Marina del Este – Shore Diving up to 40 Mtrs
The Eastern Marina is the location of one of the most popular shore diving sites on Mainland Spain. On a busy summer weekend it’s not unusual to see dive centres from as far away as Madrid setting up their equipment in the car park, ready to explore the several reefs and walls that offers such a divers range of diving.
We have five dive sites available from the shore, but it takes many dives to fully appreciate what each one has to offer!
1. Pared del Puerto (Harbour Wall) – 18 Mtrs
A must-do shore dive, this is an easy, scenic and thoroughly enjoyable dive that follows the rock outcrop and man-made breakwater that forms part of the harbour wall.
The dive starts along the natural outcrop, which provides us with opportunities to seek out the shy Octopuses and Conger eels and to find the many different species of Nudibranchs feasting away on the vegetation. The breakwater is also home to Groupers and Barracuda.
A gently sloping dive that gradually reaches a depth of 17 mtrs, then ascends up to the harbour wall. The return is made at 10 mtrs, allowing time to explore the shallower parts of this man-made breakwater.
A perfect dive for night diving.
2. Ensenada de los Berengueles (Berengueles Cove Reef) – 14 Mtrs
We start with a shallow entry from the shore and continue over many small and large boulders, with a gentle descent to about 12 metres, where we meet the main part of the reef.
Sitting atop a seabed of fine golden sand, and rising 6 to 8 metres, the reef extends out into the bay, and has many large cracks, swim throughs, and overhangs that provide us with much to look at during our dive. In particular we should see different species of Nudibranch, larger Octopuses, and if we look close enough, colonies of Brittle starfish hiding under the rocks.
It often takes two or three dives to fully explore this reef, and makes a great night dive as well.
3. Arrecife exterior (Outer reef) – 22/25 Mtrs
This reef sits along a contour line that separates the shallower Harbour Wall, with the deeper waters of Punta de la Mona.
Starting with a surface swim of 150 mtrs, we descend to the Berengueles Cove Reef. From here we fin south to meet the inland facing ridge of the reef. This rock ridge runs parallel with the shore, 14 metres on one side, dropping to 22 metres on the other.
Our dive takes a circular route around this reef, quickly dropping to the deeper side first, and then slowly ascending back to our arrival point. On this dive we have been blessed to see Sunfish, who make a few inquisitive passes around us then quickly departing into the deep.
We spend time on this reef, looking for the big black eye of a Conger eel hiding between the rocks, or the misshapen face of the Moray eel, and hopefully an Octopus or two!
Just off to the western end are three cars that were sunk as an artificial reef (approx. 25 mtrs), and gas/no stop permitting it is possible to fin to these as well.
This dive is perfect for using Enriched Air Nitrox.
4. Virgen Maria (Virgin Mary) – 18 Mtrs
At the far western end of the Berengueles Cove Reef, at around 12 metres of depth, is a small statue of the Virgin Mary (Virgen Maria).
Entering from the far end of the beach this dive starts with a surface swim of 200 mtrs, to the inner edge of the Punta Headland, and descending against the rockface we come to a small rock alcove, where the statue stands.
We continue on heading out to deeper water, staying above 18 mtrs, keeping on our right the vertical rock wall. As we get deeper the rock wall rises above us to the surface and drops to the seabed beneath us, and as we float in mid water we admire the colourful sea life on the wall, festooned with soft corals, Sea squirts, and delicate Sea fans.
Here we have a chance to see large Grouper, Sunfish, Conger eels, and the occasional big fat Nudibranch!
We keep enough gas in reserve so that we can return to the shore underwater, and on our way back we pass across the cove of “Punta Shallow” and across the start of the Berengueles Cove Reef. All going well we should surface in front of the Chiringuito and a short walk back to the van!
5. Las Hondonadas (The Gullies) – 30/40 Mtrs
As the cliffs at the southern end of Berengueles Cove Reef drop away under the surface of the water, they continue out of sight down to almost 50 metres, but before reaching this depth there are several gullies that fan out behind the rock ridge that provides an impressive dive.
We descend at the Virgen Maria (see above) and follow the underwater ridge to a depth of 18 mtrs, where we then cross over the top and descend into Las Hondonadas (The Gullies).
The gullies extend down to over 40 mtrs, but we will keep above 30 mtrs allowing us a longer ‘no stop limit’, which enables us to cross into another gully for our ascent.
These gullies provide protection from the strong currents that can wash along the face of Punta de la Mona and gives us our first chance to see the rare soft corals. Do not be surprised if you catch a glimpse of Sunfish, big Groupers, Conger eels & Moray eels and rocks carpeted in lightbulb Sea squirts.
Alternatively, and instead of crossing over into the gullies, we can continue descending, keeping just above the seabed, where the ridge finally meets the sea floor, at Punta de la Mona (The Tip). We will stop at round 40 metres, where we level off and explore where this prominent headland meets the seafloor.
This dive is perfect for using Enriched Air Nitrox.