18 Oct: ALDEA, Gran Canaria to Bahia de ABONA 28 09.6N 16 25.6W

Paul Downie
Fri 19 Oct 2007 17:20
A very pleasant 24hrs in Aldea, rowed Tinker ashore and strolled around the breakwater and the village. Met a few English people, which was nice as we don't often hear English spoken...they told me that this part of the West coast is their favourite area of Gran Canaria, few roads, rugged terrain, no tourist developments just Canarian villages and small harbours. We sat for a while in a Cafe overlooking the small harbour, the helpful proprietor brought us coffees and filled our water container and was helpful in pointing out the diving area....all this with pigeon-Spanish and a smile on our faces.
In the afternoon we did a snorkel-reccy of the dive area, which was at the seaward-side of the breakwater. We put on snorkel and fins and made our way from Barada to the breakwater finning along the concrete blocks that make up the structure - there were plenty of fish, but mostly large shoals of smaller fish which are a delight to watch.....suddenly you are surrounded by a shoal coming from behind, one group was a vivid blue/lilac colour, then I guess one of them suspects a predator coming near and they are gone in a flash, literally. Unusual specimens we saw included many Blennies defending their territory on the boulders, they constantly move in a snake-like movement; lots of large crabs; as we finned back towards Barada 2 fish that I have not identified for sure, but could have been either small Wahoo or possibly Garfish, swam past me eyeing me up curiously as they passed. As Paul was finning past a chap fishing from the breakwater, he found himself snared by the fisherman who had a big smile on his face and said, amongst lots of expletives in Spanish "you are the largest catch I have had all day"!
However the fish around Barada's mooring were equally delightful, of various colours and sizes including Bogue, Parrotfish, Wrasse, Damsel etc.
Unfortunately we didn't get back to dive the site the next morning as the v.strong gusts from the NE became more and more persistent as the evening and night went on and with an increasing NW swell made for an uncomfortable night, even with our two anchors holding fast. This morning at daybreak we prepared to leave and with anchors up-and-away by 1000 were heading west for Tenerife, Bahia de ABONA on the east coast in lively seas F5-6on the beam, and two WAZ's (wind acceleration zones) to pass through......