Rescue Turtles release Las Galletas

On Sunday 31st August the team went down to support and see 2 rescue turtles released. They had been rescued earlier this year and taken in by the Centro de Rehabilitación de Fauna Silvestre. 2 turtles were released – 1 green turtle and 1 loggerhead turtle who had both come to the centre in a bad way.

Turtle release

Turtle release

 

The green turtle had been caught by a fishing line, it looks like the line had been cut but the hooks remained in the turtles mouth and neck – you can still see the stitches on some of the photos.

Turtle release

Turtle release

The Loggerhead turtle had been found on the beach in a really bad state – he was nearly decapitated, he had got his head caught in a 6 pack plastic can holder around his neck, again you can see in the pictures.
Turtle release

Turtle release

The day was a great day – to see the turtles patched up and ready to go in the sea, they were unloaded and then taken down to meet the large waiting crowd, they let the crowd get very close to the turtles, which made the turtles look a little uncomfortable  –

Turtle release

the team explained they do this on purpose, they expose the turtles to the people so they are slightly stressed and therefore would fear humans. While they are at the centre they have a lot of human contact and therefore associate us as good and a source of food –  this is not natural for the turtles, they need to fear human contact as many of the injuries seen result from this.

Turtle release

Turtle release

Then came the magic moment, one at a time the turtles were released into the sea with a big cheer from the crowd, they both swam off without a look back, we saw both of them come to the surface for a breath and then they were gone. They swam off to where they belong, stretching their fins and probably off for a well deserved sleep!

If you want to come and see these beautiful creatures and much more underwater book a diving experience www.paradisedivers.co.uk

.Turtle release

Turtle release

Turtle release

Thanks to Gabor for the great pictures of the day

Happy Diving Everyone

Green Sea Turtles Tenerife

I thought that the turtles we see on a regular basis deserve a blog of their own – so this is for:
Jose, Juan (Mohicana) and Julio in El Puertito
Juan (Alcalá), Javier and Bob in Alcalá

Green Turtles: Chelonia mydas

DCIM100GOPRO

 

 

 

 

 

The green turtle is one of the largest sea turtles and the only herbivore (Although we do know they also like a bit of dead fish as other divers/Snorkelers/Day boats use this to attract them) among the different species.DSCF2642

Green turtles are in fact named for the greenish color of their cartilage and fat, not their shells. Like other sea turtles, they migrate long distances between feeding grounds and the beaches from where they hatched. Classified as endangered, green turtles are threatened by overharvesting of their eggs, hunting of adults, being caught in fishing gear and loss of nesting beach sites.

DSCF2864
Wakey Wakey Jose

When born, green sea turtles are only 5 cm (2 in) long. But they grow up to 1.5 meters (5 ft) in length and can weigh over 300 kg (700 lbs), making them the largest of the sea turtles.

 

peek a boo
peek a boo

Green sea turtles are able to hold their breath for up to 5 hours at a time.  Most sea turtles can only hold their breath for 30 minutes. Green sea turtles slow their hear rate down to one beat every 9 minutes so therefore can stay submurged much longer. Pretty incredible!

The Green sea turtle is very inquisitive, they will often approach us while diving – My favorite time on a guided dive is when I check around to ensure everyone is OK and the turtle (normally Jose) is just swimming happily behind them joining us on our guided dive, without them even noticing!

Bob in Alcala
Bob in Alcala

A few of the local turtles are being tracked by seaturtle.org a conservation group to determine the origin of these individuals, know their distribution in this area, determine the habitats that they are using and define if they are linked or not to protected areas.

Juan (Mohicana) in El Puertito
Juan (Mohicana) in El Puertito

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see the data by clicking the link below or on the name of the turtle at the top of the page

http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?project_id=988

 

Happy Diving all

 

 

 

Who’s been in this month

Hi to all,

We have had a busy month with lots of people coming to dive with us,

First we had Andreas from Germany do a couple of guided dives in Alcala and El Puertito, IMG_4828and then  Sascha and Vlada from Belarus in with Bernard from Belgium, they loved seeing Jose the Turtle.

 

Bernard then went on to dive “El Raton” and Las Eras.

Then we had Eugen and Natalia from Germany with Eugen doing DSCF2168some guided dives and Natalia getting over her fear of being underwater and trying Scuba diving for the first time in the pool.

DSCF2285

 

 

 

Then came David and Lorraine from Scotland, Lorraine to do her Advanced and David to do some dives, Lorraines main aim was to see a turtle but no Sharks… Well She got both Turtles and Sharks while doing her Digital Photography dive!

angel sharkdavid v turtlelorraine1

Well done to Lorraine as she passed her advanced course with flying colours and got a lot more confident as a diver during her time here.

Then in last week we had Vladimir, Georgi and Dina from Russia for a try dive, along with James and David from England. I had the pleasure of taking David and James, and I flooded my mask several times with the underwater antics of the brother in laws! Then we had Joel join us from the UK for a few guided dives

.DSCF2518DSCF2453DSCF2516

We had Sam, Ed, Nick and Jen – from sunny Silsoe (UK) (I got all the names right I think!!) in for a Scuba review and a very pleasant dive, again Jose didn’t disappoint and  came to see everyone, along with Ben, James and Bex who are still diving with us and looking forward to the night dive tomorrow.

photo

Yesterday was a scuba review for Jerry and Sue from the UK, they had done the open water but hadn’t dived for 8 years, we had a fab day from start to finish, in the classroom, pool and ultimately in Open Water, we saw Julio the smaller turtle at first, and then Jose turned up for a tickle later on in the dive.

Today we have started the complete Open Water course with Graham and Charlotte, they are already doing great, and been in the pool for the first part of the open water course.

Tomorrow is an early start with Ben, James, Bex and Emma to get into El Puertito before the morning rush and the Open Water Course will continue with the Pool sessions 2 and 3 followed by the first Open Water Dive.

Happy Diving….

 

Why you need to wee more when you scuba dive

A question that was raised by one of our divers on a recent trip… Why when on dry land can I go for hours and hours not needing a wee, but as soon as I jump in and start a lovely dive then I need to go.

So I thought it was a great question and lets do some research, and there is a scientific reason why you need to wee more when you dive… it’s not just the fact you are in the most awkward clothes to get out of to have a wee !!

DSCF1626

So why do we need to wee more – I’m changing from my wetsuit to a white coat for a little science, first – what makes you need to wee..

The human body is full of blood. The volume of blood may increase or decrease with eating, drinking and other factors. The body regulates the amount of blood in the body in a very clever way – When the volume of blood in the body increases, the extra blood flows through the veins to the heart. The heart senses the increased volume of blood and nerve sensors in the heart tell the kidneys to release urine. This removes fluid in circulation and reduces blood volume.

So – what does Scuba diving have to do with it..

Cold Water & Gravity

  1. Cold Water immersion diaereses – This is the bodies automatic way to minimize heat loss, when you get into the water the body reacts (called the mammalian reflex) and sends blood to the vital organs so therefore increases the amount of blood in the heart and this starts sending signals to the kidneys to make you wee.. that pesky heart!

    Did you know as soon as you put your face in cold water it can drop your heart rate by 10 – 20% (and free divers train to drop it to even 50%) – I always wondered why my mother-in-Law splashed the kids face with cold water to calm them down when having a tantrum.. there is actual science behind it!

  2. Gravity – or lack of it – Weightlessness or near weightlessness,
    also causes blood to shift Paradise Divers - 11Jun2014 (16)towards the body’s core, This fluid shift was first observed in astronauts, who had to wee more than normal while in space. If you have perfect neutral buoyancy, it is like you have defeated gravity, and thereforeHover the blood collects around the heart, and like cold water immersion diaeresis tells your kidneys to make you wee.

 

 

So needing to wee when you are diving is NORMAL – it’s your bodies way to protect itself – you and I both know we don’t need our body to protect us from Scuba diving, but it doesn’t think being under the water for an hour is normal so makes us get out to wee

There is no way around it, I always encourage divers to go before they dive to try and reduce the impact. It is still really important to drink water, (avoid drinks with caffeine as this is a diuretic so will also make you need to wee) being dehydrated can increase the risk of DCS, give you headaches and increases cramps.

So there is no magic formula to make you need to wee less while diving, if you have your own wetsuit or semidry (a semidry tucked into your boots is very good at retaining the liquid inside it..) and you need to go then it’s your choice if you wee in it… make sure you rinse it thoroughly and yourself as well, it is 95% water.. but it’s still wee.

If it’s a rental suit it is frowned upon to wee in it – although all ours are dunked in a disinfectant after every dive, its still not pleasant for the next person.

If it’s a drysuit (and you don’t have a pee value) just don’t do it – you won’t have any buddies left who will unzip your suit, or share the car journey home!

From now on you know that it is normal that you need to wee when you dive – every diver feels it, it’s not just you getting old and incontinent, it’s your pesky body sending blood to the heart that makes you wee.

Happy Diving

 

Debris removal from our coastal waters.. Project Aware

We have recently been noticing more and more “things” underwater….

We love to see Sting Rays, Garden Eels, Groupers, Scorpionfish BUT we are not talking about marine life this time, we are talking about the fishing lines, the bags, plastics, clothing etc..  We have started to collect debris from our coasts and we have registered with the Project Aware movement. We are recording all debris and many Dive Centres are doing this around the world. Have a look at the current debris counters worldwide: It is obvious that we have an issue and who are the people that can do something about this…..Divers

Capture..

You can view our profile on Project Aware, and check out our “I dive against Debris” Badge. http://www.projectaware.org/diver/paradisedivers-0

Can anyone do this…?  Of course you can, grab a mesh bag and stick it in your BCD during your dives, when you see something that shouldn’t be there that could be harmful to marine life pick it up, and discard of it safely on land. Then register your findings on the Project Aware website so they can track and analyse all the information uploaded.

Focus

Project Aware are focusing in on two major ocean issues –Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris in our ocean. There are many conservation issues converging on our ocean planet at once, but they are concentrating on these serious problems where scuba divers are uniquely positioned to directly and positively affect real, long-term change in these two areas. For more information visit the Project Aware foundation website – www.projectaware.org

Happy Diving..

Paradise Divers Team

Scuba Diving – Tips for a better Dive

We get so many divers coming through our door saying how to improve their diving as they do not feel comfortable etc.. Well we have added some back to basics tips below which many divers forget about.. Some of this some of you would have not remembered from your Open Water courses and some of you will but this should be a good reminder for everyone.

1. Keep hydrated, especially in hot weather, at some point in your dive there will be strenuous activity, normally donning the equipment,  with an exposure suit on it will cause a sweat (even in cold places) so its very important to keep drinking.

2. Equalize often- The first thing you are taught is about equalization, but with everything else going on (turtles above your head etc) many divers forget and realize too late,  they then feel they can’t ascend back up to equalize when the rest of the group is going down. Often people give up quickly without giving it another try, if you have problems go up, signal to your buddy (Rattle or tank banger will help in these situations) and try to equalize again, don’t force it and descend slowly, if you are wearing a hood pull it away from your ears – keep equalizing whilst descending. The most important is to not feel pressurized to carry on the dive if you are having equalization problems.. There will be another day and another dive which is better that the alternative.

3. Breathe – Again one of the first things we all learn but over time good breathing techniques can be lost, and we may skip breathe, or breathe shallower, this can lead to an increase build up in carbon dioxide which leads to headaches and could even cause 000017blackouts. There are better ways of conserving air such as, improving your fitness, staying shallower, taking notice of your breathing, improving your weights and trim, keeping warm, breathe deeply & slowly from the diaphragm  and exhale fully. 

4. Take it Easy – We don’t scuba dive to try and get somewhere
quickly, there is no underwater race, we are all there to enjoy take it easy dudeswhat we see underwater. There is no point in rushing, take your time, look under the rocks, enjoy what is there – don’t just swim past and wonder why you are exhausted at the end of the dive. A good sign of you finning too fast is if after the dive you are wondering why you didn’t see that Arrow head crab, that cuttlefish hiding next to the rock etc.. If this is you, think about it next time you dive and you will find it is a better experience for you and your buddy.

5. Trim – Having your weights and cylinder in the wrong place can make a dive very uncomfortable, it just doesn’t feel right, everything is an effort and you use a lot more air trying to get it right underwater. This is where spending time in the pool adjusting your weights come in handy, in fact,  PADI has picked up on this and built triGoPro_print_10m into the revision of the open water course as it is so important. Perfecting trim comes with experience, but the best thing to do is to get your buddy to look at you or even take a picture, you will then be able to see what is wrong. The PADI PPB course is all about looking at Buoyancy and Trim so its a great course for helping and getting tips to getting it right.

There are lots of other tips available to improve your diving, these are just some of the main ones and what we believe helps a lot of our divers..

Happy Diving and enjoy the underwater world.!

Happy Canaries Day (Día de Canarias)

The Day of the Canary Islands (Día de las Canarias) is one of the most important public holidays celebrated in the Canary Islands on May 30th every year. It is a celebration of the islands’ culture and people, and marks the anniversary of the autonomous Canary Islands Parliament’s first session on May 30, 1983. Many cultural activities are arranged for the  Día de las Canarias each year. Private parties are held throughout the islands at people´s homes or in restaurants on the evening of May 29th. Many events are held during the day and into the evening in towns and villages on the Day of the Canary Islands. If you move away from the main tourist zones, towards the north, or into the mountains you can expect to find  Special church services, Sports events, Public and private parties, Tastings of traditional foods and wine from the Canary Islands, Displays of cattle pulling sleighs, Domestic animal shows, Concerts featuring traditional and modern music, Exhibitions showcasing art and crafts made by people living on the Canary Islands.

We love Tenerife and the Canary Islands, so Happy Dia de Canaries to all.

Here is a great award winning photo that displays the islands beauty…

canaryislands_tmo_2013166_lrg

 

World Turtle Day

Yesterday brought World Turtle Day and as we have so many in Tenerife, they deserve a blog entry…

The most common turtles we see in Tenerife are the green turtles and on our two local sites we have two resident turtles in Alcala (one other has been spotted but we rarely see him) and we have recently seen a total of 4 in El Puertito. 2 we see most dives the other two are a bit shy. One of the 4 is a baby turtle which just the other week swam past us and that was the first time we have seen him.

The one we have named Jose, which always comes to see us is very friendly and usually comes up to your face (good for some excellent shots – you may have seen these on our facebook page) before swimming past you above your head. He likes to be scratched on his back and you will see him swinging side to side and rest on the sand as you do this. He always comes back for a few of those before he makes his way to other divers.

Here comes what makes us angry at the Dive Centre… Some Divers and dive guides seem to be feeding these turtles with fish they bring in from the local market.. There are mixed emotions on this and our view is that it is a big mistake to do this. These turtles grow to learn to eat from what they can find, if you feed them then they loose the urge to look for food and this is sadly one action that ends up killing the turtles.. They stop finding food because they believe the next divers will bring them food, if then this ever stops they will find themselves die of hunger. This is very sad and luckily rare that it happens but unfortunately we have seen it happen. The other negative on feeding them is that they will get used to feeding from divers fingers and at times they may think that the next divers coming to see them also have food and instead go for their fingers.

While I was taking customers on a guided dive the other day in El Puertito I saw a dive guide feed the turtle and as the turtle was getting a bit desperate for the food while he was cutting it the guide acted in non friendly way to put it nicely and pushing the turtle away left me no choice but to have a word with him when he came out. Not something I normally like to do but this was not showing my divers any good Project aware and not very nice for the turtle which we love.

I am happy to see that the Alcala turtles do not get fed by the clubs and centres that use this site and you can see the difference in the turtle behavior, they are much more calm and stay close to you but are not always looking at your fingers..!!

There is no need to feed them, they look after themselves and they always come to see you anyway, why feed them for the extra few minutes they may stay with you.. Help us to stop this behavior..

Happy Diving everyone..
Dan

Here is a picture of Jose..

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Meet Robbie

Robbie and I (Dan) got off to a wrong start of our friendship.. Let me tell you all about it….

When I guide dives in Tenerife I always like to take a torch with me to look in the little cracks and holes, normally I find lots of weird little marine life. We were in Marazul and did a shallow dive of 18m max, we saw lots of trumpet fish, arrowhead crabs and much more, on the way back I decided that as we had plenty of air we would look around some rocks where we can normally find octopus… boy did I find octopus.. There he was just outside his house the biggest octopus I have seen yet and I quickly used my rattle and pointed the octopus out. As I am making sure everyone has seen him, the not so little octopus decided to bring one of his powerful tentacles round the back of his rock house and grab on to my torch, this was a magnet on/off LED torch which I always liked as a backup torch, and then we got on to a tug of war game, which unfortunately after a minute or so he won and the metal clip holding the torch to my lanyard broke off. He was now the proud owner of a new torch for night hunting. We tried together with the other divers to get it back but he had taken it so far into his house we could not reach it. Since then I have gone back to knock on his house and although he is always there he seems to have misplaced my torch.. For that reason we named him Robbie.

Torchless Dan…

PS: If you are diving Marazul and you see a light coming your way, hang on to all your belongings…

Welcome to our Blog From Paradise Divers

Hi all,

A lot of our customers have been asking for a Blog on our website to stay up to date with what we are doing and new services. Well we are happy to say that it is here…

Its been a great few weeks diving, with lots of life coming out to greet us, the Turtles at Alcala and El Puertito have been out to see us on every dive, with the first spotting of Julio the smaller turtle in El Puertito earlier this month. We are currently working on some improvements to the centre, we now have new signs on the Minibus,  so look out for us with the new turtles

minibus

We have also had a fresh lick of paint, and a rearrange of the kit room, to make it easier for all our clients to access equipment.

We are now open 7 days a week, so if you are in the area and fancy a coffee, or thinking about diving somewhere hot and Sunny, please drop us a line, or pop in.

Happy Diving

Paradise Divers