Costa Del Silencio, Tenerife, 2009
In 2009 I acquired my own BCD and other kit and we returned to Tenerife for a couple of weeks. We were based in Los Gigantes this time and the second week we spent mostly in and around Garachico on the north coast of the island. During the first week, however, I went diving with David and Yvonne at the Costa Del Silencio to get my Open Water ticket.
After some time in the local pool doing exercises and tests, we got out into the Costa Del Silencio again and had some terrific dives. Besides getting my ticket, the high point for me was feeding bull rays at the mouth of the harbour - great fun!
Although I'm really happy to have got my Open Water ticket, diving is no longer a straightforward exercise for me: I've been diabetic for a while now and each time I am intending to dive I have to get a piece of paper from my GP that says I'm fit to dive.
The problem is mainly that if you're diabetic your body reacts differently to being under pressure and you're much more likely to have a heart attack whilst diving. A heart attack is obviously a non-trivial experience any time, but much more serious when under several atmospheres of pressure and especially if you're either not in a position to ascend directly to the surface or not able to concentrate on breathing properly even if you are able to do so.
My diabetes is now controlled not just by pills but by lixisenatide injections and the next time I want to dive, my GP might decide that enough is enough...