With the right guidance and knowledge it’s possible to see nature up close and at its best in Tenerife. Flyover have opened the door for experienced and novice divers to interact with huge turtles at the beautiful cove of El Puertito in Costa Adeje with snorkel or scuba gear.
Firmly in the novice camp I joined an outing from the marina in Puerto Colon just below the busy junction of San Eugenio in Playa de Las Americas. During the 20 minute boat journey our host David explained many of the basic rules and guidelines for a fun and safe experience and stressed the need to show respect for the turtles and their environment at all times. As we moored beyond the shore we started to change into the wet suits and flippers provided. Our party was a mix of experience, a trainee dive master with 96 dives, and some holidaying couples who were also new to both snorkel and scuba.
With my tank strapped on David helped me into the clear water as I practiced the breathing technique, I must admit as a long term swimmer I was struggling to adapt to having my air supply fed to me and just made a few shallow dips below the surface. It was not a problem as Flyover like to ensure their divers are completely confident before attempting deeper dives. I switched to the scuba option and was soon joining the others with the same gear who had already found a swirling ballet of turtles below the calm sea.
With instructors Phillipe and Guillermo helping David, we all got plenty of attention and help. David told us about the majestic creatures. “The bigger turtles are from Africa, one has a small antenna attached so we can track its movements to learn more about their environment. The smaller creatures are from America and most of both species stay in Tenerife waters for around four years.”
Research and protection are two important areas to Flyover, 10% of excursion sales go to Canarian preservation projects. Phillipe is president of Oceano Sostenible and Flyover work closely with government environment agencies. One of the turtles that greeted us was an old friend of the team as they had rescued it three times before when its shell had been damaged by boat propellers, they got it help from a recovery centre in the north of the island. The turtles we encountered were far from frightened by our presence, they rubbed past us and seemed curious about these strange visitors.
When we came out of the sea David pulled out a handful of plastic strips and rubbish and also explained that visitors feeding the turtles was a problem as they now show high levels of cholesterol although they normally just eat plants and vegetation. El Puertito between Playa Paraiso and La Caleta has become less of a secret in recent years and the cove and beach were getting busy when we left over two hours later. There is a delicate balance to be struck between educating visitors and protecting the creatures that attract them but I had a new found admiration for the magnificent turtles of Tenerife.
Swim with turtles with Flyover, CCPuerto Colon, Local 135, Costa Adeje; (+34) 922 71 62 60 or (+34) 654 45 01 48; €20 per person. All images supplied by Flyover.
Category : about tenerife
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