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A first for Tenerife – a whale filmed eating a giant squid

Posted by dolly diver on September 26, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

whale eating a squidInvestigators from the Society for Cetacean Study have scored an historic first in waters off south Tenerife by filming a whale eating a giant squid..

Such scenes have never been captured on film before and they were obtained in an area where a deep underwater ravine exists in which it is believed the giant squids live and breed.

Vidal Martín, president of the society, said the observation was made in June when he and a team of researchers were watching a group of pilot whales. They were astonished to see one of the animals emerge from the water and appear to “jump about”.

“We looked hard and saw a tentacle of a squid hanging from its mouth and there were other pieces of squid stuck to the whale’s body. It made a number of brusque movements on its side in the water to free the tentacle to eat it – and there we were filming and photographing it all.”

He reckoned the squid could have been some five metres long, a comparatively modest size for the species. Examples have been found which reach 20 metres in length and weigh in at a thousand kilos!

On the sea’s surface in this same area it is quite common to see dead giant squids, some half eaten and bearing teeth marks. In one recent episode there were a number of whales nearby.

“We thought the squid was already dead and the whales were just playing with it,” said Sr Martín. “But now the pieces of the jigsaw are beginning to fit.”
He explained that pilot whales dive time and time again between brief five minute rests, submerging at a speed of 2 to 3 metres a second.

It is known that they can dive as deep as 1,200 metres without any problem though the average submersion reaches depths of around 800 to 900 metres. Unlike other whale species they dive down and swim back up at speed, staying down for no more than 22 minutes at a time.

As for the giant squids that inhabit that fascinating abyss in the straits between Tenerife and La Gomera, little is known about them and they remain very much a mystery for the present. Over recent years a number of expeditions have undertaken dives in search of them but they have met with little success.
But then again, as Vidal Martín says, neither is much known about the deepest depths of the submarine landscape that surrounds us.

Source: Tenerife News

Disaster for Tenerife’s wine industry

Posted by dolly diver on September 26, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Wine producers in Tenerife are facing ruin because 2007 looks like being one of the worst years ever.

The vines have been hit by disease and the heat wave that coincided with the fires, when temperatures reached 40ºC was the final straw. In some vineyards producers are declaring a wipe out.

The Güímar valley area reported losses in the order of 20 to 30%. But once the grapes arrived at the wineries the experts did a rapid revaluation and revised that figure. They now say that a 50% loss is more probable.

For Manuel Marrero Reyes, president of the Cumbres de Abona winery in the south, the situation is little short of catastrophic and if urgent palliative measures are not taken soon wine production in Tenerife faces a bleak future.

“The difficulties which exist to maintain acceptable levels of production and combat the diseases which are attacking our vines are a huge burden. In addition we now have increasingly more unusual weather patterns and there are serious problems in the commercialization of local wine in the wake of the tightening up of drink drive legislation, in the light of all of which some kind of institutional intervention is essential if we do not want to see our vineyards abandoned,” he said last week.

As for the big northern wine growing district of Tacoronte, the socialist party there has described the situation as “catastrophic”. Losses there are said be in the order of 60 to 80% while over in Icod the picture is even worse with figures of 80 to 90% being quoted.

Overall it is expected that the harvest in the north will be down by 60% at best and by 90% in the worst case scenario.

Smoking ban could be extended in Tenerife

Posted by dolly diver on September 24, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

smoking
Nearly two years have passed since the introduction of Spain’s anti-smoking ban in January 2006 and it looks like some amendments may be on the horizon.

The Ministry of Health in Madrid has announced that it plans to revise the law by the end of the year and in the meantime is considering banning smoking from all establishments, regardless of size.

There appears to have been a ‘loop-hole’ to the law since it only applied to restaurants and bars over a certain size. Those restaurants bigger than 100 square metres became non-smoking. But smaller places have been able to carry on as if nothing happened. Now it looks likely that these too will come under the ban, according to Marina Geli of the Health Ministry.

Geli revealed the Government’s new thinking on the matter during an interview for TV-3. She said that the idea first came up for discussion in July, when Health Minister Bernat Soria agreed that the situation should be reviewed.

Meetings will be held with business associations in the hospitality sector as well as union spokespersons to gauge reaction. However, Geli stated categorically that the original decision had been in error.

“It was a mistake to allow owners of smaller bars and restaurants to make the choice between allowing or banning smoking,” Geli said.

Here in Tenerife many of the ex-pat bars fall into the smaller size category and have continued to allow smoking inside. A bar owner in The Patch commented, “We stayed as a smoking bar and I can’t tell you how many of our regulars were delighted to hear that.

“If we have to ban smoking now I don’t know what it will do to our trade. Frankly, the way things are right now, the last thing we need is for the Government to come along and make it even harder for us to make a living.”

The Government predicts that a decision will be made by the early part of 2008.

A bit of background, smoking kills more than 50,000 people each year in Spain (or 16 of every 100 deaths among persons over 35), a figure that is higher than the combined number of fatalities from AIDS, alcohol, and traffic accidents!

Carnival 2008

Posted by dolly diver on September 15, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Carnival poster 2008The 2008 Santa Cruz de Tenerife carnival poster has been created by the Canary Islands painter Juan Galarza, the poster is themed on magic, the theme of the annual carnival, which runs from 16 January to 10 February.

The poster is reminiscent of the ones produced in the 60s and 70s and features some poker cards and a witch flying over the Teide, to celebrate its UNESCO World Heritage status. Placed in the centre is a classic harlequin figure playing a large mandolin featuring the coat of arms of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a tribute to the first Tenerife carnival poster also designed by Galarza in 1962.

This year’s celebrations are much earlier than usual and kick off on 16 January with the comparsas, murgas, rondallas and musical group contests. Friday 1st February sees the carnival hitting the streets culminating in the Grand Final Procession or Gran Coso Apoteosis on Tuesday 5 February.
The Burial of the Sardine, which closes the festivities for another year, takes place on Wednesday 6 February but revellers still have the chance to dance the last dance on the streets at the weekend.

Siam Park

Posted by dolly diver on September 15, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

Siam ParkThere was a buzz of excitement in Siam Park several days ago when the key part of the kamikaze-style ride arrived.

The “Tower of Power” incorporates a heart stopping 28 meters drop with a total run of 76 meters and actually passes underground beneath an aquarium that is home to tropical fish and alligators.

A massive 18m tube to take riders through the alligators’ lair had to be purpose built overseas and it arrived by ferry in Santa Cruz earlier last week.

After being carefully unloaded it then took 2 hours to arrive in Siam Park and made quite an eye catching site along the TF1 as it was transported on a specially chartered 20 meter long lorry.

This attraction will definitely be one of the favourites in the park that all adrenalin-seekers will have at the top of their list when the park opens later this year.

Ryanair to pull out of Tenerife North

Posted by dolly diver on September 15, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

The low-cost airline, Ryanair, has announced that it is pulling out of Los Rodeos – the Tenerife Norte Airport – because, as La Opinión de Tenerife reports, its customers prefer Tenerife Sur.

The company confirmed new routes with Tenerife this autumn: two connections a week with East Midlands from 10th October; three with Liverpool and Frankfurt from 30th October; and a weekly flight from 10th November to Shannon Airport.

The company also plans to add another flight week to its current connection with Dublin.

Low cost flights with Thomsonfly

Posted by dolly diver on September 7, 2007
Posted in News about Tenerife 

On sale now are more low fare Thomsonfly flights for summer 2008, including new summer services to Tenerife from Doncaster-Sheffield, London Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow,
Prices start from as low as £34.99 one-way

The online flight booking process at Thomsonfly.com allows customers to pre-book meals, travel insurance, seating options allowing families to have certainty that they can sit together, baggage options and other special service requests.

Check it out www.thomsonfly.com