We left a cold wintry Manchester airport. Four hours later we landed on a warm sunny Tenerife Following an overnight stay in Los Christianos and a trouble free short ferry journey, we arrived on El Hierro, the most southerly and westerly volcanic island in The Canaries. The scenic car journey to the small fishing village and marine reserve of La Restinga was a mixture of tight hairpin bends, high rocky ridges, pine forest and steep volcanic lava fields.
We met at 8am the next day at the dive centre El Buceo, La Restinga to kit up and load the minibus for the short journey to the harbour. We were joined by a group of experienced divers from West Wickham SAC, all of whom were extremely good company.
The diving lived up to expectation with 40/50m viz. The stunning blue of the Atlantic was matched by the underwater topography from the steep walls of El Bajon, to the caves of El Salto. Other sites included arches, lava flows, sink holes and huge boulder fields interspersed with patches of black volcanic sand which were occupied by hundreds of garden eels. Every crack and crevice was full of life from acorn barnacles, shrimp, scorpion fish, tiny box fish, damsel fish and arrow crabs to different species of moray eels and wrasse. Grouper, barracuda, trumpet fish, sting and eagle rays, shoals of bream, jack and snapper were spotted on every dive. Rocky reefs were covered with a variety of hydroids bryzoa and sponges.
As we finished our diving early in the afternoon we had an opportunity to drive up into the pine forest and to see the varied volcanic rock formations close up. Each evening we had a meal in a different restaurant.
Great diving with our good friends and dive buddies –Kim and Colin from Hartford SAC.
Pat Phil and Tim.