Diving weekend at Cassis, by Tina

The weekend didn’t have a great start with viruses spreading around Grenoble and disabling 3 of our members to join us.  Missing them we took off in two teams, one team left with the first van after lunch around 14 h and the other one after work around 18 h with the second van and a car. First team had a chance to enjoy nice Mediterranean dinner in Cassis while second team stopped at the resting place on the highway to have a sandwich. Arriving at Cassis, a typical small touristic place at the coast, we had a problem finding a parking place but luckily our drivers managed to find places not too far from our hotels.

Exiting the van first thing I noticed was a pleasant warmth (not like cold Grenoble for the past few days). Lovely weather enabled us to celebrate Peters and Huberts birthdays outdoors with drinks. We could enjoy the birthday drinks longer since the next day we were the second shift on the boat not leaving before 11:30h.  We were sleeping in two hotels just across the street from each other.

The new day started with a breakfast at ‘L’hôtel du commerce’, following with some physical exercise of transporting our diving equipment to the boat. Despite the changing forecast prediction the weather was nice, sunny and warm and the sea was calm. A perfect day for a diving trip. Our hosting scuba diving club ‘Le Narval’ is located a few hundred meters away from the boat so we had an opportunity to exercise before and after each dive carrying our bottles. People in ‘Le Narval’ are very nice and we enjoyed our time with them. Excited about our first dive of the weekend we arrived at the boat dock a bit too early and equipped ourselves waiting for the boat to return with the first set of divers and take us. After a pleasant, short drive with a boat with a stunning view of calanques we arrived to ‘la grotte a corail calanque (Cassis)’ our first dive site of the weekend. Water temperature was around 16-17 °C, quite pleasant with 7 mm suit. As beautiful calanques are from the boat they’re even prettier under water. As it could be assumed from the name of the site we saw a lot of flowering red corals which seemed blue at first from all the flowers. Beside corals we saw murenes, chapon, conger, dorade royale, cigale de mer, castagnoles, anemone, rascasse (I don’t know English words for sea life so had a little French help!).

Coming back to the boat we were offered a hot beverage to warm us up together with the sun. After our first dive we left all our equipment beside bottles on the boat. Tired, in a good way, from the whole experience, lunch at ‘L’hôtel du commerce’ was just what we needed. With our stomachs full we took a little siesta before our second dive at 16h. Our boat took us to ‘le jardin calanque’ this time. Equally pleasant as our previous dive. Our evening ended with the apero at the rooftop of the hotel. Abundant apero with some homemade mojitos was organized by team Margot/Peter. The best part of the trip is always sharing your impressions with fellow divers over a nice cup of a drink. We ended this eventful day with the dinner and singing ‘happy birthday’ to Peter and Huber but this time with the cake and candles.

Our second day had a same diving schedule as a previous one. Already knowing the drill we were quite efficient and quickly head off for our third dive at ‘baie cacou’. Lunch was still at our hotel although we exited our rooms in the morning. Sleepy after lunch and without a room and a bed half of us went to the ‘solarium’, a sun deck at the rooftop of the hotel. Our perfect little nap was interrupted by a strange sound, a car crush just next to our hotel. Anyway it was time for our final dive of the week. Our boat for a final time this weekend took us to Castel Viel. Another perfect little spot for diving in national park Calanques with a lot of small underwater caves and passages to finalize our trip.

After the weekend of enjoying clear water and sun, it was time for us to head back home.  And all of this thanks to Laurent who was responsible for the organization of the weekend, thanks to him!