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Scuba Diving in Lanzarote
Dive Site: Anemone Wall (Richie's Reef)
Location: Opposite Puerto del Carmen Beach
Depth: 10 - 35 metres (30 - 115 feet)
Visibility: 20 - 40 metres (65 - 130 feet)
Anemone Wall, sometimes known as Richie's Reef, is a recently discovered dive site (at least from a tourist perspective) and provides an ideal dive for the more inexperienced divers who are just starting out and discover boat diving off Lanzarote.
Located east of Fariones Reef and west of Richie's Place, opposite the main Puerto del Carmen Beach, it is usually dived west end to the beginning of Richie's Place dive site. This is a continuous unbroken, vertical wall sea cliff, which is part of the lava reef system along this stretch of coastline. Running approximately 250m, the top of the sea cliff is at a depth of 22m and continues at this depth most of the way. At Richie's Place a shallower reef behind the main wall provides a great off gas area at 17m.
Descending upon a mooring chain the visibility is usually excellent, upwards to some 40m. The vertical lava wall has many undulations and is mostly covered with tree anemones, a species of Gerardia. These grow by clinging to the walls in a creeping, ivy sort of way, different to many other places where they are seen growing in overhanging clumps. The 'branches' are red vermillion with small 0.75cm anemone type polyps, which are usually found in a dull yellow or yellow-green.
At 30m the small holes at the base are home to morays and some large grouper that seem to be able to fit into these small crevices. An added bonus are the dense patches of Parazoanthus, commonly known as encrusting anemones, their polyps and stems a brilliant yellow.
For those able to dive deeper an outlying rock is split into two, some 15m swim away across glistening white sand. The split provides an interesting swim through to around 35m, where a sand chute slips gently to depths. Lookout for angel sharks and torpedo rays milling around the sand.
For the shallower dive, the wall provides an interesting array of common fish life, plus the added bonus of great visibility & views. A slight enclave in the top of the cliff is where several resident trumpetfish can be seen, after which a large outcrop signals the start of Richie's Place. A cave is found at depth, but now bottom time remaining will be the deciding factor, so it's best to look ahead for the next mooring chain, which will be the exit line.
The boat should have moved to this mooring point, so no need to return if this was the plan. The reef coastwards rises to 17m allowing some off-gassing, before slowly ascending to the mooring chain. Take care on the chain on the last 10m as there are colonies of goose barnacles.
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