Tag Archive for: scuba diving

Perhaps the top WW II wreck dive in Mediterranean, British Overseas Patrol submarine HMS/M Perseus, (N36) lies virtually intact on the sandy bottom, at 52 meters depth, about a mile off the south coast of Kefalonia.

Perseus submarine is not only among the most impressive wreck dives a diver can experience, but has an amazing history as well. The vessel was on combat patrol in December 1941, and while cruising at the surface at night hit an Italian naval mine and sunk. From the crew of 59 only one, the Royal Navy leading stoker John Capes managed a daredevil escape from a depth no one has attempted before, swam his way to Katelios and with the aid of locals escaped capture from Italian and German occupation forces and finally transferred in Turkey. While legendary in Royal Navy, almost nobody believed his adventure until in 1997 a team of Greek divers located the submarine and verified details of his described escape.

The divers approaching the submarine encounter a magnificent vessel 88 meters long, with a large conning tower, the ship’s gun and the rear hutch still open indicating the escape route of John Capes, while a look in the interior is possible. Among other things, the torpedo tubes and the ship’s propellers and rudder are visible.

The submarine is practically an artificial reef and colorful sponges, big groupers, small fish and aquatic creatures take shelter here, while predators like amberjacks and snappers are frequent visitors.

Dive starts at the shot line that leads close to the conning tower and at around 25m depth the submarine is already visible. Leaving the shot line at around 35 m, and heading towards the bow, swimming at the side of the vessel and at a depth of 45 m, divers can see the devastating blow of the mine at port side and then the bow torpedo tubes, where at a depth of 48 m, Mark VIII torpedoes are ready to fire in their open tubes. On the way back towards the aft, divers overfly the wreck at around 44 m, observing hatches, winches and looking for groupers hiding within openings of the vessel, eventually reach the 4,9” gun and then the conning tower with the main hatch, periscopes and antenna. Further towards the aft, there is the still open escape hatch, that allows a look to the interior and the items inside, such as crates, machinery and even boots of the crew. Divers reaching the aft can see at a close distance the concrete anchorage of the sea mine and even descend bellow 45 m for a closer look to the rudders and propellers, where massive groupers, snappers and lobsters can also be found. The dive comes to an end heading smoothly towards the conning tower, where amberjacks usually prey on the schools of damselfish, to find the shot line and initiate the ascend and decompression stops.

The average depth or the dive is 40 m, while the max is 50, reserving the submarine for experienced and 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 strong currents close to the surface. Boat ride duration 15′.

Scuba Diving Kefalonia, Scuba Kefalonia

 

 

Infamous “Kakava” shoals are also an extended ancient wrecks site, once believed to be a submerged village. There is an abundance of amphorae, primarily from Roman era wrecks with at least one from 2nd century BC. Around the reef more evidence of ancient to modern day wrecks are present, such as steel ship parts and huge coal pieces, marking the resting place of an unknown steamboat.

The dive site is situated between the two main nesting beaches for Loggerhead sea turtles around Kefalonia “Kaminia” and “Skala”, so chances to catch sight of one looking for her next meal, are quite high.

Dive starts at the flat top of the shoal at 5m that could be the archetype of Mediterranean reef, with black and green sponges, brown seaweed and large schools of parrotfish and cow breams. Descending to the deepest part down to 12m, scattered pieces and blocks of smashed amphorae and metal relics from the ancient wreck become more and more abundant and among them brown meagres, groupers, scorpionfish and octopuses occupy every recess and crevice. Eventually coal pieces and metal remains mark the path towards the resting place of the unknown shipwreck and soon after divers reach the top of the reef where the ancient wreck crashed, and most intact amphorae can be found. Here, schools of damselfish hover against the current attracting predators such as snappers, Mediterranean barracudas and amberjacks. The return route to the boat is through peculiar rock formations, leftovers form the fragile rocky plate curved by forces of nature, and home to diverse marine life.

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 weak surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 6′.

 

Scuba Diving Kefalonia, Scuba Kefalonia

 

Out of the Neptune’s seagrass meadows (“Posidonia oceanica”) a lone reef rises, a death trap to ancient vessels passing through the area. At least 2 of those wooden merchant ships once roaming the Mediterranean, have found their final resting place here, scattering their ballast stones, lead and bronze parts of their hull and rigging and scores of amphorae – their primary cargo, proving the area a puzzle to seamen through the ages.

On the underside of a long shallow rocky ridge, a small yet impressive underwater cave awaits to be explored. The dark chamber in the rock features two side-openings and one on the top acting as a skylight shedding ample light into the interior, rewarding the daring diver with spectacular views. Also a variety of fish and quite often

Dive starts on a sand patch at 7 m where wood parts of a sank fishing boat can be found and continues to the rocky ridge, with seagrass meadows on both sides, with schools of damselfish hover against the current attracting predators such as snappers and amberjacks. Soon the first and oldest wreck remains of many types and sizes of amphorae can be found, all the way to the entrance of the small cave.

Continuing along the rocky ridge at same depths, schools of parrotfish and cow breams are everywhere and a bit further down a massive stock of a stone anchor can be found, being the turning point towards the amphorae and metal relics of the second ancient wreck. A short cross over sandy and seagrass patches gives the chance to see all kinds of wrasses and perhaps Loggerhead sea turtles that are frequent visitors to the site and leads to a second rocky ridge where at its side the deepest part of the dive and usually schools of saddled breams along with groupers and morays can be found. Route along this ridge also leads back to the boat.

The average depth or the dive is 7 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 weak surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 5′.

Scuba Diving Kefalonia, Scuba Kefalonia

There is no better spot for macro photographers to capture all the amazing micro flora and fauna of the Mediterranean. On the under-the-surface portion of the cliff walls, in the crevices and caves and within the same small extent of rock face, pseudo corals and all species of Mediterranean sponges can be found in a distracting variety and abundance.To add to the excitement, an old fishing boat wreck on the seagrass awaits divers to explore it! All together they create an ideal habitat for nudibranchs, moray eels, scorpion fish, blennies, gobies, wrasses, starfish and many more. Divers return again and again to capture colorful images one can hardly believe that belong in the Mediterranean .

Dive starts next to the rocky shore where a plateau at 5-6 m depth tops the walls bellow and follows a smooth slope descending to 16 m for a short cross over the Neptune’s seagrass that leads to the fishing boat wreck at 21 m. Among its remains and rusty pipes, nudibranchs, moray eels and octopuses can be found with snappers and amberjacks often visiting the area.  Upon return to the wall, the most impressively colored false corals, an abundance of sponges, ambushing morays, shy cardinal fish and graceful nudibranch occupy ever rock and crevice. Also, groupers, Triton’s trumpets and slipper lobsters are anything but a rare sight at the right time. The return starts with a smooth ascend to the edge of the wall, at 8-9 m depth, through schools of damselfish and cow breams, looking for more morays, and invasive, yet beautiful, lionfish and dive concludes with a safety stop on top of the plateau.

The average depth of the dive is 9 m, while the max is 21 m, appropriate for divers of all levels.

The usual visibility is 25 m and temperature ranges between 24-26 °C in summer months. Usually no surface currents are present. Boat ride duration 5′.

 

Scuba Diving Kefalonia, Scuba Kefalonia

Cape Kapros marks the northern tip of Skala’s coastline, and just around it one is at the doorstep of Kefalonia-Ithaca channel. The water movement and the occasional currents around the cape is as intriguing, and create a habitat for groupers, wrasses, breams, invasive lionfish, cardinal fish, nudibranch species on the rocks and sponges, whilst schools of bogues and damselfish feed against the current, just above the noticeable thermocline and attract predators like red snappers, blue runners and amberjacks. The cape has probably a turbulent past, as ancient merchant vessel anchors and broken amphorae lay scattered around.

Dive starts at 5 m and follows a smooth slope down to 16m where the first pieces of amphorae can be found, continuing to some rocks at 21 m where white groupers and morays can be found along and even more and diverse amphorae. Following the bottom of the rocky slope, it is a great inhabitant of dusky and gold blotch groupers and where the hunting ground for snappers is and more intriguing amphorae and ancient anchors can be found before return starts with an ascend at the mid of the slope at 10 m. Along this depth there are rocks that give shelter to bright red cardinal fish and their predators, the invasive lionfish and also the evidence of an ancient boat sinking here, as crashed amphorae and metal relics can be found. The way back towards the safety stop spot is through large schools of cow breams and graceful damselfish.

The average depth of the dive is 12 m, while the max is 32 m, appropriate for divers of all levels.

The usual visibility is 25 m and temperature ranges between 19-25 °C in summer months. Occasionally a moderate surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 7′.

 

Scuba Diving Kefalonia, Scuba Kefalonia

On the eastern boundaries of Kakava reefs, before water depth drops significantly, there is an area where Posidonia sea grass, rocks and sandy patches alternate. This is the place where colourful wrasses, brown meagres and all kinds of breams find shelter, whilst sea turtles and eagle rays are common visitors, but without a doubt the stars are the red snappers that are foraging around this alley, preying on schools of damselfish and parrotfish. This is probably the site more likely to spot a snapper especially from May to July, as they never fail divers in early morning dives.

The average depth of the dive is 16 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 7′.

 

Located at the northern extents of the Kakava reefs, this site is the most representative example of Mediterranean seafloor landscape and biodiversity in shallow coastal waters and provides excellent chances for u/w photographers. Collapsed caves and holes, along with meadows of Posidonia sea grass create the perfect environment for parrotfish, wrasses, gilt head breams, scorpion fish, young groupers and snappers. Around the reef fragments of ancient clay jars (“amphoras”) can be spotted, however the highlight of the site are the 12 enormous, probably Byzantine era anchors, presumably ditched by a ship struggling to escape crashing on the reef.

The average depth of the dive is 7 m, while the max is 12 m, suitable for divers of all levels.

The usual visibility is 25 m and temperature ranges between 22-27 °C in summer months. Occasionally a moderate surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 5′.

 

At the northern end of Skala beach, the rocky coastline provides an u/w landscape of walls and rockslides, which create an ideal habitat for most Mediterranean species. In this dive site, marked by the Cape Kapros lighthouse, boulders scattered among Posidonia seagrass provide a haven for all kinds of breams, wrasses, brown meagres and octopuses, especially when water temperature is below 23 °C, up to the end of June and again from early September. Huge schools of juvenile saddled sea breams and damselfish, along with often passing Loggerheard sea turtles, create scenery so rich that rarely can be matched by Mediterranean waters.

The average depth of the dive is 8 m, while the max is 17 m, appropriate for divers of all levels.

The usual visibility is 25 m and temperature ranges between 24-26 °C in summer months. Occasionally a weak surface current may be encountered. Boat ride duration 5′.

 

The rough, rocky scenery above the surface concludes in an equally impressive wall at the tip of the cove. Divers can observe remains of an ancient, roman era wreck that stretches across the levels of the dive. Fragments of broken amphorae but also an intact one, a lead stock of a composite anchor and ballast stones mark the final resting place of the long gone vessel. The reef is abundant with most species of Mediterranean aquatic life while Loggerhead sea turtles are anything but a rare sight.

Dive starts at 9 m on top a rocky plateau that descends smoothly to the bottom of the rocky slope. The Neptune’s seagrass at the side of the open sea meets the rocky coastline at a depth of 18 m, creating the perfect habitant for dusky and white groupers, white sea breams and brown meagres. Continuing further to the wall, crevices give shelter to more groupers, morays, scorpion and cardinal fish. The way back starts where the wall ends giving space to more seagrass and is exactly where gold blotch groupers find the perfect hunting grounds, often accompanied by snappers and upon return divers explore the shallower parts of the wall, at around 12m, where morays, invasive yet impressive lionfish, tube worms, wrasses and quite often slipper lobsters and Triton’s trumpet shells can be found. Where the wall ends into a rocky plateau, divers pass through schools of dancing damselfish and continue towards the amphorae and anchor of the ancient wreck laying at a depth of 9 m and just below the safety stop spot.

The average depth or the dive is 16 m, while the max is 31 m, appropriate for divers of all levels. Boat ride duration 9′.

 

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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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