As a keen swimmer but non diver the undersea landscape teaming with fish was a wonderous revelation to me. Tenerife has a unique eco system and Submarine Safaris offer a new window on the harvest of the seas from their base at San Miguel Marina just a few miles and a short comfortable coach ride from the main resorts like Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos.
From the moment a large shoal of sparkling silver sardines swept past my viewing port I felt in awe of the sheer scale and variety of fish and sea creatures passing before me. I thought they might scatter as we submerged but they seemed quite content to play out their daily dance in front of us. A few like the colourfully tinted parrot fish and the elongated barracuda were a bit more stealth like but the huge flat rays swept up and down majestically with the slightest flick of their fins.
It’s easy to think of a submarine as being a little dark and dank with cramped conditions but easing down the ladder I was pleasantly surprised to see a spacious lay out for up to 44 passengers. The floor was dry, grippy safety rubber, the air was comfortably cool, and the seats were padded and cosy with clear views out of the 22 viewing ports, 11 down each side. I felt less like a sardine in a tin and more like a pearl reclining in a shell. There were even bigger windows at either end of the submarine, at the front two drivers sat at a lower level in a airplane type cockpit with our two guides just behind giving useful information in a range of languages.
Outside we were passing the giant concrete blocks that form the foundation of the modern man made marina and delving deeper among the rock faces and reefs crafted by nature. I expected the sea to be less clear as we got to 20 metres but it was fine and the sea floor was sprinkled with plants and rocks rather than a forest of weed. Alongside each port was a visual guide to the 19 most common species of fish seen in these waters, the temperate climate of Tenerife ensures that these creatures can be seen all year round.
Our guides alerted us to the wrecks we passed on the voyage, now woven into the sea bed and another focal point for curious fish to pass over and through. One of the crew divers passed by, mingling with the fish and almost wrapped in a large Ray, our excursion into the undersea environment certainly didn’t seem to cause our new underwater hosts any concerns as they went with the flow.
It was almost an hour later that our multi coloured vessel surfaced back in the marina and stepping onto the harbour there was time to compare photos and have a drink at the roof top café before the air conditioned courtesy bus whisked us back to our pick up points. It was a very educational trip, we all had a new appreciation of Tenerife’s natural charms, but most of all it was good fun.
Submarine Safaris, San Miguel Marina, tel (0034) 922736629; email Tenerife@submarinesafaris.com
Bookings – through excursion outlets or get an online booking discount at the website, there are also frequent residents discounts.
Cost – With Southern pick ups, Adults 50 euros, Seniors 45 euros, children (must be over 2 years) 30 euros. North pick ups, Adults 60 euros, Seniors 55 euros, children 37 euros.
Category : days out
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