Carinthia V wreck

On a stormy night on November 1, 1971 iconic superyacht  Carinthia V on its maiden cruise, ran aground at the Kavava Shoals just off Skala at the southwest coast of Kefalonia, and sunk roughly one  mile further. Carinthia V was owned by Austrian billionaire Helmut Horten, designed by the famous naval architect Jon Bannenberg and built by Lurssen Bremen shipyard. The origins of the boat are to the fast patrol boats the shipyard was building at the time. It is considered to be the first concept of a true superyacht, the first ever designed to the last detail by a single designer rather than a shipyard and influenced yacht designs ever since. As short lived, the glory of the most influential and most beautiful superyacht of all times belongs to its identical sibling launched on 1973, Carinthia VI. But in reality the first and most beautiful superyacht ever rests in the sea of Kefalonia.

Divers approaching the 68 m long wreck can see the sleek lines of the vessel’s hull as it lies upside down. The elegant superstructure has been crushed under the weight of the hull but much of it can be seen on the right side, with the typical “grille” of the front lounge visible. Same thing for the speedboat that was nested on the upper aft deck. The rudders of the boat and the propellers bare the signs of impact to the reef and evidence of the devastating blow that caused the sinking can be seen along the “sharp” hull. The superyacht wreck is in an excellent condition considering it spent nearly 50 years at the bottom of the sea. Towards the stem that descents at a sharp angle to the bottom, the bow thrusters are visible.

The vessel has formed an artificial reef and big fish and aquatic creatures find shelter around it making wreck diving there a great opportunity to observe large pelagic species.

The average depth or the dive is 50 m, while the max is 64, reserving the wreck for experienced technical divers. The visibility is usually greater than 25m while temperature ranges between 18-24 C in summer months, depending on depth. Occasionally there may be currents close to the surface. Boat ride duration to the dive site 10′.

Giant Rudder Wreck

At the eastern edge of Kakava Shoals and within an extended meadow of  Neptune’s seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) a  surprise awaits for divers to discover; the remains of an unidentified shipwreck. Huge riveted steel plates indicate that the vessel was built prior to WWII, when welding for shipbuilding wasn’t the settled method. Among shaft and winch parts the most impressive feature is the giant rudder of the ship that lies virtually intact. The steel pieces create a small artificial reef in the middle of seagrass where saddled and white seabreams, all kinds of wrasses, parrotfish and damselfish find shelter, whilst quite often predators like amberjacks and red snappers and also loggerhead turtles are visitors.

The average depth or the dive is 7 m, while the max is 10 m, appropriate for divers of all levels.

The usual visibility is 25 m and temperature ranges between 22-27 °C in summer months. Occasionally a substantial surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 6′.

Killer Reef

Where Kakava reefs meet their southwestern boundaries there is a shallow rocky plateau before water depth drop. Broken amphorae and metal pieces of yet undisclosed ancient and modern wrecks is the evidence of maritime accidents through thousands of years. The elevated reef streams the open sea swell to strong currents, attracting huge schools of damselfish and picarels and their predators, snappers and amberjacks that often dash from the depth on their prey. Countless holes and crevices give shelter to crabs, scorpionfish, moray eels and Triton’s trumpet shells. However this is apparently the perfect habitant for the countless Pilgrim Hervia nudibranch that love rocky bottoms and slopes in clear and well-oxygenated water. Their abundance and the shallow depth of the dive makes it the perfect site for ambitious macro u/w photographers.

The average depth or the dive is 8 m, while the max is 12 m, appropriate for divers of all levels.

The usual visibility is 25 m and temperature ranges between 22-27 °C in summer months. Occasionally a medium surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 6′.

 

Antisamos Roman Wreck

Some 2000 years ago, the journey of a Roman ship seeking shelter in picturesque Antisamos Bay ended tragically with a crash at the sharp rocks at the north of the bay. Since then, all kinds of gobies, scorpionfish, moray eels, parrot fish, octopus, nudibranch and many more marine species have claimed the cargo’s hundreds of amphorae as a habitant. Where the boat crushed, the rubble of the amphora form blocks starting at a depth of few meters with individual pieces scattered down to the slope to the depth of around 35 meters where also the massive anchor of the boat can be seen. Behind the schools of two-banded seabreams, large dusky groupers observe the divers and red snappers are common visitors from the deeper zone.

The average depth of the dive is 15 m, while the max is 35 m, appropriate for advanced level divers. The visibility is usually greater than 20 m and temperature ranges between 18-25 °C in summer months, depending on depth. Occasionally a weak current may be encountered at the surface. Boat ride duration 30′.

Mazi Wall

Located at Ithaca’s southwestern coast, there is the protected inlet of Mazi, that since ancient times gives shelter to sailors from the prevailing NW wind. An evidence for this is the scuttered ancient amphora in the inlet. The vivid coastal reef is full of all kinds of small fishvivid coastal reef is full of all kinds of small fish, nudibranch, crustaceans and moray eels for divers and underwater photographers to discover. Suddenly divers discover that there is drop forming a steep wall. Around the depth of 35 meters, large tube worms taking advantage of the currents as do huge schools of damselfish. Behind the clouds of the small fish, divers can spot Goldblotch groupers larking to prey on the schools of damselfish. Depending on the season, large groups of amberjacks or bonitos flashing like silver arrows through the blue to attack the defend less damselfish.

The average depth of the dive is 15 m, while the max is 35 m, appropriate for advanced level divers. The visibility is usually greater than 30 m and temperature ranges between 17-25 °C in summer months, depending on depth. Occasionally a mild current may be encountered at the tip of the wall. Boat ride duration 25′.

Ai Giannis’ Wall

 

Off the cliff at Ithaca’s southeastern cape, a breathtaking wall rises from the depth of 80 meters. Experienced and daring divers can explore the holes and crevices to discover and photograph amazing colorful sponges and corals, tiny crustaceans and nudibranchs, rare grouper species, moray eels and lobsters. Often amberjacks and red snappers appear from the deep to intercept the intruders of their territory. The dive concludes on the shallower part of the wall, where impressive rock formations can be observed. The Ai Giannis’ wall is an all-time favorite site to free divers who can readily plunge into the deep blue.

The average depth of the dive is 20 m, while the max is 30 m, appropriate for advanced level divers. The visibility is usually greater than 30 m and temperature ranges between 17-25 °C in summer months, depending on depth. Occasionally a weak surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 35′.

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Luftwaffe Junkers 88 Wreck

At the eastern, most tip of Ithaca, on the crest of a sloping reef that shortly reaches the contour line of 100 meters, lies the aircraft wreck of a Luftwaffe Ju88 twin-engine bomber. The aircraft met its fate as it ditched a short distance offshore reportedly hit by allied fire. It is shocking to imagine the force of the crash as the two engines can be found far apart at 22 and 28 meters and the tail sits at 36m further away. The fuselage and the wings have rolled deep down the slope, off limits to recreational divers. Apart from the remains of the plane, divers have the chance to explore the magnificent reef where dolphins or large predators such as amberjacks, tunas and snappers often feed on the clouds of sardines and damselfish, while on the sides of the reef groupers ambush prey. Quite often divers can catch the currents into a drift dive.

The average depth or the dive is 20 m, while the max is 37, reserving the site for experienced divers. The visibility is usually greater than 20m while temperature ranges between 18-26 C in summer months, depending on depth. Occasionally there may be strong currents close to the surface.  Boat ride duration 35′.

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Dias Rock

 

Dias is a rocky islet once home to a monastery and in earlier times a temple dedicated to Greek God of Gods, Zeus. This is the dominant landmark of an area of swallow reefs and some of the richest fishing fields around Kefalonia.

It takes more than one dive around the rock to explore the cavelets and passages that hold numerous species of fish, crustaceans and cephalopods, while Loggerhead turtles are common visitors. Among the stars are slipper lobsters and triton’s trumpets. Along the route pottery and ceramics from the ancient and the Christian temples can be spotted.

The average depth of the dive is 12 m, while the max is 22 m, appropriate for divers of all levels.

The usual visibility is 25 m and temperature ranges between 23-25 °C in summer months. Occasionally a weak surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 35′.

 

Karavomilos Lake-Cave

 

As divers enter the idyllic fresh water lake they come across impressive kelp-like sea grass and schools of sea bass and grey mullets. Karavomilos is the estuary of the famous Melissani Lake and the doorstep to an amazing world. The cave sets breathtaking scenery of stalactites and stalagmites to the experienced divers. As soon as technical cave divers enter the second chamber, light gives room to a silent dark world.

The average depth of the dive is 9 m, while the max is 17 m, however due to the cavern-cave characteristics, Karavomilos is reserved for advanced divers and further penetration is permitted by technical cave divers only. The visibility reaches an amazing 40+ m and temperature is constantly 14 °C. No currents are present. Car ride duration 45′.

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The Eye

 

Around this shallow colorful reef, divers can spend time observing a surprising variety of fish, since the holes and crevices on the rock are home to parrotfish, cardinal fish, blennies, sea bream, mullets, small crustaceans and many more species that find shelter there. An arch-shaped swim-through along the coast can be crossed by divers giving the opportunity to get impressive views of aquatic life against the blue background, just like looking through a porthole on the seafloor!

The average depth or the dive is 8 m, while the max is 12 m, appropriate for divers of all levels.

The usual visibility is 20 m and temperature ranges between 22-27 °C in summer months. No surface currents are present. Boat ride duration 3′.

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