Friday, August 28, 2009

Marine Reserve in Carry-le-Rouet

When I landed in Marseilles at lunchtime, there was a big surprise: my luggage had not made it. Hence, we were not going to to spear fishing, as intended, since all my neoprene was still in Amsterdam. Instead, Christel's dad proposed to go to the marine reserve in Carry-le-Rouet. Situated in a protected bay, the water was going to be warm enough to allow extended snorkeling without a suit.

I had been to the reserve before, and knew about the abundance of fish. But what we saw was beyond our wildest imaginations. There were schools of Saupes comprised of several hundred specimens. Absolutely amazing. Also, we saw large Dorades, Loup du Mer, and others. Bravo, bravo, bravo. This little reserve provides a shameful reminder of what the Mediterranean would look like, if we had not fished it empty.



Roger and Saupes.

More Saupes.

Somewhere in here, was the Loup.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Indoor Scuba Center Siegburg

Today I attended the opening ceremony of the new indoor dive center in Siegburg. I first met owner and manager Manfred Narres at this year's Boot show, and have kept track of his project ever since. So today was the big day.

The dive center is part of a larger pool-complex, named Oktopus, comprised of several large pools, water slides, and indoor surfing. Also the complex includes a hotel. Although located in the same building, the three entities (pools, scuba and hotel) are operated by different firms.

The good news, Manfred's pool was ready. Although, the water was a bit fresh, since the central heating system was overloaded by simultaneously heating up the other pool as well. Also, I had learned that when the scuba pool was half-way full, the underwater-lights flooded. So they had to empty out 5 meters of water again, install new lights, and then fill it back up.

The evening itself was good fun. I met serveral of the new instructors, plus Robert and Ella Stoss, of Johnson Outdoors, plus Dirk Kuhlmann of Pressure Guard. Obviously, there was tons of food, and drink (from a neat computerized cocktail machine) and an entertainment program. Several dive clubs came to try out the pool, and even held an apnoe contest. All in all, and excellent start for Manfred and his crew.

The pool.

The shop.

The area between lobby and pools.

Manfred Narres, about to start his opening speech.