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DIVE INTO THE DEEP ON THE ARONA: Shipwreck diving in Gran Canaria.

Hello everyone I'm Scott from GO DIVING and today we are joined by Shaun Brown one of our friends and returning local divers. We have been diving with Shaun for some time and actually took him from his baby steps and a diver to be, all the way up to exploring shipwrecks at the limit of recreational diving. Today he is going to talk us through a recent trip he join us on to the Arona wreck.

Shipwreck diving in Gran Canaria
Divers descending to the Arona shipwreck

Shaun will soon take us through it, but I wanted to introduce this old “lady” first. The Arona, 'She" (typical naval convention dictates it's a she in referencing it) is sitting just of the coast of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and offers an amazing dive spot, as we will so read. We at GO DIVING offer guided tours of this ship, weather and access depending and can arrange all the training required to reach her.

So Shaun let's hear more about your dive on the Arona with us.

DIVING INTO THE DEPTHS: Discover the Arona shipwreck in Gran Canaria.

FirstGran Canaria is easily accessible from virtually all of Europe and offers excellent diving conditions all year. Whether you want to escape the cold European winters or the hot summers, Gran Canaria is a year-round destination for some of the best scuba diving in the region. One of the best dives is definitely the Arona shipwreck. 

The Arona Shipwreck 

Alright, Shipwreck diving in Gran Canaria, imagine a ship that had its time in the sun but now lies peacefully at the bottom of the ocean off Gran Canaria's coast. That's the Arona Shipwreck – a sunken relic turned into an underwater playground for fish and coral. The Arona was a merchant ship Measuring nearly 100 meters in length. She was used for 

moving stuff between the Canary Islands. On April 23rd, 1972 a fire broke out in the engine room, followed by several explosions. She sank about 3 km outside the port while attempting to get aid . Now the Arona sits on the bottom, at over 35 meters depth, with the highest points near 20 meters. Largely intact, this is one of the most impressive shipwrecks in the Canary Islands. 

Diver swimming inside a shipwreck
Inside the Arona shipwreck

The Dive 

The Arona is accessible by boat in 15 minutes, but the site can have poor weather including strong currents, waves, and wind. Not every day is a great day to dive at this site! Once you arrive at the dive site there is a buoy attached to the forward most stanchion, which makes the perfect decent line. 

Divers getting ready to dive on a shipwreck
Scott and Shaun “gearing” up for a deep shipwreck penetration dive

Discover the Arona shipwreck diving in Gran Canaria as you dive down, the Arona Shipwreck emerges from the darkness. It's like stepping into a forgotten world. The ship is truly impressive, covered in colorful corals with 3 large stanchions that make orientation and navigation pretty easy. Marine Life Encounters Now, the coolest part – marine life. It's like a bustling city down there. In and around the wreck you will see trumpetfish, angelfish, and moray eels. Frequently you can see barracuda circling in the distance. If you are a little lucky you might see rays or angel sharks in the sand below.Penetrating the Wreck The Arona is a great site for honing your shipwreck diving skills. There are multiple places to penetrate the wreck with large openings, making it a valuable place to learn and improve as a diver. If you don’t already have the PADI Shipwreck specialty this is a fun and challenging place to learn. 

Shipwreck siting on the sea floor in Gran Canaria
The stern of the Arona’s top deck

A Typical Day on the Arona 

Go Diving recently made a trip to the Arona with Scott, Gianni leading 4 divers. We arrived at the harbor in the morning and set up all of our gear on the sidewalk. Since the wreck is in the north of the Island, we used a RIB/Zodiak style boat for the dive, it doesn’t offer the storage as GO DIVING's boat The Atlantis in Pasito Blanco. So we did a full gear check on the shore to make sure everything was working and packed a few spares like regulators and masks just in case. We loaded everything onto the boat and the captain christo made the short trip to the buoy attached to the Arona. It was a beautiful day on the surface with almost no waves and just a light current. Three divers dove with Gianni and 1 diver worked on his PADI Deep and Shipwreck training with Scott. We all entered the water and moved to the buoy to use as a decent line. The visibility was more than 15 meters, which means we didn’t see the ship from the surface, but once you drop below about 5 meters in depth she emerged. Even though Gianni and Scott have been on the Arona many times, it is always an impressive site to see a 100-meter ship appear right below you! 

You want to plan your dive since the bottom time is very short at 35 meters depth. Luckily, because the upper portions of the ship are shallower you can still spend more than 30 minutes exploring if you are efficient with your bottle. 

After the first dive, we did a surface interval of 45 to 60 minutes. While we were enjoying the sun and some much-needed water we were joined by the Spanish military divers, conducting their own practice and training dives. You know you are on a special site when you get the pros joining you! 

For the Deep and Shipwreck training, we did 2 dives: 

1. Explore the exterior of the wreck and practice mapping the major features. 

2. Plan a penetration dive based on your mapping and practice using a reel to enter and exit the wreck. 

After the second dive, we had a little cloudier weather and the swells started to pick up. Luckily it was a fast ride back to the harbor, where we unloaded all of our gear and packed up to head back to the south of Gran Canaria. 

All in all, it was a great day of diving that everyone will remember. If this sounds exciting and fun to you, it's even better in person!

Tips for Divers 

Dive Certification: So, you want to dive with the Arona Shipwreck? You will need an Advanced Open Water Diver certification, preferably with Deep and Shipwreck specialties. Dive with a Guide: They know the ropes and can show you the coolest spots. It's like having a backstage pass to the underwater show. It makes for a safer and more enjoyable experience. 

Plan ahead: Because the site can have poor weather and requires a boat for access try to line up your dive at least a couple of weeks in advance. 

Respect the Environment: Remember, you're a guest in this underwater wonderland. Keep your hands to yourself, and don't mess with the locals. It's their home, after all. 

Scuba divers relaxing after a shipwreck dive
The team from GO DIVING and divers


So, there you have it – diving the Arona Shipwreck diving in Gran Canaria is like discovering a hidden treasure in Gran Canaria's backyard. It's not just a dive; it's an adventure waiting to happen. Get ready to dive deep, explore, and make some underwater memories that will last a lifetime. The Arona Shipwreck is calling, and it's about time you answered!.

DIThanks very much to Shaun for sharing the dive with us all, and for joining us in the day. And if anyone has read Shaun's dive report and fancies coming to diving in the Arona here in Gran Canaria they should come and speak to us at GO DIVING, we can take you from 0 to wreck hero here in the warm waters if Gran Canaria.

Scott Finch 

Owner and Instructor GO DIVING Center

Thank you


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