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 Menorca trip June 2013

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PostSubject: Menorca trip June 2013   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySat Jun 22, 2013 3:35 pm

Ange and myself have just returned from Menorca having spent a sunny week with Julie and Andrew.

The diving was generally good with a few wildlife 'targets' in mind - such as the Rays seen by the Proscuba group a few weeks before.

We also had the wish to give diving confidence back to Jools who has been away for a while.

I will add some dive reports shortly when I have improved the photos but I can safely say there were a few surprises on the creature side that made the trip very worthwhile.
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PostSubject: Day 1   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 5:11 pm

Day 1, dive 1. Just a gentle dive in Son Xorigier. A steady way in from the beach. The biggest entertainment for the entry was watching Jools and Andrew trying not to kill each other. This was the first time Andrew had acted as 'dive bitch'. Just a steady bimble around hoping to see the rays that the Proscuba lot had seen. Just as we cut across the beach we nearly bumped into one asleep in the seagrass. Got some reasonable pics before it woke up and swam off. Only as it swan away did we notice that it had no tail or sting. I wonder what it encountered to loose that.

 
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Dive 2 was just a potter in Ponders to use the air. Not a great deal to see other than the smallest octopus I've ever seen. Far too deep in a hole to get a picture and a Cuttlefish that Ange found.
 
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PostSubject: Day 2   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 5:32 pm

Day 2 was a quiet day with only one dive. Calo Blanc is on the south of the island and is one of our favorite site. For any who have looked in the gallery for past Menorca trips this the site where Emma is sat in the chair underwater. We have in the past encounter sea slugs but on this dive we only saw a starfish that was of note and only then because of where one of it's legs was growing from. Andrew was getting used to the 'dive bitch' idea and found us a 'better' way back. That is until he carried Julies kit up it. I think the general concenus was that the original way is better.
 
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PostSubject: Re: Menorca trip June 2013   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 5:51 pm

Menorca trip June 2013 246400Menorca trip June 2013 246400
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PostSubject: Day 3   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 5:53 pm

Day 3 was a busy one for Ange and myself. A trip to the Malakov was on the cards with a stop on the way back to dive Cap D'Negra. This was a new dive for us both. Anges second time on the Malakov.
 
We were last to leave the boat for the Malakov and got some very strange looks for the others as we passed them facing downwards as we do at Nemo. We were dive separately from the others. This viz was pretty poor and not much large life to see. We were rewarded witha couple of lovely seaslugs and a striated hermit crab (we thought it was an anenome crab until we looked it up).
 
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When we got on board Marv asked his crew 'did anyone move the anchor from the wreck'. It was answered by a stunned silence. It was good not to be 'working'. They did manage to lift it without going back.
 
Cap D'Negra is a series of caverns and swim throughs between Cala Blanca and Cap D'Artrutx
 
The only thing of note was a Slipper Lobster that was found by Pablo for us.
 
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On returning to the boat Marv wasn't arsed to put the ladder down so after Ange de-kitted Marv hauled her out, I notice she had only one fin so I asked, like you do. 'where's your other fin'. So much for not working. I did find it though.
 
The final dive of the day was a night dive in Cala Blanca. This time we were joiuned by Julie again. Her first night dive for some time. It was fun watching them get ready but signs of improvement was showing.
 
The dive itself was highlitghted by find two octopus out in the open. One on the way out the other on the return. We managed not to scare them too much as they didn't 'ink' us or bolt for cover. Unfortunately the bright torches we hired from Kirsten spoilt the photos but I hope these are worth it.
 
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It was quite a while since I'd done a night dive in the bay but it was so worth it.
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PostSubject: Day 4   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 7:21 pm

Day four broke with some bad news.  A southerly wind was gathering. I prime target was 'the steps' but when we got there there was too much swell making the exit unsafe. So to plan B. Sams Cafe.  The entrance was fine so the plan was to do Tunnel Vision.
 
Jools decided not to dive but chose to snorkel instead. Ange and myself went down and did the usual route but without going down to the sand because it was bloody cold down there. Back up and found the entrance staight away. Then disaster, I couldn't see the light at the end of Tunnel and with not having torches we chose to come out and go around the front. This proved to be inspired. On the way round Ange found a beautiful large Nudibranch similar to the ones she found a couple of years ago at Calo Blanc.
 
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Further on she found a large(ish) octopus between the rocks
 
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On the way back Ange found a small octopus trying to hide using a shell as its 'teddybear'. So we playflly and carefully more the teddybear a short distance away from it and stayed to watch. Once the 'pus realised that we were not going to attack, it brought out one tenticle and retrieved its teddybear. After pics we waved goodbye and left it in piece.
 
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On the way out we watched as a black headed blennie and a tompot blennie fought ove a shared hole. Each time the other crossed to the wrong side of the hole the other attacked.
 
One thing we had noticed on many dives were the amount of jellyfish that appeared to have either been attacked or seemed to be dying. Gave a cool chance for Ange to take this cracking pic.
 
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PostSubject: Re: Menorca trip June 2013   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 7:47 pm

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PostSubject: Day 5   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 7:54 pm

This was the last diving day so the plan was to try 'the steps' again and then do Cala Blanca bay for the final dive on which Jools would join us.
 
The steps was blown out again so Ange and I decided to go and dive at Arenal d'en Castell - basically Swiss Cheese but without the cheese. We dicided to dive the bay to the right of the entrance and come back along the return route from Cheese. Again, an inspired choice.
 
On the way out I found a pus sitting on a ledge trying to look like a rock and so obviosely failing
 
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We left it alone, eventually, and continued round with nothing much happening. We turned back and then it all kicked off. On the sand, not quite moving like the seagrass bits was the find of, and the most intriging and beguiling creature of the week. A small green sea hare. This, compared with our only other encounter with one (in Malta), was so much better. Ange managed to get this picture of the sea hare watching the camera take its photo. It also gives a scale to the size of it.
 
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Shortly after this a small fish decided it wanted to be the centre of attention and started to attack our new friend so I carefully picked it up and moved it to safety in the rocks at the side of the sand, after we had taken these two pics.
 
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After leaving our new friend the surprises didn't finish. I spotted two tenticles, similar to ones I had seen on the night dive but this time I had the camera ready.
 
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They apparently belong to a creature that hides in a tube-like structure in the rocks.
 
To finish the dive, in about 1 metre of water next to the exit we found a red octopus. He was not happy.
 
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The walk back to the car nearly killed me so I called it quits on diving.
 
Ange and Jools did dive Cala Blanca as these pics show, well their entry at least.
 
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PostSubject: The final act???   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 8:11 pm

After enjoying the diving yet again in our second home the realisation has come to both Ange and myself is that our bodies are completely wrecked. If we are to continue diving, and we both want to, we have to change something. The walks to and from the dives in Menorca are now quite difficult for us as age and injuries talk their toll.

There will always be a place for us to dive in Menorca and we will always have our friends out their but I don't think a week doing nothing but diving on the island is survivable for us. The dives are great and if you haven't been then you really should. There are still surprises to find and the octopus are very friendly.

However, every now and then, you get something really special. After all the dives were done we were invited the a special birthday for a very special friend attended by even more of our friends. Here is just a flavour.

Many thanks to all the friends we have made on the island and to all the friends that have shared the island with us. Hopefully, we will see you out there doing the thing we love (diving) in a place that has become our second home (Menorca).

Some people just know how to party,

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So is this the end, was this our last visit, is that it for diving on Menorca - well probably not but it will be the last time I try and do 5 days diving without a dive bitch to carry the kit. Jools, you have shown us the future.................
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PostSubject: El Burro!   Menorca trip June 2013 EmptySun Jun 23, 2013 10:33 pm

What a brilliant write up, just how I remembered it!!

For me it was not necessarily the confidence thing but the getting in and out of the water!!!  Without Andrew I wouldn't have managed it, it was him who pushed me to do the trip with him providing all the support I needed.  He took on the role of "dive bitch"  with gusto, the nice thing was that it proved to us how strong our relationship is and how good our communication skills are!!  It started with him wanting to do EVERYTHING and me wanting to do as much as I could myself.  Well you can imagine what that was like but by the end of the week we had just about got it off pat and things were just happening without having to discuss it and I was able to enjoy the whole process.

His name evolved into "El burro" as someone remarked he was like my donkey, carrying everything around! A title he much preferred!!!

So dive 1... after much fun I eventually got into the water and struggled a little to begin with but after some adjustments to straps etc I finally felt comfortable in the water and was able to relax and enjoy. It was good to see the ray and watch it gracefully swim around the bay.  I came out with a smile on my face.

Ponders next and a bimble up the rocks, only a short dive for me as I had used more air than the other two but a good exercise in de-kitting in the water for myself and Andrew.

Day 2 and another dive site.  Feeling better each dive and my dive time and air consumption improving! And yes, the better way was even harder and that was without me carrying all the kit!!

Day 3 Andrew and I chilled out by the pool while Tink and Ange went off to dive the wreck.  Night diving was one thing that I had requested to do so off to Cala Blanca which I have fond memories of as that is where I completed my Open Water dives.  I was "lighting technician" on this dive, swimming round and round in circles above the other two shining my torch down on objects for the cameramen!!

Day 4 Seeing all the steps that Andrew would have to carry kit down and wanting to spend some time with him I decided not to dive.  Andrew had a mask and snorkel waiting to be used so that is what we did.  He was unsure as he had never done this before.  Having lived in Cornwall for a number of years his experience of water was on the surface surfing!!!  We enjoyed following the other two and playing with their bubbles for a while and then spent at least half an hour with our heads in a foot of water at the shores edge and still seeing loads of fish!!

Day 5  I decided I only wanted to do the one planned dive of Cala Blanca in the afternoon so a lazy morning for us while the other two went off to do another dive.  So the time came and it was just me and Ange.  I kitted up and got into the water in record time, we were just getting better and better.  Had a great time with Ange and the highlight for me was spotting an Octopus towards the end of the dive.  A 55 minute dive and best use of air so far so that gave me a great buzz.  It wasn't until after getting out of the water that I was told that was the first time Ange had done that dive without anyone else but I have to say she did a great job and I didn't realise it was the first time she had lead a dive there.  The nerves didn't show!!!

So that was it.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and it wouldn't have been possible without Andrew.  I have to say though, that the all the swimming I did in the pool had a beneficial effect on my dodgy shoulder and I am sure the Chiropractor will see an improvement when I see him tomorrow so maybe a little more kit carrying will be possible.

I felt quite emotional when I read Tinks last posting as I know how he feels, it is hard when you want to do something so much but injury holds you back.

El Burro coped well with one lot of kit but not sure how he would carry anymore!!

Our conversation on the way home??? Hhhhhhmmmmm might do a try dive after all!!!!!  affraidaffraid
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