Spain Dive Trip 2005

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Friday 2nd September finally arrived and a group of student divers all gathered up their manuals, equipment and courage before heading off to Bournemouth International Airport.
Check in was uneventful - one of the advantages of flying through one of the smaller airports.
The short flight to Girona and forty minute drive from the airport to our accommodation meant that we arrived in time to make the first of the four Open Water qualifying dives before the sun went down.
Successful completion of the dive was subsequently celebrated in a beachside restaurant as the students got to meet one another with their clothes on!

The Group (less Linda!) Linda & Martin becoming Buddies!

We had planned an agressive dive schedule for the first few days, hoping to complete the Open Water course dives on Saturday. This would allow us to begin the Advanced Open Water course with the Deep Dive on Sunday morning and permit access to a range of deeper dive sites for the rest of the week.
Fortunately, none of the students experienced any major problems and produced some very tidy skills demonstrations.
With the Open Water course successfully completed, following a further three shore dives at Cala Aiguafreda (later translated for us as Cold Water - thanks Jane & Baz!), the students were in the mood to celebrate with the first of several poolside barbeques at our villa.
Everybody had elected to pay the ten euros per day for unlimited access to the Champagne, wines, beers, Sangria, sodas, water and ice creams in the fridge/freezer. This served to wash down some very tasty food, as the local supermarket sold a variety of fresh kebabs, sausages, burgers and the side orders to accompany them

Big Blue in Estartit Marina

On Sunday morning the group were introduced to Big Blue, the 8.5 metre RIB run by our hosts. It provided the first opportunity for all of our students to dive from a boat and also opened up a vast range of fascinating dive sites adjacent to the marina at Estartit.
A short run along the beautifully marked coastal cliffs brought us to Salinas, a bay suitable for the Deep Adventure Dive. The group kitted up & entered the water in seven or eight metres before swimming out towards the centre of the bay and a suitable depth for the skills associated with the dive.
Once we had established that the students could recite the alphabet backwards etc, we moved off to the wall and explored it following it to the boat before making our safety stop and final ascent.
Once the students were safely back aboard Big Blue, Assistant Instructor Colin, Divemaster Andy & myself dropped down to investigate a "rabbit warren" of swim throughs at around 5 metres - great fun and not at all unique in the area. I look forward to returning to the area with experienced divers that are able to fully enjoy the many overhead environments.



Linda meets Big Blue! Instructor playtime in the Rabbit Warren!

Monday began with the deepest dive of the week on the wreck of the Reggio Messina. Another attraction that the area has to offer which our students were unable to fully explore as much of the wreck lies below 30 metres. However it is large (122 metres) and there was plenty shallow enough to provide the students with an insight into wreck diving.
It is another of the many sites that I hope to revisit and explore with a group of suitably qualified divers

Julian taken by Gideon during Underwater Photographer dive Conger Eel on Night Dive


Monday finished with another experience that always seems to prove popular with new divers - their first night dive. Gideon and Julian returned to Cala Aiguafreda to try it in less than ideal conditions. However despite a little surf and a degree of surge both students completed the navigation exercise and enjoyed the dive.
The subsequent electrical storm provided one of the highlights of the trip - literally!

Spot the Scorpian Fish! Tuesday included the weeks most popular dive - the Isle of Pedrosa. This was one of the few non training dives and hence a very relaxed affair for students that were growing in confidence and experience daily.
The walls are a riot of colour and there is a large swim through with an ascending exit that is also apparently very beautiful as you look up toward the sun.
As my group elected to stay out of overheads until suitably qualified we were delighted to be rewarded with sightings of a Moray in the wall and a Scorpion Fish sitting out in the open.
Our safety stop under the boat passed quickly as host Barry pointed out an octopus which took a liking to his scuba rattle!


The final dive of the week was the Underwater Navigation.
This again was made more difficult by an element of surge, although everybody rose to the challenge and reportedly enjoyed the exercises.

Celebrations on the final night were made memorable by a heavy downpour throughout the poolside barbeque. The power also went off so dive torches were the order of the day - fortunately everybody saw the funny side of things and enjoyed themselves.
Octopus Antics!


I was very impressed with our students on this trip. They are all to be congratulated on a splendid effort and richly deserved their certifications.
I would also like to acknowledge the efforts and assistance of my fellow PADI Professionals, Colin, Andy, Barry and Jane who always made themselves available when needed.
I am already looking forward to our next trip to this location and hope to take along some divers with the experience and qualifications to do these sites justice, so why not come along and join in the fun!


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