In this ongoing series, we speak with the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…
What are your names?
Raul Ibañez and Isabel Laguardia
What is the name of your business?
Divers Cabo de Palos
What is your role within the business?
Owners, Skippers, Instructors, Desk guys, cleaning crew… and everything that is needed!
How long has the business operated for?
We opened 30/04/2016, so we are now celebrating our first year.
How long have you dived for and what qualification are you?
We have been diving for almost a decade and we are both PADI Specialty Instructors. Isabel is an IANTD Instructor too.
What is your favourite type of diving?
We enjoy most the naturalist and underwater photography diving. We love to see marine life and try to learn more and more about them with every dive; discover new creatures and watch their behavioral patterns.
If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?
We are located at the gateway of the Marine Preserve Islas Hormigas. It’s a very beautiful thing to come to see: big groupers, huge barracuda banks, dentex, big octopuses and different species are the highlights of the marine preserve. There’s also many small creatures like nudibranch and smaller fishes crowding the marine dive spots.
What is your favourite dive in your location and why?
It’s very difficult to choose, so we are going to cheat a little and choose one dive each!
Raul: My favourite dive spot is the Naranjito Wreck, a cargo ship that sank on April 1946. It lies in navigation position on a 42m sandy bottom with the main deck at 26m deep. This dive spot is one of the best places to see sunfish in spring and summer. There are a lot of different species to watch here because it’s almost at the edge of the marine reserve borders.
Isabel: My favourite dive spot is the Bajo de Dentro dive site in the Marine Reserve. It’s an underwater mountain that reaches up to 5m depth from a rocky and sandy bottom of 33-40m. Full of gigantic groupers, dentex, and moray eels, this spot is one of the best to see big banks of great amberjacks that cloud the place preying on the smaller fish.
What types of diving are available in your location?
Naturalist and underwater photography, wreck diving, deep diving, boat diving, shore diving and night diving.
What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
Everything is challenging and exciting but the thing most rewarding is that, so far, everyone that has visited us has been very happy and pleased with the experience.
What is your favorite underwater creature?
Raul: My favourite underwater creature is the octopus. Their curiosity and behaviour fascinates me. Also, when you find a really small one in a hiding place, normally, if not disturbed or fished, you can watch how the octopus grows and changes their behaviour towards you.
Isabel: My favourite underwater creature is the “boga” (sea bream). Ok, not a boga, but the big schools of “bogas” that just look like cartoons, making shapes and moving all at once when the predators come to hunt. I could spend hours staring at them.
Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?
We think that scuba diving is evolving into a more eco friendly industry, trying to protect our marine environment more and more. We hope that we are part of this process and will see the outcome of these changes pretty soon.
As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?
Right now, our biggest problem is that we don’t have all the time we need to do all the amazing stuff we want to do! We have a lot of ideas waiting for some spare time to put them in practice.
Is your center involved in any environmental work?
Yes, we are collaborating with Murcia University in their efforts to achieve a greater understanding of the marine reserve ecosystem, helping on their projects and working with them in some challenging studies. Also, recently we obtained the EcoDiver Trainer title from the ReefCheck Mediterranean organization that will improve their citizen science projects.
How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?
As we mentioned a bit above, we think that this industry is on an evolutionary process to a much more eco friendly industry and a general change towards creating bigger respect for our waters.
What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?
That they will not be disappointed by the life here! Really, we have a lot to offer and as we are a small family business, we try to accommodate our clients every need. Also, safety is our number one priority, so we have one guide for each different level of divers in order to make different dives routes in the same spot depending on the certification level or experience.
Where can our visitors find out more about your business?
On our website you can find a lot of information about our dives, such as maps, videos, photos and more. On our Facebook page you can find day to day information about the dives in the area and lots of photos and videos (and a comic!) On our Youtube Channel you can see all the videos we’ve edited so far and on our TripAdvisor profile you can read how much our guests have enjoyed their visits.