January 14, 2012

The sea is not a museum

A friend use to say the sea is not a museum, you can't be sure what will you see down there. Sometimes you expect a specific animal but it's not there, sometimes you encounter a really surprising one.

We traveled to Tenerife for the third time and stayed in Playa Paraiso again. Tenerife can be really crowded all year but we didn't think they can build some huge hotels to this small town in two years. Sadly they did. When we looked around from our balcony we saw they were hiding much of the seashore. But, anyway, we were in this wonderful island again and the same old Barakuda dive center was just a few steps away. So we thought anything could happen on the surface but we'd see exciting things under water.

We greeted Petra, Michael, Marko and prepared for our first dive. We nearly forgot the uncomfortable long walk to the Atlantic from the dive center. With our heavy equipment we slowly reached the sea and started our dive. I confess our first dives wasn't that good. We used a bit more air, while our guide, Michael wanted to do a long dive. So sometimes he shared his air with a diver who had less air. The end of a dive was a little bit chaotic. The dive leader suggested to choose a larger tank. We were a little bit disappointed, somehow the dive center's approach changed. Or we visited too much nice places since our last visit and the small problems became more annoying?

So we hesitated about our dives. In Tenerife it's easy to do many other things, to do more or less dives can be a good option as well. But we love the Atlantic so joined Michael's group again. This time I had the large tank and the relatively deep dive lasted for an hour. We were about to finish near the seashore when our leader simply left us alone. He started to swim like crazy and we didn't understand. We hoped he saw something special and tried to follow. The visibility was only 10-15 meters but in a few seconds I saw a well-known silhouette. It was a huge, black animal, its swimming looked more like flying. A devil ray! I was too nervous to turn on my camera fast enough so I didn't make any shots. Michael showed the sign of disappointment. But the devil ray came back and this time I made a few seconds long video.

After we surfaced all of usexcitedly discussed what we saw. We told about our encounter in the dive center and all the divers started to kit up fast. They wanted to see the devil ray too. Later Michael told me it was the first devil ray in the bay for ten years! And we were in the lucky group who saw it. Everybody asked for my video although a day earlier they told me they didn't like underwater photographers that much. In spite of their opinion about photographers I became the most popular man of Playa Paraiso for that day. My bad quality video was the only proof of the encounter... Whenever I watch I remember my friends wise words.

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