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Kefalonia – a press trip to remember

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As you may have read in our previous blog about this trip, we were not blessed with the best weather. Our original itinerary was to see us dive four of the World War II wrecks that can be found in the waters around Kefalonia: HMS Persius, F495 Landing Craft, Junkers 88 & SS Ardena. The Persius was, in our opinion, going to be the highlight – a British submarine lost in 1941 that has the incredible story of a single survivor who made the 50m ascent and 5 mile swim to shore. The SS Ardena tells another terrible story; she sank after hitting a mine with over 700 Italian prisoners of war on board, all were lost, along with the crew. The Junkers 88 Luftwaffe bomber plane broke up in the crash leaving only the engines and tail at a depth suitable for the recreational diver.

Alas, die to high winds, we only got to dive one of these four amazing wrecks and that was the German F495 landing craft that sank close to shore in shallow waters. The waves had already stirred up the sandy bottom and so the visibility was down to less than 5 meters when we got in. However, this vessel was carrying a huge array of supplies and so exploring the seabed trying to identify the objects that you find makes this a good dive in all conditions. There were a huge number of depth charges on board when she was sunk and these litter the seabed. Look more closely and you can find large anti-submarine nets, jerry cans, wheels from vehicles, ammunition and we are sure a keen eye and good knowledge would lead to even more discoveries.

Our only other dives were to be in caverns. Our fresh water experience you can read all about here in our previous blog. We did manage a sea cavern too, which offered shelter, but the highlight of this dive was actually the surrounding area, where ancient amphoras and ship ballast could be found amongst the sea grass.

Our hosts were keen to make sure that we also experienced some of the culture that Kefalonia has to offer and so we were treated to huge and excellent meals at every opportunity. Sometimes it seems impossible, whilst still eating lunch at 4pm, that we would have to do this all again in just a few short hours! But with amazing fresh food and great local wine, beer and spirits, this was a real treat. As our diving was cut short, we toured the island, visiting a vineyard and also touring a fresh water cavern, similar to the one we had dived the day before.

In peak season, flights from the UK go direct to Kefalonia, however we went just as the season ended and so had to travel via Athens. This, however, gave us a wonderful opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of this historic capital city.

Kefalonlia is only a short hop away from the UK and, whilst we did not see the best of it underwater, it is clear that there are fantastic scuba diving opportunities here. We hope we can return next summer to dive the WWII wrecks, re-visit the fresh water caves and take in some of the many other dives this beautiful island has to offer. It is also time to dust off our copy of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin…


With thanks to:

www.scubahellas.com

www.pirate-divers-club.gr/en

www.bluemantadiving.gr

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Dive Training Blogs

Jeff chats to… Richard Corner from Mares about liveaboards and training with SSI (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman chats to Richard Corner, UK Watersports Category Manager at Mares, about the complete experience for all aspects of diving with Mares, their liveaboard adventures with the purchase of liveaboard.com, and the Mares/SSI combination.

Last in a series of four videos.

Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.


For more information, visit www.liveaboard.com, www.divessi.com and www.mares.com

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Dive on with DIVER Magazine’s December 2020 issue

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DIVER aren’t calling it the Christmas issue because that’s all up in the air but their theme is full of cheer – underwater treasures to be found in our own backyards!

  • Be The Champ! Special: An extended 100th edition of Alex Mustard’s revered monthly column – with the cream of underwater photographers contributing their own pearls of wisdom.
  • Gun Sites: Two tales of individual divers’ exciting weapons hauls – in Cornwall and in Portugal
  • Treasuremen of Bermuda: Story behind one of the most valuable shipwreck treasures ever recovered
  • Wreckful of Ming: Tech divers discover a thrilling cargo of porcelain south of Phuket
  • Dad Found It: Our correspondent dives a sunken Roman city in southern Italy 50 years after her father discovered it
  • Deep Giants: A marine biologist tends her gorgonian garden – in the 100m zone
  • Road Trip 2: The dive tour of Europe continues as our long-term trippers have fun in summertime UK
  • Timepieces: They might not be necessities but diving watches are still prized accoutrements – here’s a guide to 25 of the latest
  • Twilight Zone: Experience the highs and the lows of Curaçao – with the aid of a submersible

Download your copy of the December 2020 edition of DIVER here!

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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