Green Sea Turtles – Don’t Do it…!

Hi all, it has been a while since we have made a blog about our resident turtles.. After all we are surrounded by them in Tenerife..

This blog was written after an incident in one of our dives where another Dive Centre made a wrong move in front of our customers..

It was a sunny day (usual here in Tenerife) and we were just about to enter the water when we reminded our divers that if the turtles show up then no grabbing, no feeding, don’t be scared, stay still if they swim towards you etc… The usual stuff…

Just behind us, there was another Dive Cecropped-turtle12.jpgntre entering the water which I had spotted.

As we entered the water and descended to about 4-5m we were greeted by Jose and Juan (the two biggest turtles in El Puertito). They were very friendly that day and wanted to play and investigate our divers… All was good, and I again spotted the other dive centre coming towards us. At this stage, we were in a circle with the turtles over our head and the divers with their guide from the other dive centre slowly came to sit next to us. At this stage the turtles were going up to the divers, looking around then moving to the next and carried on being gentle as usual. To my surprise, the guide took out dead fish aDSCF2311nd started to cut and hand out to his divers, the only reason I see in doing this is to get the turtles even closer to his divers for his guaranteed photos. I am not going to get into the details but I have never seen Jose behave the way he did as soon as he was fed, he became very agitated and changed his behavior around my divers, I had to get in between the turtles and my divers, I must say, at this stage I exchanged some gestures with the other guide and he quickly took the fish off from his customers hand, but unfortunately the damage was done and I slowly pulled my divers away from the other divers and continued our dive as we usually do..

There is no excuse, there is a big sign at this dive site explaining not to feed the turtles but some people will always ignore things like that..

Feeding removes the greatest pleasures of venturing into the wild observing natural behavior. Marine animals that are fed behave completely differently from those that forage on their own.
Marine animals in the wild have very particular diets. Eating other foods can weaken and sicken wildlife.
Feeding causes wildlife to lose their natural fear of humans. These animals become easy targets for people who do not respect wildlife and would hDCIM100GOPROurt them intentionally. Also, people who become fearful may injure an animal in an attempt to defend themselves against a mistaken “attack.”
Feeding causes injuries and harmful interactions between marine animals by forcing competition and confrontation among individuals and species which otherwise would not interact. We see this at the same site, There is always a large barracuda swimming around the turtles… This is most probably due to the feeding happening at this site.

No doubt the feeding will continue, but we will continue to educate as much as we can..

Happy Safe Diving
Dan

Alvaros Final Blog as his DM Internship comes to an end

And now yes, just finished my experience as divemaster intern

I would like to offer an overview of these three months in Tenerife.

It has beDSCF2446en a stage in my life with a high level of learning in many aspects in which I wasn’t ready or trained in. Not even 1 day went by without learning anything, not only talking about diving.

When I decided to start this project I guess I didn’t know all the good that it would bring me.

Starting with the importance of working with the public, customers. You always must keep a good face, a smile, words of encouragement, confidencemand support to all to show people that you are always available for them on their diving experience.DSCF3403

I must admit that sometimes it was harder than others, although I’ve cheerful nature, but when you’re more tired, less lively, strange without your friends, family, mainly living abroad, other languages, etc, can be a little heavy. But having to always offer your best face helps you be more positive and certainly life can be seen with much more perspective being optimistic and cheerful.

I discovered how a diving center works from within, with its good things and difficult tmes. I have a better understanding of how  servicing of regulators, hoses, first stages, bcd’s, cylinder is done, how the compressor works, a thousand tricks on the material and a lot of work.

I have had the opportunity to see many marine life that I had never seen before, know how to behave myself underwater, lead dives, assist instructors, solving real problems that exist in everything around diving, received and give instructions and orders, be responsible of a group of divers, students or kids and even in my last week to help Paula, the new intern divemaster at the beginning of her stay as comfortable and easy as possible (I’m sure she’ll do really well in her months in paradise divers). In all this time I’ve done over 120 dives in 3 months and I could say that each has given me different and new things and knowledge. I never had the feeling of having nothing more to learn.

I hope that I didn’t  bore you much and those who are hesitant to make the jump to perform the divemaster … if you have the time and desire, do not hesitate, and of course Paradise Divers will make you feel your best during your stay.

Now its turn to see what the future holds for me and surely I’ll make a good use of all this phenomenal experience.

Thanks to all who have taken part in these 3 months: Tara, Dan, Gabor and Adrian, it has been a pleasure.

Finally wanted to make a quick note about turtles because of an incident that happened this week while we took a group. Some instructors of another dive center joined us while the turtles were playing with us, thats fine bDSCF3401ut then they started to feed the turtles with the intention of bringing them closer to their customers (Something that Paradise Divers is totally against), the turtles are not circus monkeys, they are animals and if you feed them, they will loose the hunting ability for getting used to be fed and may not be feeding themselves. Because of this I could see for the first time as one of the turtles he got slightly aggressive with a customer thinking it was going to be fed. For those who still want to even go against the rules of the island and endanger those animals, I would ask you to think twice before doing it again

Thank you very much for following my blog.

Greetings to all

Alvaro

Divemaster Internship – Week 1 – Paula

Hola!!

I’m Paula, new Divemaster intern at Paradise Divers. I am from Galicia (Spain) and I am passionate about the sea.  Welcome to my blog!

Tenerife have welcomed me with very bad weather (for Tenerife standard),  cloudy and rainy- it made me feel like at home- even here at the south west of the island. Saturday morning, I went to Callao Salvaje to meet the Paradise divers team; Dan, Alvaro and Gabor were at the pool doing some rescue exercises- Alvaro was rescuing Gabor- and Tara showed me around the centre.

On Monday I become Alvaro’s shadow, he showed me what we have to do and how to do it. After that, I did my first dive in Tenerife, we went to “El Puertito”, and there I meet Jose, Julio and Juan, the green sea turtles. I was fascinated about how social they are, they come strait to you, curiously looking at you, and stay around some time. Apart from the turtles, I found all fish are very social, some of them stay really close to you. Even thought the dive was amazing I was freezing! I needed to wear more layers.

paradise diversNext day I wanted to be prepared, I wear a complete swimsuit, a rash vest,  a vest and on top the wet suit. In addition I took a hood and gloves. I haven’t been cold since then.

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Finally on Wednesday the sun came out to warm us up! It feels so good. The rest of the week, was very nice; new amazing dives (Alcala, El Valito, Abades, Las eras, Sueño Azul) and new challenges. I still have to work on controlling my buoyancy, and pay more attention to the computer; every new dive makes me learn a little bit more and gives me experiences, which is such an importance in diving.

paradise divers3

Bye, Gone diving!

Paula

Divemaster Internship week 12 – Alvaro

Welcome again to diving in tenerife, my Divemaster blog.

I can’t believe it I just have one more week to finish my internship.

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A Family enjoying the DSD with Gabor and I

It is a bit sad when I look back, only three months ago when I appeared for the first time in Callao Salvaje Tenerife. But better to think that I still have a week to enjoy and keep learning and diving.

Tara has been away this week on other course, so this week we have been less people around dive center, just Dan and I, which means I have been taking more responsibility. Also I have been doing more guiding by myself and taking pictures too.

Tenerife Turtles
Tenerife Turtles

 

In this penultimate week we made several changes to the dive center because February is usually a quiet month without so many divers. So many things changing in the dive center, painting while enjoying the now famous spicy pizza brought from Tara to give us enough energy to paint until late.

The new pics in the dive centre

Also following the makeover, the rest of the frames that were selected by our followers through Facebook were placed on the freshly painted walls.

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DSD with Jay

Still waiting for the boat to finish redesign, so I probably will not have the chance to see it completely renovated. So I have to go back at some point, because in a very small part,  I can feel myself part of the new design.

 

As our previous Divemaster will be traveling on my last week, we decided to overtake this week’s farewell dinner, we enjoyed all the staff and couples in “El Cordero”, leaving the snorkel challenge for next week.

Finally on Saturday after a dive for fun, we were visited by the  new Divemaster intern Paula who will begin on Monday, look out for her personal blog.

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me enjoying the fish at el Puertito

I have mixed feelings among the joy of being close to completing the Divemaster, and sadness of leaving the dive center where for three months I have felt at home, thanks to my instructors, bosses and now longtime friends .

But as I said before … time to enjoy my last week of work and fun.

See you next week
Greetings to all!

Divemaster Blog – Alvaro week 10 & 11

Hi all!!
Undoubtedly the highlight of the last two weeks has been the collaboration in the filming of a commercial. Finally we discovered what type of commercial it will be. It is a cologne of the brand “Adolfo Dominguez”.
With the new 4×4 that dive center has bought, we towed our boat to the beach of “El Porís” … never imagined it would be so difficult to put the boat on the beach. Days before Dan and I went to test the feasibility of taking the boat from the beach as the filming company told us. Everything seemed perfect, but just that day the sand was softer than usual, and much swell and waves (low tide as well)
First we decided to leave the trailer at the shore and try to get the car out of the beach because it was stuck. After we got it out, we had to wait for high tide which would help us get the boat free from the trailer.
Nevertheless we got it all in time and we were ready to begin filming. Dan from the boat, myself as support from the surface and underwater (at the beginning I should have been just as a Rescue Diver, but then they started to ask me a lot of things: now do bubbles, now dive above the boat, now dive there, now hold this…I was feeling as part of the film crew) and Adrian from the pier providing the material.
The first day was quiet, 3 or 4 hours, and after picking up everything we decided to leave the boat anchored, go back to the dive center to prepare evertyhing for the official takes with the clear idea of not getting the boat out of water from the beach again; we would use a crane in the pier the next day.
However the second day would be endless. After some breakfast with the staff of the filming company, direct to the water to be ready when they needed it. We were nonstop from 10am until 4pm, when the  company decided we’d done enough takes (I had never been involved in a shoot and I can promise you they made something like 200 takes of each necessary scenes for the commercial. I do not even want to imagine how it will be shooting a whole movie … You can imagine how Dan and I slept that day …
The rest of the time these weeks has been relatively quiet, some guided dives more, taking advantage to make several other changes in the dive center. New sign, changing Servicing room, removing stuff off the boat because is going to be redesigned and adapted more and better for diving.
A couple of new marine life have been found these days in Tenerife.
One day researching new places to dive in Marazul with Adrian and Dan, we saw two Murbled Electric Rays. Then diving in Alcalá with customers one Snake Eel.
Without realizing it, when I’m writing this I see that “only two weeks left to finish my internship”. February 15 everything will have ended. And I will come back to Cádiz to involve in new projects.  I hope whatever will be, always related to the sea.
That’s all for now. Sorry for having taken a little longer to write
Greetings to all
Alvaro