the walls covered in yellow lichen-like coral.  As I turned and looked up, my eyes followed the ascending bubbles exhaled on every breath.  The bubbles, some small and some large, floated towards the roof of the little cave.  When they could go up no further, the bubbles travelled sideways, moving like quick-silver to find the highest point; before becoming trapped as miniature mercury lagoons where they could travel no more – all silver and wonderfully reflective. Inside the cave I floated for a moment watching the nature of bubbles under rock and there for a moment, I think I found peace.

Then I swam out again toward the group to look at more rusting wrecks, like an old elephant’s graveyard.