My dive experience with La Palma Dive Centre was terrible. I was taken on a shore dive from just outside the dive centre, the dive leader explained very little about the dive site or the plan, his general attitude was very dismissive, although this was slightly concerning i wasn't too worried as we were only planning to do a 20m dive to see the wildlife.
During the dive, the leader was positioned above me, this made it extremely difficult to communicate with him. On several occasions he appeared to be lost. We then approached a wall which his proceeded to descend, i followed until we hit 40m then refused to go any further as i am only qualified to dive to 35m (he knew this). I was very aware that there was a long swim back to the shore and my air was diminishing. I started the dive with 190 bar in a 12l cylinder, at the point we began to descend the wall i had 90 bar, i had let him know when i reached 100 bar as is standard procedure. Once i reached 50 bar i was acutely aware that i wasn't going to make it back to shore, i had communicated this to the DL but he wasn't concerned, once my guage fell below 20bar, i insisted i share his air source but this didn't last for long as he had ran out of air also. We then had to surface and commence the long and unnerving swim to shore.
Once we got out of the water, the DL didn't speak to me and when we got back to the dive centre and he had smoked a cigarette, his wife came to me very sheepishly and said i had been bad on my air consumption.
I did a 55 min dive, i went in with 190bar in a 12l cylinder, dived to 40m, with an average overall depth of 15m. The current was very strong to swim against on the way back in. I was NOT gulping my air. I worked it out as 14 litres/min, any divers out there will know this is good.
I would hate for anyone else to have the same experience or WORSE! And i would also hate for novice divers to have a bad experience with this company. There are OTHER DIVE CENTRES on the island, please use one of those! It is also very expensive for shore diving.
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