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New fish found in El Hierro by Arrecifal!!!

August 16, 2014

Proud to tell you that we have recorded a new fish for El Hierro!

Yes, it is a type of perl fish, carapus acus, commonly known in Canaries as “Rubioca”.

This fish, as well as being very vulnerable, is very peculiar, as to hide from its predators has chosen to get inside the holothurians (sea cucumbers)!

Yes, he gets into the sea cucumber through the hole it uses to take out  the filtered food (the anus) and remains inside this long periods of time, leaving it s hiding only to feed. Once satisfied, gets back hiding into to the sfaety of its cucumber, so it is very difficult to spot.

And as the sea cucumber has no predators, it becomes a very good shelter!

Although they knew of  its existence in the Canary Islands, this Rubioca was not registered yet in El Hierro, but from this photo, taken on the 5th of August 2014 by our instructor Carlos Valenzuela, it is now.

16 AGO

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Diving with Hammerhead sharks!

May 23, 2014

Past saturday 10th of may, who dived with Arrecifal, will never forget that dive!

ImageAt the very beginning of the dive, near the buoy and about 14 mts depth, we were surprised by a hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena) of considerable size that far from swimming away from the divers, swam amongst us without any problem. It was coming from our right at the same depth, Carlos was leading with 2 divers and the other 6 were a bit behind, so he thought they were going to miss it.Image The shark crossed the first group very close and from right to left, when suddenly turned and swam near the group  that was behind. It swam around the group and them passed over their heads. That’s by the time the best shots were taken. Meanwhile and almost simultaneously the group in the front was watching how another hammerhead shark, swiming on the surface about 15 mts above, slowly disappeared from sight. All this happened the first 9 mins of the dive… best gift ever! Thanx Pachamama, definitely a dive never to forget!

Image

 

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Bryde’s whale, Giant Manta and Mako shark!

May 7, 2012

After a few days hearing that some whales are nearby,  yesterday we decided to try some luck and went with Cristo, Iñaki  and Bea, Anita, Candela and Marina towards Tacorón to see if we get to see the whales. Just exiting the harbour entrance and turning west, you could see the tremendous blows on the horizon. There were so many, that before we even realised, we had 3 whales around our boat (see video),  hundreds of fluttering shearwaters and seagulls and far looking into direction Orchilla Lighthouse every few seconds you could see  huge blows. Although the specimens we saw would have 9 or 10 meters long, these Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera brydei), may reach 16 meters and weigh 20 tons.

In addition the area is full of bait such as sardines, bream and mackerel which are the preferred food for this whale  and also for the hundreds of beautiful and large yellowfin tuna scurrying balls of bait near the surface. It was a tremendous festival and that was not all…

After being more than satisfied to see these tremendous fish jumping and swimming just a few meters off the boat, decided to return, just by the time when we saw a fin at the surface near the stern of the boat. Immediately we think of a Hammerhead Shark and rushed to jump into the water when we found that it was a 2.5 mt Manta Diablo (Mobula tarapacana) that  not intimidated by our precense, kept on flying around the boat for a couple of minutes (see video). Just after it sank and losing it from sight, Anita sees a fin at the surface near the bow of the boat and  to play a prank on her cousin Bea that was still in the water, says it is the fin of a shark! Bea immediately does a somersault in the stern of the boat when Cristo advises us that a shark was right underneath us! We all saw it  but Bea, someof us  from the boat (very clear) and some from the water. Unfortunately, the shark went so fast that we couldn’t get it  photographed, but we believe it was a shortfin mako. It also had about 2.5 meters and only crossed once, apart from being seen on the surface…simply AMAZING.  Just like a National Geographic! Too bad in the Reserve is not allowed to do drift dives, otherwise i would be there now, in the middle of the blue watching the show…See ya in the blue.  Carlos

 

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The volcano is over!

March 7, 2012

And finally reached one of the most awaited news for all of La Restinga and perhaps the entire island…

The volcano has been switched off and after nearly 5 months of eruption, has left a thick layer of nutrients on the seabed which represent a special fertilizer.

Right now the Mar de Las Calmas has become the only natural laboratory in the world and we are privileged to witness its evolution.  In October 2011 the underwater eruption began and the Mar de las Calmas lived one of the worst crises ever had, losing almost all the life that lived there. Seems like another irony of fate, that this happened right on one of the richest areas of marine flora and fauna and in one of the most better cared and managed Marine Reserve of Spain. But this layer of nutrients and the large amount of algae on the bottom, is the perfect combination for the beginning of an explosion of life. Quickly, we can see at the bottom a big amount of  larvae of many species and apparently many eggs left had survived and now are popping up. We’re not going to lie and say it’s full of fish, because it is not. But it is a good chance to observe how quickly life regenerates and breaks through.

In the last days we’ve done a couple of dives in the area affected by the stain,  and we missed our beloved parrotfish, trumpet fish, triggerfish, but we have seen alevines and juveniles of damselfish, wrasse, groups of cow and white breams. We have also seen specimens of groupers, chubs, snake eels, morey eels, stingrays, butterfly rays and larger groupsopf zebra breams, etc… Should be highligthed that we saw the Sand Tiger Shark (never seen at this time of the year and with this temperature (19,5ºC)) and the Captain Grouper from la Herradura!

Anyway, everyone is invited to come and see how life makes its way back, and we very refreshed and rested and very looking forward to return to work!)

See ya soon!

Anita, Carlos, Candela and Marina

 

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New pools to rinse your equipment!

June 7, 2011

Hey ya,  let us introduce you our new Water piles! Finally looking forward into our 3rd season, we could change our old plastic pools that for 13 years have served faithfully rinsing equipment of hundreds of happy clients.

No more confusions on which goes regs or equipment, and no more bendings with our new rustic style water pools tailored and ergonometric made.

From now on we have 3 different rinsing pools; one exclusively for cameras, another one for regs, mascs and computers, and the biggest, to avoid confusions, for the rest of the equipment.  On the their opposite side we made a small wall that help us diving the dry and wet areas,  and also keeps our classic photo collage (now bigger) and our news panel.

We wanted to thank our costumers that were here while the works and for the inauguration: Pablo Cabrera, Mariano de Luna, Stephane Muller, Julio Martin, the actor Eduardo Velasco and avery special thanx to our friend, student and bricklayer that did it all: Dani Medina.

To all of you with love, Anita & Carlos. See you soon!

Dani, Eduardo y Carlos

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New Filefish sawn!

April 12, 2011

Two days ago, I  was diving at “Punta del Río”, when suddenly i saw something in the blue that called my attention. Unicorn FilefishThat was by the time i remembered my friend David Shilham that send my a picture, a couple of months ago, of a  strange Filefish for the area, that he saw while diving in Lanzarote, one next Island. Anyway, as my costumers were not aware of what they were seeing, i ask one of them for his camera and started a race into the blue trying to catch one of these 4 shy Filefish trying to swimm away from us. I even had to use a bit of the zoom to get a shot where to see  fairly the fish.

It end up being a Unicorn Filefish:  Aluterus Monoceros

Here in the Canary Islands, we have 2 type of  Filefish:

Scrawled Filefish

 

Aluterus Scriptus, locally known as “Gallo azul”, and as Srawled Filefish in english, and

 

 

Plainhead Filefish

 

Stephanolepis Hispidus, locally known as “Gallito” and as Planehead Filefish in english.

 

 

Taking to a frined of mine that´s been here for 13 years already, told me he has seen this fish before in a copuple of oportunities.  It may happened that eggs of this Indo-Pacific type of  Filefish came with a fishing boat. That´s why, when they have been seen before, they don´t last much at the spot. They may leave or die because of the lower water temperature.

Or, it could be one of the slow consequences of the Global Warming.

I don´t know? Who knows? Please let us know your opinion.

Cheers,

Carlos & Anita

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New Dive Site in the Marine Reserve!

March 1, 2011

From now on, 01 march 2011, all divers that come to dive el Hierro, will have a new site to discover.

New Dive SiteThis site was waiting to be placed for a long time, but for various reasons wasn´t  materialized. Finally with the permission of  the Marine Reserve and the Government, this morning and with the collaboration of the Marine Reserve, ARRECIFAL and Buceo Restinga,  the anchor and it´s bouy has been placed and the site opens officially.

The name of the new site is not official yet, but apparently seems to be call  “Arenas Blancas”, although it can still change. Its location is about 100 mts towards to the east of the site “La Herradura” (even nearer to town), on a rocky and flat bottom, perfect for a second shallow dive!

Nothing more can I tell, cause grace is lost.  Now it´s your turn to come and discover!

Carlos & Anita