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Scuba Diving in Lanzarote
Dive Site: Las Salinas
South of Mala, on the coast from Guatiza, just south of the coastal village of Los Cocoteros
Description: Big clump of submerged lava
Depth: 35 metres max (115 feet)
Visibility: 25 metres (80 feet)
We explored the underwater rocks just past Mala in the middle of the sandy seabed. There is not much life on the rocks apart from vegetation, which grows in the cracks sheltered from the strong currents. There were literally thousands of damsels closely guarding their territory. The clear water allowed a great panoramic view of the feature, but to be honest, the effort getting to and from the entry point made it a dive I would only want to do once per holiday.
As you arrive at Las Salinas white mounds appear, closer inspection reveals them to be of drying blistered salt, hence its name the Salt Pans. A car park is nearby with a small ramp leading to new decking, a slip and beach to the sea providing reasonably easy access. There is permission for spear fishing at Las Salinas and powered fishing boats are occasionally here so a delayed SMB is recommended.
Some surge may occur at the wave line to 20m out, the best way to enter is at the edge of beach next to the slip, as the latter is very slippery when wet (I know!). The flat rock is easy to wade out over, there are some small rocks to negotiate after which it's plain sailing. Take a bearing of 260 degrees for shore then head east; the dive gradually deepens to around 25m (about 150 - 200m offshore), which is your halfway point before turning around.
About 50m offshore in 9m, a swim-through hole and many picturesque rocks appear. The lava is quite untouched by wave action so many gullies and outcrops are gnarled. The topography is unlike Charco del Palo (Mala) up the coast as these lava rocks seem to merge together more with a fine dusting of sand patches.
It is ideal scorpionfish and moray country, but look out for colourful starfish, pen shells, blennie varieties, parrotfish groups, shoals of bream, nudibranchs, trumpet and lizardfish. Dancing clouds of damselfish and clusters of ornate (Turkish) wrasse occur, as the usual suspects. There are occasional sightings of angel sharks, larger wrasse & rays.
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