Friday, 3 July 2009

Diving in Fuerteventura

Alan scuba divingSpent a week in Fuerteventura. Part of the plan was to complete the course for the PADI Open Water Diver Course. I had done the theory and confined water parts in Madrid at Casco Antiguo, but needed to do the practical exercises in the sea. Large ray on seabed Thanks to Edgar and Santiago of Easy-Diving in Costa Calma, for making it so enjoyable. While we were diving of the harbour wall at Morro Jable we swam above a group of five adult rays lurking on the bottom and I was able to catch a few photographs. The pictures don't show the size of them; they were nearly the size of an adult human.

group of small fish feeding together on seabedAlso saw shoals of fish and a group feeding on the bottom, I suspect on dead fish thrown down by the tourist submarine that operates out of the harbour (the ray in the picture has the remains of one under its tail).

colourless sea squirts on sandy seabedThe landscape is spectacular, with the dark volcanic basalt lava smothered, sometimes completely, in sand. On the western (windward) side of the island near the lighthouse at Cotillo, snorkel exploration in shallow lagoons was disappointing, but they were filled with what looked like colourless sea squirts like inflated condoms stuck to the seabed sand. The ventricular basalt rock formations were bizarre. They look like they have been hollowed out by the movement of silicate rocks moving about inside holes in the solidified lava, giving them an almost organic appearance. After the first couple of days there were non-stop gale force winds. On the beaches, especially the sotavento beach so popular with windsurfers, it was like being sandblasted and I was glad to have swimming goggles to protect my eyes. I can't quite figure out why people voluntarily choose to stroll up and down in such conditions, especially some of them with their most sensitive bodily organs exposed.

View of the hotel rooms from in the poolThe hotel, the Barceló Jandía Mar was very good, and having everything included meant there was no need to prepare food or even go out looking for restaurants. On the down side, for those who want to go out and are not in good physical shape the climb back up the hill from the beach is rather daunting. The entertainment shows in the hotel were very good, I thought. I would recommend Fuerteventura for someone with an activity in mind, like diving or windsurfing, but if it's just for lounging by the pool it might be better to find somewhere less exposed to the wind.

Este artículo Buceo en Fuerteventura en español.