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The wreck of the Isla Gomera or El Naranjito

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Just getting started with wreck diving? Or looking for a new challenge?

This is a fantastic and easily accessible wreck dive to build up your experience and confidence, known locally as El Naranjito due to its cargo of oranges carried on the fatal voyage in April 1946. Whilst heading to Barcelona from Cartagena the cargo shifted in a violent storm, but luckily the majority of the crew managed to swim ashore despite the cold water. Unfortunately the Chief Engineer’s wife did not survive. Oranges littered the shoreline for weeks and provided easy pickings for the locals.

Originally named the Nadir and launched in 1919 from Cadiz in Spain, it had a single steam engine. The 51m long vessel now sits on a sandy bottom heeled slightly to Starboard. The bottom of the stern is at 45mwd, whilst the bow sits at 42mwd. The wreck is in excellent condition and the engine room and holds make an enjoyable starter for anyone wanting wreck penetration. The focastle deck is around 28mwd.

I have dived this wreck at least 25 times during the past 2 years and it never fails to excite. The visibility is usually excellent, but sometimes there is a current running as you descend the buoy line to just aft of the bow. On reaching the deck area it is easy to navigate around the remains of the deck machinery. Careful observation will reveal the large Congers who live in the “catholes” where once the hawsers used to run. Patience is needed to get a good photograph as they are shy!

The wreck is also home to large Morays, which have made the engine room their own. Depending on the time of year, shoals of Dentex, Barracuda and Amberjacks can be seen hunting their prey of Sardine and Anchovy just off the deck area. I have also been lucky several times and managed to spot lone Sunfish off in the blue. Smaller subjects can be found, even to macro levels, if you can spot the tiny nudibranchs or the Spiny Rockfish that abound on the deck area.

To make the best of this dive, good planning is needed. Stay on the deck area and you can dive on air, but for more ambitious dives Nitrox or Trimix should be considered. A good level of experience is required as this dive is in open sea; having said that, the local dive operators know their business and are very capable and dive this location regularly.

In summary, this is a must if you are diving in the area.

Location

Cabo de Palos, Murcia, Spain.

Dive Operators

Divers Cabo de Palos – Tel: +34 687802891 – info@diverscabodepalos.com

Centro de Buceo Naranjito – Tel +34 968564836 – naranjitobuceo@naranjitobuceo.com

Mangamar Dive Centre – Tel +34 968100860 – info@mangamar.es

Mike has been diving for over 50 years, always as a scuba diver but also as a Military and then Commercial Diver. He has dived all over the world, with a longtime interest in photography. Mike now splits his time between the waters of South East Asia and the cooler waters of the Spanish Mediterranean.

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PADI Recognises EMEA Members with New Professional Development Excellence Award

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PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) has recently launched their new Professional Development Excellence Award in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), celebrating PADI Five Star Instructor Development Centers (IDC)  that are championing creating more PADI Professionals, at all levels, during the previous calendar year.

“While becoming a PADI Five Star IDC Center is a prized accreditation amongst members, this exclusive rating comes with the responsibility of training the next generation of divers to become PADI Instructors,” explains Dave Murray, Managing Director for PADI EMEA.

“PADI’s commitment to a continuing education philosophy encourages divers to realise their dreams of a career as a PADI Pro, teaching others to do what they love – to scuba dive. This new recognition award distinguishes productive PADI Five Star IDC stores for the time and effort they dedicate to marketing and conducting the professional training needed to grow the scuba diving industry.”

PADI’s EMEA Professional Development Excellence Award recognises members for reaching specific milestones based on the number of PADI Pro certifications they issue annually. It also provides an extra layer of credentials in their “Pro Development Status” to potential Divemaster and IDC candidates, along with any other prospective Pro-level customers and prospective employees.

The first awards were distributed earlier this year, with 12 PADI Five Star IDC Centers receiving the Platinum Award. This means that they have issued a minimum of 100 PADI Professional certifications from Divemaster to IDC Staff Instructor, which include 30 Core Professional certifications and 70 Continuing Education Instructor level certifications.

padi

The 2025 PADI EMEA Professional Development Excellence Award is already underway and renewed PADI EMEA Five Star IDC Dive Centers and Resorts are automatically eligible. Stores that reach the recognition levels during 2024 will receive their award in the first quarter of 2025.

For more information about the award and to see the full list of award recipients visit here.

About PADI 

PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) is the largest purpose-driven diving organization with a global network of 6,600 dive centers and resorts, 128,000 professional members, and more than 30 million certified divers to date. Committed to our blue planet, PADI makes the wonder of the underwater world accessible to all, empowering people around the world to experience, explore and take meaningful action, as Ocean TorchbearersTM, to protect the world beneath the surface. For over 50 years, PADI is undeniably The Way the World Learns to Dive®, setting the standard for the highest quality dive training, underwater safety and conservation initiatives while evolving the sport of diving into a passionate lifestyle. For divers by divers, PADI is obsessed with transforming lives and, with its global foundation, PADI AWARETM, creating positive ocean change. Seek Adventure. Save the Ocean.SM  www.padi.com

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Introduce family to the wonder of the oceans with new family weeks from Regaldive

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diving holiday

Regal Dive, the diving holiday specialist, is offering Learn to Dive and Family Weeks this summer to encourage divers and those new to the sport to spend some time in the water together, learning and developing their diving skills. There are multiple itineraries on offer providing affordable diving certification, including a range of liveaboard trips which are designed to be inclusive – so that even those who would prefer to simply snorkel are still guaranteed a good time.

ITINERARIES IN THE MALDIVES:

MV Keana: Family Week, perfect for snorkellers, beginners and children.

Spend 10 nights in a Maldivian paradise exploring warm turquoise waters for exciting marine life and beautiful corals, all with a highly experienced diving team on hand. The MV Keana takes guests on an adventure around the remote atolls, home to manta rays, sharks, turtles, dolphins and whale sharks. The vessel accommodates up to 18 guests in comfortable upper deck cabins and features an outdoor bar and dining areaThere is a sundeck to soak in the views of the ocean and pristine white beaches of the surrounding islands.

Price: A 10-night trip on MV Keana costs £3,015 per adult, with children under 11 costing £2,735, including flights, departing 8 August 2024.

AMBA: Liveaboard Diving Beginner’s Tour, Family fun between Male and Vaavu Atoll

Take advantage of a variety of courses and family rates on this week-long beginner’s tour. Guests will complete a diving theory course prior to embarking on AMBA, allowing for the possibility to complete up to four courses whilst aboard, including the Open Water certification. Once certified, guests can explore the Vaavu Atoll, which has the thrilling possibility of shark encounters. More experienced divers can hop aboard the Dhoni to access some of the area’s more challenging dive sites.

Price: A 7-night trip on AMBA costs from £2,400 per adult, with children 11 and under costing £2,210. This price includes flights. Departing 13 August 2024.

diving holiday

DIVING RESORTS IN THE PHILIPPINES:

Atlantis Puerto Galera & Atlantis Dumaguete Family Weeks

The Atlantis Dive Resorts is offering a range of exceptional deals for family groups this summer. The Family Week special offers include free stays, free meals, free diving places for children (one free child per paying adult). Puerto Galera Resort, in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, offers accessible diving, diverse coral reefs and exotic marine life. Dumaguete, in the Visayas region, is home to a diverse range of macro species, including ghost pipefish, flamboyant cuttlefish, and various seahorses and octopuses. The resort also grants access to the Dauin Marine Sanctuaries and Apo Island – one of the finest diving destinations in the Philippines. Both hotels are situated in stunning beach-front locations with tropical landscaped gardens and thatched-roof bungalows.

Price: A 7-night stay Atlantis Puerto Galera costs £3,593 per adult and £1,375 per teen, including flights. A 7-night stay at Atlantis Dumaguete costs £3,895 per adult and £1,475 per teen, including flights.

Family week deals at the Atlantis Dive Resorts are available on selected dates in July, August, November and December 2024.

For more information visit www.regal-diving.co.uk.

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