As well as visiting the wine lodge, walking along the levades and taking tea at Reid’s, why not spend half a day learning to scuba dive?
The Divepoint PADI diving school is located at the Pescana Carlton Hotel. Go through the lobby to the lift, take it down and follow the steps to the lower pool, where the dive centre is located.
After watching a safety film and information about diving and hearing a pep talk by one of the German instructors, it’s time to get the gear on. Wetsuit, flippers and mask are all carefully selected for you. The classes are small with six to eight participants.
Once in the pool, it’s time to have your weights attached and your tank of air. Breathing through your mouth is relatively easy and once you have mastered how to move up and down and keep your head underwater, it’s time to have a bit of fun. I’ve never swum under water before (truth be told I’m not a strong swimmer and don’t like enclosed spaces much) so this was a revelation for me.
If the instructors think you are ready for it, it’s off to the sea. You may only do this step if you have learned how to signal underwater, how to get your air tube back if it slips out of your mouth and are confident to be able to manage on your own.
There is one instructor for two divers, so it’s very safe. Once safely underwater, the instructor throws out some bread and fish of all different sizes and colours appear from nowhere. It’s now one can appreciate the appeal of scuba diving.
Madeira is warm all year round, so is ideal for diving, although the sea can be rough, so occasionally it’s not possible. It costs €50 for about four hours. If you manage the sea adventure, it counts towards your PADI course and you get a certificate, so you can continue with the course at another centre.
Contact tel: +351 291 239 579