From boat captain to diver!

From boat captain to diver!

The stories of Blowing Bubbles continue and we will print regularly updates from this ocean voyage, touching many parts of our blue planet. The nicest part of the story is that you can also read about it in the NAUI Sources magazine BUT you can also join the SY Blowing Bubbles onboard and become part of the story!

Captain’s log 05/08/2021: From “blocked” boat captain to certified NAUI

On this day, we entered the bay of Playa Flamingo, being a bay on the southern part of the island of Lanzarote, part of the Canary Islands.

The bay is well protected from the ever blowing northern winds and thus the formed ocean swell. Our plan is to stay here a few days and scuba dive on the pristine reefs here, formed by a natural phenomena…100’s of years of vulcanic activity. The complete island is formed by vulcanic activity and has a landscape that seems to come from another world, dry, rocky and barely any natural life on it.

Below the surface? A complete different image!

Abundancy of fish in many varieties, colourful and plenty of each kind, with an extra attention that goes out to the eagle rays and the unique inhabitant, the Angelshark.

As we set out on the second day with our dive-dinghy “Bubble”, being a 3m40 RIB with a strong 25hp Mercury outboard (this combination can easily transport 6 divers+equipment), we detect another sailing boat, more specific a catamaran in trouble!

We changed our course towards the boat (as we were on our way to dive) and approached the catamaran, they welcomed our help and explained that they were ‘stuck’ on the reef with their anchor and could not lift it anymore! So, a quick look under the surface told us that they had actually dropped their anchor straight in the middle of a hole in the vulcanic bottom.

Without help from below, there was NO Way to get their anchor back out of the hole!

So, making a plan for safety of the diver, we explained them what to do and put our divegear on!

Once decended to the bottom, the boat captain started to move the boat into the correct position, as earlier discussed and easily we could set the anchor free and so, giving the boat the opportunity to lift the anchor back on the boat!

As we surfaced, only smiling faces welcomed us back and the captain asked us where we came from? From Belgium? He was from The Netherlands, the country bordering Belgium and yes, we do speak the same language.

He promised to find us back on our boat later that day to get more acquainted!

And so, after a double dip that morning, 1 for the anchor and 1 on a reef worth mentioning later, we met Pieter and his wife Nienke later that day!

With a nice bottle of local volcanic wine (yes, pretty unique is the wine from Lanzarote as it is grown on top of the volcanoes), he t(h)anked us for the quick help in setting them free!

Pieter was amazed by the possibilities of scuba diving and as they were about to embark on a worldtrip with their sailboat as well, the question soon came up why he should not learn to scuba dive himself?

As we spoke the same language, he asked how and what about an Open Water Diver Course and within 30minutes, we had set a training plan for the next days to come for him to get Naui certified!

The next 5 days went without any difficulties in training Pieter! During the multiple training dives, we combined Naui training with exploring the volcanic reefs and returned even to the same reef earlier mentioned!

1000’s of fish in 4 layer schools, combined with hunting barracudas gave me the possibility to show Pieter the complete chapter of marine biology from the Open Water course in reality!

A passing eagle ray, a hunting octopus topped of the menu of fishes and sealife!

The days passed without noticing time and soon, certification was reached, logbooks filled with memories and dive-data. A new, very enthousiastic diver was certified! Ready for lots more diving to come!

As SY Blowing Bubbles needed to leave to discover new reefs on another island, Gran Canaria, scuba divers never say “Goodbye” but set new plans to meet&dive again! Somewhere on our blue planet…more adventure will await him, me and us aswell!