Donegal Bay SAC Dive notes.

Dec 20 2017 Posted by Office Administraton


A group of divers from the Donegal Bay Sub Aqua Club travelled to El Heirro, an island near Tenerife in November, where they joined up with Shane and Ollie Gray along with a few other divers from the UK and Ireland.

They were met in Tenerife, chauffeured to their hotel and then headed for El Heirro the next morning, which is the most southerly of the Canary Islands.

After a two and a half hour trip by boat, they reached El Heirro – an island that is self-sufficient and has zero crime.  They stayed in a little gem of a place called La Restinga – a perfect haven for divers.

The island is only 25 miles long but the highest peak is 5,000 ft high with varying scenery – laurel forests and vineyards, bananas and pineapples.  There are no Irish or English bars, no fast food joints or mosquitos and hardly any tourists.

La Restinga is a small fishing village is located at the most southerly point of the island.  The visiting divers all stayed in apartments overlooking the bay and all within walking distance of the dive centre.  They had a full schedule of dives every day, one night dive in the Port of La Restinga and they dined every night in the little Spanish restaurants.

The divers were spoiled with ocean temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius and crystal clear waters. There was plenty to see with all dives boasting tropical life, particularly in the Marine Reserve which is protected from prevailing winds.

There were caves and pinnacles with an in-water visibility of up to 30 metres.  The final dive was El Bajon and it is a feature of El Heirro diving that only one dive centre can dive a day due to restricted guidelines by the Marine Reserve, so the dive sites were never congested.

El Bajon is a tower of a rock in the shape of a table top – starting 8 metres from sea level, where they had to go down the shot line to the top of the tower and hold on, as the the drifts and currents can be strong, consequently it is not always possible to dive there.

The divers were spoiled by Groupers, Moray Eels including a rare Yellow spotted Eel, Pike Fish, Cuttlefish and they also met a few sting and Mantra Rays on their dives.

After five nights on the island, they headed back to Tenerife for a few days before returning home to the colder Irish climate.  They will be back!  Photography was by Marie McGowan, Donegal Bay Sub Aqua Club Search & Recovery.