For those who have not dived this Mediterranean island before, it offers some beautiful scenery both above and below the water (and coincidentally SCUBA magazine had only just run an article on diving in Sardinia). We managed to squeeze in a couple of dives on our recent holiday to Sardinia.
I had hoped to complete my BSAC course when out in Alghero, a large town on the north west part of the island, in the Sassari region. However, despite there being 5 dive centres none were BSAC. Sarah and I went out with one company and we told them in advance what we had done and we went off as a group of 5 with two complete novices; Sarah and I went off with the instructor as a three, and the first dive was to 15m and was very colourful with barracuda, a moray eel, as well as a lone Grouper. It was ‘follow my leader’ with us following the instructor, and whilst a good experience it was without any spoken plan, and we did not have a safety stop on the return. The ‘plan’ seemed to be in the leaders head. We did experience putting on the BCD in the water, which was a lot cooler (it was 30dgs) but not too easy to see what went where, and a buddy check proved impossible. We later enjoyed snorkelling whist the novices went off – with what seemed minimal advice!
I went out again with the same centre but without Sarah. We had 8 divers, three ‘home team’ and the rest were experienced divers, apart from me. The instructor was used to varying levels of skills and people had to demonstrate they knew what they were doing. He liked BSAC and knew what I had done, so that was encouraging, but it rather went the other way as he assumed I knew it all and left me to it!
We did two dives, the first we saw an octopus, about the size of a child’s football, and our guide handled the creature and it seemed unstressed, and we all felt it’s tentacles wrap around out fingers, so much for look don’t touch. Later he said if it was stressed it would have fired off some ink, perhaps he knows the creature and they on first name terms! We saw barracuda, a multiplicity of fish, and did a wall descent to 19m and with torches saw spectacular colours including red and white coral. The second dive, much to my surprise since, again, the plan was in the leaders head alone, we went through a cave entrance which was about the size of a tractor tyre and came out into a grotto full of colour with ferns and fish a gogo, and then popped out at the top of the grotto to continue our dive in more sedate fashion, varying from 7 to 18m. Use of my computer for the first time was very good.
I spoke at length to the guys running this centre about BSAC as they were interested in getting BSAC divers out there, if they achieve accreditation. I will send a link as members might like to go there. It is a very beautiful area and the diving centred around a marine reserve within a national park, so I did not see a single bit of plastic. It was like diving in a 3 dimensional aquarium.
Here is a view from the marina just before we headed off, and the red RIB is my ride! Sea like a millpond.