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Diving the Beaten Waves

Sometimes it is nice to dive the beaten waves and visit famous divesites. They are famous for a reason, afterall! We took an early June escapade to Cyprus, where I did a cheeky dive on the wreck of the Zenobia (Swedish cargo ship sunk on its maiden voyage in 1982).

Comfort was the key word of this dive:

· no lugging kit up steep hills, but comfortably loading the twinset and stage on a pickup to then find it ready on the boat! All this with various sets of helping hands.

· a toasty 20C water temperature, obviously dived in my drysuit with only a thin baselayer making a 60minute dive comfortable. The deco was even set up with a trapeze!

I warned you that it was a comfortable dive but that does not make it less worthwhile.

I had been shore diving on the west coast of Cyprus (Paphos) and was very disappointed by the desperate state of the sea. No fish, lots of plastic. The rock formations were very interesting but looked like ghost towns with only an occasional fish with the desperate look of lone war survivors.

The Zenobia was one of the first protected marine reserves in Cyprus and you can tell! The marine life is abundant and used to divers: there are loads of seabream, barracuda, hunting tuna as well as macro life such as nudibranchs. Apparently there is also the occasional turtle and dolphin, but I was not as lucky to meet them. However, I was very happy as there are loads of groupers and I love them! I had one that was mesmerized by her reflection on the dome port of the camera and it kept on coming very close to get a good look at herself. You could hear her say “damn I sexy!” A bit of a narcissist if you ask me. Before I get accused of sexism for attributing the female pronoun to a grouper that spends hours in front of the mirror, I want to highlight that I am calling her a she because she was relatively small. Groupers are protogynous hermaphrodites meaning that they spawn as females and when they reach a certain size they change sex and turn to males.

The wreck is intact and you can go inside. Two dives is definitely not enough to explore the wreck with all its cargo but what really struck me was:

· Eggs. Yes, chicken eggs on the sandy bottom next to the wreck: one of the trucks loaded on the Zenobia was transporting eggs and some can still be found. My first thought was I wonder what they taste like. Is it edible? Eggs can be preserved in brine for a couple of months.

· In the cafeteria you can still see the red checkered carpet in the same colour scheme as the one in Shining. Despite 30 years sitting in a soggy environment its colour hasn’t faded and the texture is the same cheap carpet that gives you shivers down your back texture as if it was just store bought.

Image from:
Zenobia - Cafeteria. Note the carpet, it is exactly the same now!

Usually what stops me from long deco dives is the cold! I don’t like sitting in the cold for 20 minutes! But running deco in the warmth is not that bad and I can see getting used to it easily!

Dive info: I dived with Dive In Larnaca.


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