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July 16, 2011

La Herradura

BY: Carlos Minguell


© OCEANA / Carlos Minguell


Today we the divers have a double session, like in the local cinema when I was a boy. We are delighted, even more when the place promises: we are referring to the surroundings of La Herradura, on the coast of Granada, an area that stands out because of its rich biodiversity, especially when it comes to invertebrates. Firstly, we dive in the deepest area, Punta de La Mona, where we descended to  -38m to find a lovely scenery of coral trees that, together with big tube anemones, stand out like white marks on the rocky bottom. We go with the hope of finding ocean sunfish, because during this period they go to clean themselves in this area, but luck doesn´t come our way. Perhaps the current that makes our movements through the deep difficult makes them uneasy and they prefer a more peaceful moment for daily grooming, I don´t know. We finish the underwater diving at a low depth by the wall, which is full of orange coral, sea squirts and other sessile invertebrates until practically reaching the surface. It is difficult to find a piece of stone unoccupied.

The dive in the afternoon was very different: a wall at a depth of only -9m next to the Cantarrijan beach. A few caves open in the cliff under the coast and inside them we find small lobsters, goldcrests, various tin fish (another well-groomed fish that goes to the caves in search of the attention of the cleaner shrimps) and two enormous and quite trusting congers. Outside the caves, but in the shade of the rocky cliff, there are numerous gorgonians, with their small fauna associated with shrimps and ovulids. I also find various species of nudibranch, hermit crabs and long legged spider crabs, sponges, small corals and sea squirts. An excellent place which demonstrates to us that it is not necessary to descend to great depths to enjoy a rich and diverse fauna.