Diving in Estartit at the Costa Brava

Estartit and the Medes Islands

When you drive to the Costa Brava at the end of October, you don't expect true hot summer weather anymore (although preferably warmer weather than the typical Flemish All Saint's day weather!). So it was delighting to see the temperature rise and rise when driving south: 3°C and foggy in Metz, 18°C in the evening in Lyon, ...23°C when arriving in Estartit the next noon. Darn, I only had one short packed and no sandals.

After 3 days however the weather gods realised they were exaggerating a bit and decided to go for the correct average temperature in October after all. A 15°C drop in temperature overnight is harsh! Ouch. We boarded the boat bravely after all, but at the sight of the choppy sea (and also after a very difficult dive the day before at Tasco Petit with too much currents for my comfort, my physical condition and my experience) I decided to stay on board as well as some other group members. Soon we could keep a fish feeding contest while hanging sick over side. Great...lesson learned: don't go and sit in the dark small boat toilet (where you don't see the horizon anymore) at a choppy sea even if you've taken 2 Touristils. In the end there was no current under water at that spot so the divers had made the better choice, but hey, hindsight is easy right.

In Estartit wind seems always to pick up towards noon when we returned in the harbor and after our return the boats stayed in. The bays we usually went to for an afternoon beachdive didn't quite ressemble the idyllic calm pictures below anymore so the dive had to get cancelled. Weather predictions remained very gloomy so we started to fear that our diving vacation had to end after 3 days already.

Diving at Aiguafreda and Sa Tuna....find the location of the divers in the last picture!

Herbs, hills, nature and spectacular views above Estartit

As expected the next morning when we were about to leave to the harbor, the diving center cancelled our dive trip as all boats stayed another day in the harbor. Damn now I was drowsy from Touristil for no reason :p. In order to stay awake and get out of the hotel anyway, we climbed the hill/rock overlooking the village to enjoy the "breeze" up there a bit more. Much to my delight we discovered high up there a landscape filled with thyme, rosemary and sage bushes. Ooooh it smelled wonderful. What a great nature.

(my enthusiasm must have been quite obvious as some dive club member surprised me yesterday by dropping off a huge back with long laurel and rosemary branches for me!!! How sweet. Can anyone tell me how I can preserve them best?? they're big branches cut 2 days ago? Pluck the leaves and try to dry them?).

Fortunately it didn't stay as freezing cold and the wind turned more favorable so after 2 days above water we could finish the week with another set of dives. I didn't dive as well as I could have done though. Somehow I was easily stressed and tired sucking air from my tank at record speed. Pff typical me. Looking back I realise I have not enjoyed the underwater beauty as much as I could have done, but that'll be a lesson for myself when I return.

And before we knew it, the sangria and abundance of chips and chorizo were a thing of the past and I could kick off my Touristil trip :p. And now I want to go back.

oh and to answer's Allie's question: our club's youth improvised on our last evening in Spain on Halloween a little party in the hotel. Good fun!


anno said…
Brrr.... sounds like a very mixed experience. I think I would have stuck to the land and tavern experiences, and forsworn anything cold and wet.

About those herbs... my source says the best way to store herbs such as laurel and rosemary is to tie the branches together and hang the branches from rafters or a hook in any dry, well-ventilated place. When they're completely dry (brittle), strip the leaves and put them in airtight jars or canisters. He (my herb guy, Jerry Traunfeld) warns that light will rob herbs of flavor, so use dark glass if possible, or store them in a dark cupboard. Good luck!
Jen said…
Cold and wet on vacation? I think I'd prefer Egypt...
Shane said…
Costa Brava translated as “wild coast” a simple place where not only for the wild-spirited and wild at heart, but also for those who are simply looking for something a little out of the ordinary. It has something to suit everyone: fun parties, exciting water adventures, along with peaceful villages and a quiet time sunbathing - all to satisfy the needs of couples, singles and families, of all ages. Costa Brava Spain is also fast becoming a golfer's dream holiday -- a string of golf courses have been sprouting throughout the region.

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