Monday, 3 September 2012

Bajo de Dentro - Cave and Chimney

Bajo de Dentro

Bajo de Dentro is a rocky submerged pinnacle located in the Islas Hormigas marine reserve off the tip of Cabo de Palos in Murcia.  The marine reserve consists of 19 sq km of protected water characterized by an extremely high diversity of aquatic life.   

The pinnacle consists of a rocky outcrop which rises up from a sandy seabed at around 50 metres and reaches a depth of around 3 to 4 metres.  Its northern side comprises of a gently sloping platform some 20-30m in length which lies in 12-16m of water. Both the eastern & western sides consist of steep walls and the easterly wall is almost vertical & deeper.

We dived with the Naranjito scuba diving centre from the port of Cabo de Palos in a RIB.  Bajo de Dentro lies exactly 4 km from port, within the marine reserve of Islas Hormigas taking around 10-15 minutes to get there.  

Because of the currents that surround the pinnacle as well as its coveted protected marine reserve status, Bajo de Dentro is extremely rich in both marine flora and fauna.  Large schools of both sea perch, Chromis, Corva, Bream & Mojarra are guaranteed, which in turn attract shoals of Barracuda, Groupers & Dentex. Amongst the rocks lies sanctuary for Scorpion fish, Brotala, Lobsters, Moray and Conger Eels.  There is also an abundance of soft corals such as Gorgonias. You can occasionally spot eagle rays, sunfish & maybe turtles.

Common marine life: large groupers, moray eels, eagle rays, barracuda shoals, dentex, sun fish, slipper lobsters, bream, blennies.

Visibility: From 10 m to 40m
Min depth: 4m
Max depth: 50m
Experience level: Open water and above
Conditions: This site is situated in open waters so can be affected by some strong currents and a north easterly wind.

The Cave - Bajo de Dentro
The cave is at a depth of 20 metres.

The Chimney - Bajo de Dentro

Star Fish
Jelly fish, Pelagia noctiluca, aka mauve stinger.
This jelly fish's sting was quite painful.  During the diving season I regularly saw this species in the water around Murcia.  I managed to successfully avoid its sting.  However one day on climbing into the boat I did feel an extremely sharp pain on my ear lobe. At first I thought my ear-ring had been ripped out.  The sensation was close to what I imagine the pain would be from a hammer strike on my lobe and an anvil!

Safety stop - 3 minutes @ 5 meters