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Canarian Winter Sun and diving off the volcanic islands

December 2017 - January 2018

Nuestra Señora del Carmen (in Plaza de la iglesia)

Los Cristianos has a history that predates the tourist boom of the 1970s and 1980s. For many years this holiday hub was a quiet fishing village and historical references to Los Cristianos date back to the 16th century, when it is described as a harbour by the Notary Hernán Guerra. Los Cristianos remained an important port for the south of Tenerife throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. The first permanent settlement of Los Cristianos was in the 1860s when it was described by Pedro de Olive as “a hamlet in Arona, with three one-storey houses, a two-storey house and a hut.

The population of Los Cristianos started to grow around the turn of the century with the advent of industry & trade. With the threat from pirates and privateers now a distant memory, Los Cristianos, with its natural harbour thrived as the import-export centre of the south of Tenerife. In 1909, the first Quay was built to ship the produce of a local distillery. It still remains today and is known as “El Puerto Viejo” (Old Quay).

Diving near Las Galletas

With clear, warm waters and a variety of marine life, diving is a major activity off the Canary Islands.

There are many dive spots easily accessible of the coasts.

The volcanic origins of the islands make for a dynamic submerged environment.

The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is also known as the green turtle. This sea turtle's dorsoventrally flattened body is covered by a large, teardrop-shaped carapace; it has a pair of large, paddle-like flippers. Like other sea turtles, green sea turtles migrate long distances between feeding grounds and hatching beaches. Many islands worldwide are known as Turtle Island due to green sea turtles nesting on their beaches. Females crawl out on beaches, dig nests and lay eggs during the night. Later, hatchlings emerge and scramble into the water. Those that reach maturity may live to 80 years in the wild.

El Condesito

El Condesito is a cargo ship that sank on 1st January 1972 near Las Galletas on the south coast of Tenerife. The wreck is now a well known recreational dive site. The ship was transporting cement for the construction of Los Cristianos.

The ship ran aground about 50 meters (165 feet) from where the Punta Rasca Lighthouse later was constructed. No lives were lost. It was this sinking that prompted the construction of the lighthouse three years later.

Until recently the hull, engine room and cabin were intact with only the bow having been torn away. However, the wreck is increasingly unstable but can still be penetrated from many entry points. Access is easy from the forward hold swimming through the remains of the cargo. The bags of cement she was carrying have now solidified into blocks, and all around the site are white solid "stones" that are actually the now-solidified bags of cement.

Playa de las Vistas

Guaza Sunrise

Credits:

All images by Peter Moore

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