Tourist by nature, Mar del Plata goes beyond and offers exciting scuba diving excursions that let the visitor get to know the subaquatic world brimming with fauna and colors.
During our stay in "La Feliz"
, we tried to rediscover the city from all possible perspectives, and thus have a more complete idea of its tourist potential
This is the reason why we made contact with José María Giuria, a well-known scuba diving instructor from Mar del Plata Diver's, so that he would tell us about the attractions of subaquatic activities in those latitudes.
“Discover them yourselves…” –challenged Giuria– “We'll provide all the equipment, logistic support and dive with you, but the best way to feel scuba diving in Mar del Plata is experiencing it yourselves”. The gorgeous weather, a quiet sea and the tempting invitation did not let us hesitate - we woud dive in the waters of the Argentine Sea.
Preparing the scuba diving equipments, trying on the neoprene costumes, the buoyancy compensator, adjusting the snorkel, measuring the air and trying to walk with the fins on constitutes a ritual. Once everything was in order and had been supervised by the instructor, we headed for the city yatch club, from where we would get on board and depart towards the –to us– unknown Mar del Plata waters.
During the trip to the club, José María told us about his underwater experiences in other places in the world. The Red Sea, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Mexico are the places that set a mark on his passion for this sport. “Mar del Plata is a good place to scuba dive. Going 12 km off shore, you can get a 5 to 15 meters visibility” –assured the diver.
Gabriel Duarte, another member of Mar del Plata Diver´s was waiting for us at the yatch club. Taking advantage of the weather conditions, he was joining the adventure. Gabriel is in charge of taking this activity to the center of the province, namely to the Tandil area, which has deep pits, ideal for tranquil scuba diving.
We got on board and departed. We passed the reefs and got to the fishermen bank, where we would dive.
“Like a Fish in Water”
Once we reviewed the communication signals we would perform under water, we slowly started to submerge into the sea. The water temperature, about 17º, was predicting a pleasant diving.
The fishermen bank has a sand bed, in an 8 to 16 meter depth, and an average visibility of 6 meters. But as the sea had been receiving currents from south to north for several days, the water was so clean that it exploded into spectacular 9-meter visibility.
As we descended, we started to understand the words that José María had pronounced some minutes before. “Diving is dominating water space, dominating the third dimension. Every diver searchs for neutral floatability and, as soon as he manages this, the sensation of lightness is very attractive. You seem to be flying”.
On the water bed we were welcomed by abundant fauna called “stony”, as it is not characterized by its colors –mostly grey and silver– but for its size. Salmon, pompano, chuchos, whitemouth croaker, small hake and conger were making a parade around us.
We scuba dived during forty minutes enjoying the landscape, discovering red crabs, sea starfish, snail shells and sponges. Suddenly, we were amused by tenths of yellowtail amberjacks that surrounded us and which we simply beheld.
More than satisfied we ended the immersion adventure and returned to the yatch club. As we were on our way back, we talked about the experience we had shared, with a spirit of camaraderie typical of the people who practice this splendid activity. “You see… now you yourselves can tell everybody what suba diving in Mar del Plata really is” –said José María, as he and Gabriel gave us the present of a pleased smile. They also enjoyed the utmost of the experience. Because we know that you can scuba dive a thousand times, but you will never experience two identical divings.