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peter@happy-divers-marbella.com

Go diving with Happy Divers

• Year round sunshine
• Boat and shore dives
• Dive sites to suit all levels
• Daily local dives
• Stunning marine life
• Wreck Diving in Gibraltar
• Day trips to Tarifa
• PADI 5 star IDC & CDC centre
• Dive centre operating since 1996
• We speak 5 languages



 




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For Advanced Divers

On a regular schedule we go to slightly more demanding sites between 20 and 30 meters of depth. You should be at least qualified as an Advanced Open Water Diver or higher.
Placer de las Bovedas

Since 2001 Happy Divers Marbella has been diving extensively in the huge dive region Placer de las Bovedas – which is one of the top ten dive sites in Spain!

Placer de las Bovedas (which means the Domes) is a large reef that is situated about 3 nautical miles (approx. 6 km) off the coast from San Pedro de Alcántara.
Sun fish in Las Bovedas

It is about 1 km long and 500 metres wide. From the shore side the reef rises from approx. 30 metres in depth to its shallowest point of about 20 metres deep. It then drops down to its deepest point on its southern side.

Dives starts at about 20 metres and continue to a maximum of 40 metres. Due to the fact that here no commercial fishing is carried out groupers over 1 metre in length and other large specimens of sea life can be seen. The visibility is around 20 m. In general the reef is rocky and has beautiful canons, valleys, walls and overhanging rocks.

Nudibranch in Las Bovedas The nicest flora and fauna from both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean can be found here. Huge schools of fish accompany the divers, making dives at Placer de las Bovedas unforgettable.

Dives can only be carried out here when the weather is good and the sea is calm. Due to the depth of the dives (20 - 40 metres) only advanced divers will be taken to this site.  

Usually 2-tank dives will be carried out, which means 2 followed dives with a surface interval in between. As the dive sites in Las Bovedas are situated in the open sea, very close to the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean, tidal currents can exist. Demanding current- , drift- and deep dives are guaranteed. Due to the expansion of the reef a good deal of dive sites are yet to be discovered.


Depth: 20 - 35 m
The Plateau

The Plateau is the shallowest spot in Las Bovedas, in other words the roof of the reef which is about 20 m deep.

Las Bovedas is reached by a boat ride of about 15 minutes. During the week there are only a few fishing boats and a small number of yachts containing sunbathers present at this site. However, regularly we can also be alone at the plateau.

Despite being 6 km from the coastline the shore may still be viewed. After the boat is moored, the skipper has given the dive briefing and everyone knows who his dive buddy is, we put on the gear.  
Diving in Las Bovedas

We drop in the water with a backwards roll, swim to the anchor line, waiting for our dive buddies and then drop down into the deep blue. Slowly we approach the seabed which we can make out from the surface.

Large rock boulders and lots of schooling fish await us. After we have regrouped and have exchanged the o.k. signal we begin the dive. We pass canons, small rocky streets and sometimes cross sand patches.

Conger eel in Las Bovedas Rich marine life surrounds us. Looking under the rocks there are conger eels, sometimes moray eels, and if you are lucky you can also find one of the big groupers.

Ooops, 25 minutes has gone by and it is time to go up again! Slowly we approach the surface which gets brighter and brighter.  

After the obligatory safety stop and a total dive time of about 30 minutes we are at the surface again and there is the dive boat waiting for us.  

Once all divers are back on board we ride back to the dive center – full of new impressions.

Depth: 20 - 25 m
Southern reef

The “Southern reef” is one of the furthest southerly spots at Las Bovedas where diving within the recreational dive limit is possible.

The dive starts at approx. 35 m and brings us back up to about 20 metres. We glide down the anchor rope and reach the bottom at 35 metres deep.

There on the side of Las Bovedas facing Morocco an interesting seabed compiled from old coral pieces is waiting for us.  
Octopus in Las Bovedas

We move slowly uphill and can soon see the first of the big rock boulders. Some of them easily reach 10 metres in height. Here the seabed is composed of huge freight container sized rocks all piled up on top of each other. It looks as though giant hands have put them there.

The “no-decompression watch” ticks and we have to go to shallower waters quickly. At around 25 metres the giant rock formations change into smaller rocks. During the whole dive we are accompanied by schools of fish. It is a pity the dive is over already.

Depth: 25 - 35 m
Pamela

This dive site is named after its discoverer. It is a huge half-pipe which lies between 26 and 30 metres in depth, with a length of about 500 metres.

The sea bed appears to be relatively flat but is actually composed of large rocky pieces all piled up on top of each other. 

The rocks are covered with colorful sponges, tentaculates and tunicates. Sometimes they are interrupted by sand patches.  
The beautiful dive site Pamela

You can also find Green Bonellia and Sea fingers which either stand alone or grow in colonies. The observant divers will not miss the many sea slugs. Very often there are bigger individuals of Mola Mola, also known as the sunfish.

Depth: 30 m
Roqueillos

The currents here can also be quite strong. Spooky landscape and plentiful sea life makes for excellent photo shots. 

Being so close to the straits of Gibraltar and its inflow of Atlantic water you are likely to see species not found in any other part of the Mediterranean.
Wow, what a great dive site!


Depth: 26 - 30 m