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Scuba Diving in Lanzarote
Dive Site: Wreck Park
Location: Punta Tinosa and Barranco de Kikere
Depth: 17 - 29 metres (56 - 95 feet)
Visibility: 15 - 20 metres (50 - 65 feet)
Just west of the Puerto del Carmen harbour is Punta Tinosa and Barranco de Kikere, a large block of lava columns which have formed a black obsidian cliff. On the cliff edge an abandoned white house overlooks, steps leading down to the shore line, where 75m directly out resides the New Wrecks Park.
In 2004 three fishing boats were prepared and deliberately sunk & tethered by ropes. Initially, the shallower lay touching a small ridge of rock arching out from the main wall. At 9m to 17m it was intact, and seawards via a connecting rope some 30m away was the second of the intact wrecks 19m to 23m. The hull of the 3rd wreck, stripped of its upperworks was deeper to the east, connected by another rope.
This area is more exposed to weather and currents than further east and with a succession of winter storms the wrecks moved. The tail-end of a hurricane visited the Canaries a couple of years later, which disturbed them greatly and have no connecting ropes. Hopefully they are now in their final resting place, only time will tell.
Depending on skill level, these wrecks now form a deeper profile with nothing above 17m; Nitrox is a distinct advantage, although it’s very possible to dive all three in one dive, without incurring any decompression penalty.
There are several ways to dive a combination or all the wrecks, described below is diving all three. The shallower of the wrecks is permanently buoyed and will be the exit point. The skipper this time, positions the boat over the deepest wreck, where all will make an immediate free descent. At times this can be seen from the surface, starting at 23m to 29m depending on tide.
Lying partially on the port side a distinctive feature of the hull is the carved railings. This is a mere shell and only decking exists aft of midships, the bow deck is not present and the bow itself split down its central column. About 20m NNE in 23m is the remains of the deck, and 80m to the west across bright white sand is the second wreck 19-23m the most intact, with its deckhouse still present and almost upright. Look out for jacks, rays, barracuda and angel sharks. Several types of the larger bream are usually found hovering. All the deck is present with a slightly split hull, a small tour should ensure before swimming approx 30m west again, usually the shallowest wreck can be seen from the top of the second.
Bordering on the division between bright white and dull salt & pepper sand, the shallowest is lying in 17-23m. More broken than the second, the wooden hull intact, but the metal & heavy wheelhouse has fallen onto the seabed, the hull listing well over to port. Usually clouds of smaller fish varieties may be seen, such as bogue or bream. This is the most photogenic of the wrecks and allows a swimthrough through the central wheelhouse.
After touring, taking care to ensure that no-deco limits are not exceeded, allow enough time to locate the ascent line next to the wheelhouse.
Whichever dive plan is being conducted on these wrecks, it is highly recommended to have a delayed SMB and reel in the event of currents or deco limits are reached away from lines.
Nice dive, can easily be done as a shore dive. Steep climb down (and back up) on steps, but no worse than at Mala. Reasonably easy entry and a surface swim south of 75m to one of the 2 buoyed wrecks. A 7 min leisurely fin back north underwater from the wrecks to the shore. Slightly tricky exiting but no real problem. Make sure it's a calm day and the sea isn't rough. Well worth the effort.
Nick Pearce | 14/06/2009
Personally, I would strongly not recommend a shore dive to these wrecks – for a normal visiting tourist diver for the following reasons:
- Cliff side road unmetalled rough track of sharp stone chips & you need a vehicle to access it.
- Slippery shoreline – and hard to exit at tidal times.
- Position is now further seawards and may not easily be found from shore unless you know what you are doing.
- Offshore currents in Punta Tinosa area can be problematic at certain times of day/year (I know this) – as it's an exposed coastline.
- Dive is deeper profiles, just off the shoreline is 15m, even with boat diving all 3 wrecks on air, you can come close to no deco limits.
This is not comparable to Mala (a.k.a Charco del Palo) as there are waterside exit/entry ladders (and much smaller number of steps down the cliff, so no big slep up as in the case of the wrecks). The profile is a gradual multi-level profile (across a reef), and currents are not as problematic even at depth (I've dived CdP many times over). Why bother with a strenuous long shore dive when there are regular boat visits from many dive centres. If you're a visiting diver then it makes sense to be booked on these, since the site is less than 5 minutes boat ride away from Playa Chica Jetty or Calero Marina. Snorkel the coastline of Punta Tinosa, like I & many locals do, it's a much better way to enjoy this stretch :-)
Tony Gilbert | 20/10/2009
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