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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dive 8: Temple Hall wreck - 2/5/2009

Our scheduled dive was a boat dive to explore some wrecks outside Puerto del Carmen. Because the numbers didn’t make sense to rent the boat, they changed to a shore dive. Instead we went to explore the Temple Hall wreck on the northern side of Arrecife, near the desalination plant. That boat didn’t survive a bad storm a few years ago, although if you look at it quickly while driving past, you may not notice that the back end is missing. The only thing that’s noticeable is how unusually close it is to the beach to not be parked at a dock.

Because the crazy French group had gone home, Simon went back to being retired and Laurence was our guide. After the usual gearing up faff, we swam out about 400m and then descended to about 6m. We swam along the sandy bottom and then worked our way along the sheltered side of the boat. As usual, Alan kicked up a lot of sand and Brian hovered about a metre higher than the rest of us, very wisely avoiding it.

As we reached the back of the surface half of the boat, there was a bit of a drop to the back end of the boat, which was completely underwater and slowly disintegrating. This dive was not going to be a proper wreck dive – we weren’t going in the boat anywhere – and I can’t say I minded. The underwater disintegrating parts looked quite fragile even though the surface parts looked in good condition.

We swam around the back of the boat and then along the top of it. My depth gauge had my maximum depth at 9m but Laurence’s was a bit closer to 10m. We saw more fish near the back end as they had more places to explore and hide. I touched a piece of the external boat hull as we swam over the last of the back end and felt grateful again to not be exploring boat innards. The metal was quite brittle and didn’t feel at all stable. Laurence looked into the dark inside of the front half to see if there was anything interesting, but not really. I guess all of the critters were having an afternoon nap.

We swam back along the front end of the boat and then in to the shore. On the swim back to the beach, I saw lots of funny logs that turned out to be sea cucumbers. I had a hard time keeping my back end down at less than 2m. Every so often, I would feel no resistance against a kick and that was my fin above the water surface.

Sadly, Brian and I missed a grumpy grouper hiding in the shadows near the bow of the boat. Both of us were disappointed in the dive, not because of the missed grouper but because it felt a bit boring. The wreck wasn’t a lot to see, especially compared to some of our other dives. Laurence had said the French group loved it because they could take lots of photos. Alan took a fair number of photos, as I suspect I would have, too, but that’s usually a sign of boredom on my part. Large collection of photos means I’m attempting to make my own fun.

Even more sadly, dive 8 for me was the end of diving for our trip. We were heading home the next evening. I am definitely looking forward to more diving, though I’m not sure yet when or where. Brian’s keen for UK diving, but he is on his own there. I found Lanzarote water a bit cold so, drysuit or not, I don’t see myself surviving cold, murky UK water.

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