We left a slightly cloudy Athens a northerly breeze made you wear a jacket if you wanted to feel comfortable. We enjoyed our short flight over the deep blue Aegean (fortunately the clouds did not travel with us) the islands scattered as if they wanted to break the monotony of sight, and in less than two hours we arrived in Larnaca, Cyprus.
I can’t describe the emotions of the others but my impatience and pleasure were at the cusp of my control! But … we were so close to our goal! I will finally be able to dive on the well-known Zenobia shipwreck just two miles off the Mackenzie coast in Larnaca.
In the meantime, despite November 13, the weather in Cyprus was ideal. Temperature around 27 degrees Celsius, blue sky. I felt like summer was about to start again.
We covered the 131km to Paphos without realizing it. We decided to base in Paphos the 7 days we would stay in Cyprus for two reasons. First, we had the opportunity to be close to our friend and colleague Jurg Dahler – PADI Course Director and owner of Coral Bay Divers – and we warmly thank him for the technical support and valuable information he shared with us. Secondly there were some excellent diving spots in the area we would stay that would satisfy divers who did not choose to dive the wreck.
As soon as we arrived at our friend’s diving center, we were ready and diving in Pistol Bay, a 5-minute drive. It is a stunning diving site with countless swim throughs and imposing rocky underwater scenery, with interesting underwater life.
Water temperature at 26 degrees Celsius, clear waters and depths up to about 25 meters.
The following day, some dives and a general day of rest and orientation. Preparing for the big dive!
Up early and on the road with our equipment we headed to Larnaca Marina. We boarded the Zenobia Queen leaving at 9:00am to take us the short 10-minute ride to the Zenobia.
We prepared our gear and had a briefing from the ship’s captain. Anticipation welled. Tied up finally…, gear up , buddy check ready for the big step, a big giant stride entry off the side. Splash. OK. Head to the anchor line, descend into the dark blue expanse.
I descended slowly engulfed by the expanse. Passing five meters only hues of blue in front of me. At about 10 meters awe struck me…What a wonderful experience! Not anything as I expected as I saw the ghostly shadow of the sunken ship, I realized this is not just another dive.
Diving conditions were very good despite rain the night before and visibility was limited to 15-20 meters, the water temperature was 26 degrees Celsius allowing a 50-minute diving comfortably in a 5mm wet suit.
Indeed the shipwreck is worthy of its reputation. She silently invites you to curse it or explore it if you have the proper training and guidance. Rich underwater life, one image competing for the next!
After an hour surface interval, we did it again. The second time no less impressive than the first. We took a different path along her hull so many things to see.
At the end of our diving excursion we were waiting for the delicious food the crew had prepared on board while we were exploring the wreck. In the end, we changed our schedule a bit and arranged another excursion to Zenobia two days before returning to Athens. Amazingly, every dive was like the first!
Words are not enough to describe the pleasure, satisfaction and experience I have gained from this diving trip.
We thank the friends and customers who trusted us, and we promise a repeat of the journey. Those who follow in the next outing will truly be rewarded!
Wish you happy bubbles!!