My second night dive – with great video!

Hi,

we’ve been last week a bit diving again. This time in the night. :) I have been first one time – during my OWD course – in the night diving.
I can remember this dive… it was not really bad… but strange.
You can see only what your torch makes bright… the rest is black. You could imagine it as if you are in the middle of the night on an field. Just with a small torch in your hand. And now imagine that you can move also up and down – like a bird. That is a bit strange. And my orientation is zero at night. I’ve known in no second where I actually am.

Now we’ve been last week again in the “black sea”. :) I had still no orientation. But I had always an eye on my buddy. Just lost her 2 times :D But always found her again by recognizing her by her fins :)

The rest was great. It is interesting what you can see in the night, which is hiding during the day. Like for example an eel-like fish, which you can see often in the video (below). But also sea cucumber, the usual fish, cuttlefish and octopus.

The dive was at the beach direct behind the dive school. So no special spot. But in the night is that anyway not important :) Everything looks different anyway :)

Just watch the movie… it’s really nice :)

There will be another night dive this week. One of them at the Zenobia… I am really looking forward to it. It will be great, I am sure! The video will follow shortly, of course. ;)
But now the video from last week. Have fun

What is new there? Not much, and there?

Dear diary… ohh, wrong greeting :)
Dear readers – that is correct :)

A bit time passed again, since I was writing for the general public. I mean in general, not something which was related to computer, programming or diving. But to be honest, nothing happen. At least not much.

There was no job in the last 2-3 months. Which is bad for my financial situation and I really thought about to fold up my tents. My bank accounts was totally empty and I was in arrears with my rent.
And when the fridge became empty as well… it become really tight.
Every day I said to myself  “Tomorrow it will become better, else I need to go.” … because the hope dies last. And in the moment the last tenner left my wallet… it happens. Or?

No, in the last minute came the redemption. A customer, a customer. :) Just a small job, but better then nothing. And then it started like always…
No job for months and then they come all in one time. (That shall not be a complain!) But it would be nice if it would be a bit more spread, that would be great. Seems like customer are connected to each other (even they don’t know each other)… When one has the thought “Oh, I have something to do for Gordon”… then all get the same message. :)

Anyway, I had jobs again. And with it a bit money. At least that much that I could pay my rent and the bills (hopefully). And a bit food in my fridge. I also had a bit money for diving… even I should have saved the money for bills, as I know now. But on the other side… a bit fun is needed in live. Else what would it be for a live?

And then I am working also on a private project at the moment. But I don’t want to talk much about it yet, because I have no idea yet how it will go on. Just … it could be a world record maybe.
At the moment I try to figure out how hard it could be and especially if I am in the condition to do it and how high the risk could be.
Actually I don’t really know the rules yet and the people of the Guiness World Records need 4-6 weeks to answer my request.
Till now I just get support from my dive school. The owner is helping me a lot, for which I give him high credits.
Many people which know the plan say that I am crazy and/or mental.
Also I tried to win some organizations for the project, to support them. But till now without success or answer. Not to talk about sponsors (it will cost a ‘few’ euros :( ).

Next week I am planing to make the first test and if it will be successful and the people from Guinness accept my request, then I’ll definitely follow it and try it. Of course I’ll write more about it then. ;)
Just I don’t want to talk now to much about it, else someone will be quicker then me :) and of course first of all I’d like to find out if I can manage it, before I talk big :)
The video of the 2nd dive:

As I said, we was diving again.

We was 2 weeks ago in the north diving. We went there on Friday evening and Saturday, after the dive, back. It was a bit chaotic, which is like we know it in Cyprus.

First of all was a friend somewhere else sleeping as planed. That worried us a lot. Because our mobiles doesn’t work in the north and we couldn’t reach her.
Then was the plan to go with a boat for the dive. But this broke down. We went then finally with a jeep to the dive safari. Also interesting… but exhausting. The first dive spot was at the end of Cyprus, at Karpaz. Nobody before us was there without boat. We had to climb over rocks to get to the entrance. 12 o’clock in the noon, with over 30 degrees in the shadow and fully equipped. That wasn’t really easy and nice. And then we had to swim around 1km. To the 2nd island in front of the coast. But therefore we found some nice archaeological “things”. I think… can’t say it for sure… I am not a archaeologist.

But we guess that there, direct in front of the coast, is a sunken village (very old one). And at the 2nd island we found a lot of amphoras. Most of them stuck together as a big piece. It could be a indication that there sunk some ships… long time ago.
But except of this wasn’t much to see there. Not much live. But good visibility. The water there is really really clear.

The 2nd dive spot was for me more interesting. It was along the coast. On the way are 3 caves. We just submerged when the first stingray showed up and circled around us. It was the first time that I ever saw this (for me proper) kind of stingray. I saw already one in Limassol, but that one was different and lazy :)
This one here was very active and seemed to be curious as well. It looks very amazing how this animals move. It is like they are flying through the water.
Soon he turned around and left us. Far away we saw a second one, who was waiting for the 1st one (seemed like). … Of course we had to follow him to make more pictures and videos :)

After the photo and video session we turned around to follow the track. But after a few meter we saw already the next one flying over the ground.
We followed the steep face at the cost line to the first cave.
Caves are interesting for me, but under water is it a bit strange… bit of claustrophobia maybe. Especially when you are the last who is entering the cave and the people before you made sure that the visibility equals zero (which is not hard to do in a cave, I have to mention). One wrong fin kick and it’s over with the visibility.
I tried to have a look … but turned around soon, lost even my buddy, and left the cave again.

Then we continued to dive to the next cave. Here the same game. But this cave had a specialty. All 3 caves have just one entrance and rise up (the entrance is deep and inside they go up). So basically you swim uphill. And in this one was, in a corner at the top, a whole which was going down again. Our guide said that there is a fresh water spring in it.
But due to the bad visibility again and I lost my inner peace in this caves anyway… I left it again, without having a closer look. I lost my buddy again… but she was waiting outside already for me. We are a perfect team :)

When we continued the dive, we passed again a stingray. The others just overlooked it. We stopped and “observed” the stingray a while. But the ray didn’t bothered at all about us. He continued to dig his whole in the sand.
When we was as close as 2-3 meter, he stopped for a moment, watched us and continued straight away. Interesting was also that there was 4 flatfish and 2 blowfish around him. I guess they was waiting what the stingray would dig out of the sand… something to eat for them maybe :)
Unfortunately was the battery of my camera almost empty. I could record just a few seconds of this wonderful moment :( And it was really amazing. I would have loved to watch them for hours.

Stingrays are really interesting animals. And because we don’t have the big choice of animals here in Cyprus… I really thing to go to the same place again. With more time and a full camera… and much fun :)
The videos which I could make:

That was the latest dives I’ve ever done. We finished the 2nd dive around 6pm. After we went back home and arrived some when around 11 in the night in Limassol again.

And last weekend we’ve been diving with the Aloha boat. There is a dive spot which is called “The pyramids”. That sounds very interesting. :) Especially when a friend is telling you it is close to the Amathus ruins in the water, which can be seen while snorkeling.

So, I was very curious about the pyramids. I have straight Cairo or the Maya-pyramids in my head.

So we started with the boat in the early morning. Ok, we passed Amathus… maybe my friend was mistaken.

Then we went to the water. The visibility wasn’t that good. But still better then in the most ponds :) And then we saw already the first “pyramid”. And I realized… I expected to much from the name of the spot. Of course there are no ‘real’ pyramids. The ‘pyramids’ are cubes of concrete which are piled up in a pyramid. … Great. Well, at least it looked interesting and there was some fishes.

The second dive spot (I forgot the name) was a bit more interesting. The visibility was good and there was also a bit more live. Some fishes was really curious… so much that I got some good ‘face shots’ (as you can see in the video) :)

There was even some small wrecks and even a Playstation… with controller :)
And someone had the idea to dump a load of old tires. Well, the fishes was happy about it… but they will never rotten.
And here the video of the both dives:

I wasn’t that happy about the dives all in all. It was not bad… but also not spectacular. I would love to experience something great… under water :)
Above the surface as well, of course :)

And else… ahh, on Wednesday I had a photo shooting. A friend made a new tattoo on her back. And because the main photographer was busy and she needed urgent pictures… she remembered that there is also a Gordon, which also makes some good pictures. And so I got a call.
Well, when I get already an request… then I can’t say no. (That I was the second choice I’ve heard later… her luck :) )

So we was meeting on Tuesday at 2pm. We went to a (more or less) quite place. And then we started the shooting :) I haven’t so much experience with shooting people. But it was a good working with her and we made some good pictures.

After we published the pictures some other girls came and said that they are interested :) Maybe I should change to photographing :) If I get better skills in photographing people.

So, and that’s it already with news. It is like always… mostly nothing happen. A doom loop. No work = no money = no action :(
I hope it will change now soon.

Then cu next time.
Ciao ciao
Gordon

Search for Vera K. still unsuccessful :(

Hello together,

today I have again bad news.

After we’ve heard about the disaster of Vera K., we’ve started the search on last Sunday. Our information was that she got lost somewhere near a beach close to Paphos. We had as well (unverified) GPS coordinates.

An so we went all together to Paphos. Ira, Chester, Michael, Alice and me. Armed with snorkeling equipment. Bevore we went I’ve checked in Google Earth the coordinates to see where approx. it is. It is a beach next to the last hotel in Paphos. Close to the water park.
On the way we picked up Alex as well.

Some when around 3pm. we reached the beach. It was unexpected full. Actually it was packed. Almost like the Nisi beach in Ayia Napa. I got straight the clue that it wouldn’t be an easy search, with all the people around. :( Even more worse was all the kayaks and jet ski.

And the crown of all is that they are just building break water there. Ok, they don’t work on Sundays. But due to their works is the visibility under water really bad. The visibility close to the shore was just centimeters. Behind the break water was it better… around 20 Meter.

The expected position of Vera K. was around 200 Meter in front of the beach. Outside of the swimming area. We was looking for a buoy, which could mark for their position. There was several buoys. 2 bigger more far and a few closer to the swimming area.

Vera K.

But unfortunately we had to cancel our search, because it was too dangerous with the jet skis around. Even in the swimmer area was this idiots driving. One crossed my way just a few meter, to pick up a friend from the beach. The rescue guy (itself on a jet ski) recognized it and drove to the guy. He missed me even more close.
Also during free diving I almost collided with 2 kayaker, which appeared from nowhere.

We will have no other chance to search for Vera K. with a boat. She must be there somewhere in a depth of 12 meter and wait for us :) Just the search with a boat is again more expensive, and money is scarce at the moment. :(
Will see what will follow the next days and weeks. The hope dies last.

Anyway it was a nice Sunday. Doing nothing and exploring some now place.

Best regards
Gordon

Diving at the SS Three Stars wreck in Akrotiri / Episkopi bay

Hello together,

I can’t follow with writing at the moment :( That’s why today just quick about the dive last sunday.

I could completed my equipment due to an lucky coincidence. Now I have everything and am free :) Now I can go diving whenever I want :)
But I shall not go alone. That’s why I am bound to my buddy (mostly at least).

Through another coincidence I’ve met another diver who know the location of the wreck in Akrotiri. We are looking for it in the last days on the maps of Google Earth. Looked like nobody knows where it is.
There is one direct on the shore. But it is to shallow to dive there. But there is another one in a depth of 7 meter. The people in the dive shop said that the other one is a part from the one on the beach and the location is also there. I was about to go there and just jump in the water and to search for it. Good that I haven’t done it. The other wreck is more then a kilometer more south. On that spot I would have searched for ages and would have found nothing.

There is also a big confusion between both wrecks. Some say both are actually the same (based on the distance is it unlikely). Others interchange the names and anyway nobody knows anything. Luckily I found a very good webpage where a lot of wrecks are listed (http://www.wrecksite.eu). And on this website are both wrecks listed. I have my information now from there and hope that this information are at least correct (even I am not sure about the story, but more about it more down).

Luckily I’ve met these diver and he know where it is. He offered me and Alice straight to go there diving on Sunday. We couldn’t say No. :) Also my buddy Ira had time and came with us (which makes me always happy when my Buddy is diving with me… we are the best team!).

An so we started on Sunday morning. Half past 9 was meeting at the dive shop. We packed everything in the car and collected Ira in Kolossi.
The way to the wreck leads across nowhere. Only field roads. Good that Grzegorz is driving a big car. Some when we reached the small fishing harbor somewhere on the west coast of the Akrotiri peninsula.
It was already busy here. A few fishermen and other people with small zodiacs.

The wreck is visible from the beach. It sticks a bit out of the water, cause it lies in just 6-7 meter depth. Indeed there is a way of around 500 meter to swim until the wreck. We decided to snorkel to the wreck and descended just 50 meter in front of the wreck.

Das Wrack der SS Three Stars

Even at this shallow depth is it amazing when you reach it.
The official story about the wreck of the SS Three Stars, which I found in the internet, is that it caught fire and burned out in the Episkopi bay and finally run aground there.
But when I see the wreck in front of me, then it looked more like it got bombed. The vessel is literally shredded and is lying there in pieces. The visceral are lying there everywhere around. The walls are partly ripped. Partly I can’t recognize which part belonged to where.
That was definitely not just a fire. Maybe it became, after it was declared as a total loss, a training target for the army. Who knows. The true and complete stories are always hard to find.
Just have a look below on the video. Then you’ll see what I mean.

Our dive time was (without snorkeling to the wreck and back to the beach) exactly 60 minutes. I was with my 18 liter cylinder (yes, I have such big baby now :) ) st the start. My start pressure was 180 bar and at the end I had 100 bar left. The water temperature was nice 24 degrees and the visibility was around 10 meter. The visibility was not so good. Not good for making movies. The ground is a mix of sand and mud, which made the visibility quick bad, if you don’t care.

Otherwise was the dive very easy and I am really thinking to go again there to make a better movie :) Maybe a small documentary about it :) Will see.

Diving at Cape Greco Cyprus – The canyon and the caves

Hello together,

last Saturday we was finally diving again. :) A luxury which I actually can’t really afford, at the moment. But what can I do… just sitting stupid at home can’t be everything. And this year we’ve sworn us to go really diving.

And so we was going the dive shop of our confidence (Aloha divers Limassol) for a small adventure. This time we was going with the truck in the middle of nowhere. It was good it was a pickup truck… the last end to the dive spot was really off-road. :)

The plan was that we go to Cape Greco (after Ayia Napa) and to the dive spots The canyon and the caves. I’ve heard a lot already from the caves. Everybody was enthused about this spot… To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Probably because everybody was telling me how nice it is there, so my expectations was bigger then the reality is.

But it was anyway great… and very adventurous (especially the entrances :) ). But have a look by your own. Of course there is a video. ;)

By the way video… I need to do anyway some more dives. The GoPro doesn’t have viewfinder or display. I need to record blind… and I need more practice in it. Especially in the first cave I was holding the camera to high :( But skills comes with practice. ;)

Also the video cut leaves a lot to be desired… I hope it will be not boring anyway.

An octopus which pretend to be a stone

Hi,

I went yesterday snorkeling again. Of course with my new camera :) I bought a short while ago a new underwater camera (the GoPro Hero 2). Actually it is a action camera (for action sport). But also for diver very interesting. After the lens modification (with the Blurfix lens) is it also able to catch sharp underwater HD videos.
I just need to get in used to the recording itself. There is no viewfinder and no display. Everything by instinct and experience. … And when I see then something interesting, then I am so excited and fixed on the “great thing”, that I forget to handle the camera proper. :) :D

But yesterday I caught the first good recording. I was snorkeling so my round… till I saw an odd stone. Looked somehow strange. And then I saw that there was something attached, which doesn’t belong there.

An Octopus was holding itself on the stone and tried to pretend to be a part of this stone. It looked like he would think that it would work…. till I was one meter in front of him (pity the video just starts short before). Then is seemed like it become to hot for him… that his cover got blown… :) :)
So he break away from the stone slowly and swum under a close ton.

This Octopus was the second largest I ever saw, till now. Was already very impressive.

I hope that I can fly soon somewhere else… where I can explore and record more life under water. Here I can find maybe 1-2 times per week something interesting (and interesting is here already anything beside the usual small fish) :( Maybe Egypt or so. It’s not soo far… If the money is left for it.

But now first the video to the story… :)

Ahh, once more before: Our Nature is wonderful! Help to save and protect it!

My 31st birthday

Hi together,

my 31st birthday is already a few days ago, but anyway I want to write some words about it.

My birthday was on a monday. But here on Cyprus was it Easter Monday. Which means that everybody was off, except of some Pubs. Easter Sunday was everything closed.

Ira made me a special birthday present. She invited me for a dive. Of course to the Zenobia. The sunken roll-on/roll_off ferry in Larnaca.

So my birthday started very early. At 7, to be exact. A very uncivilized hour for me. But somehow I managed it. Not least because of Ira’s wake up calls. :)

I was already one day before diving and had still everything in my car. So I just had to go first to the dive shop to unload all the equipment. Then back at home, to bring the car back… and by foot back to the shop.

Ira catch me on the way and we walked together to the shop. We arrived together with Anton. So we putted everything on the pickup truck an started to Larnaca.

The dive boat is in the small harbor. We arrived and carried our stuff on the boat. Then parking the car and we was off to the buoy. The only remaining indication on the surface. The buoy is also used to land for the dive boats. It’s just a few minutes drive from the harbor to the buoy. It’s just time to change and then straight in the water.

Of course we was prepared with warm water, to flood the suit, not to get straight the cold water in. But I forgot my socks and undershirt. :( Well, the water was here a few degrees warmer. Just not soo much. But anyway. We submerged to a depth of 30 meter, to the Zenobia.

This time we came up on another spot. At the stern of the vessel. We went quickly over the side and ended up direct at the parking level. Just the view over the railing is stunning. You watch from 18 meter down to over 30 meter and you see there the trucks lying and hanging. The first thing you realize are the wheels… and then that this are basically whole trucks.

We went further down and slowly more forward to the bow. Till a hatch was letting us in the huge wreck. Now it became dark and tight. It’s easy to loose orientation and it feels a bit strange. :) Especially because the wreck is lying on it’s side. So you’re swimming basically transverse to the normal direction. But there is not much time to think about it. You’ll be more busy not to loose the person in front and not to hit yourself somewhere.

We went up and down… swimming through the wreckage and wholes in the steal beams. Sometimes between was even the sun shining trough the – still intact – windows. Which are now – in sideway position – above, instead on the side.

The most stunning thing was the last room. I guess it must be the dining hall or meeting room. The room is at least very big. At least here you’ll realize that something is strange. Because this room does not goes longer in it’s wide, it’s going down. That is really impressive and surreal.

Through another hatch, on the other side of the room, we came back outside. Just out of the wreck again you look straight 15-20 meter down again. And for a short moment I was afraid to “fall down”… but I didn’t, I was flying in the same height. That is fascination diving!

We went then for a short time down to 34 meter. But just quick, we was running out of time. So, we went back up and the same way back.
After a deco stop was our great dive at the end. And this day was no second one, because it was Eastern. The captain of the dive boat made just one trip that day.
Ok, at the end of the dive it became a bit chilly… and partly the one dive was enough… but… well :)

Then we went back to Limassol. To wash our equipment, a good hot tea and then we went back home.

At home I also needed a shower to wash myself and the rest of the equipment. Then calling home and relaxing a bit :)

In the evening I went out with some friends – for a beer – first in a restaurant on the beach and later in a pub.

It was a great day. Thank your for all involved people and especially to my buddy Ira, for the great birthday present. (All other was of course also great! ;) )

While editing the dive movies I got the idea to make maybe a small movie or a reportage about the Zenobia. I work still on the concept… below a small trailer, how it could look like :)

Best regards
Gordon

The movies to the dive in the dam… must watch!

Hi.

I wrote a few days ago already about our dive in the Kouris dam. Until the video is ready it always takes a bit longer. But here it is finally :)

Have a look at it. I really made an effort. :)

And if you’re wondering about the Irish music… it was St. Partriks Day… and Irish holiday and we were even wearing proper hats.  So, it had to be Irish background music. ;)

Ira uploaded her own video. That’s why there are 2 videos below. They are both from the same dive, just different cutting.

And now… have fun.

And Iras movie

Most amazing dive ever – Kouris dam / Cyprus

Hi,

this time I’ll write a book again. So, get a coffee and some cookies ;)

The church at Green Monday

Where shall I start? Actually everything began 2 weeks ago. I wrote already that we went on ‘Green Monday’ to Alassa (have a look at ‘Snorkeling in the dam’). Here is an old church very close to the dam. Or better to say now – in the dam. Because the dam is full and the church is ‘unfortunately’ located in the area subject to flooding. 2 weeks ago was the water up half the door.

We decided after that to come back and to go with a canoe inside, to make some pictures. That was 2 weeks ago. But when we arrived was the door completely under water already.
So, the girls went with the canoe one time around and I swam… a bit.
After that experience was the idea born to wait a bit more and then to go really diving.

Said…waited.

The church 2 weeks before

Last weekend I went alone there, to check the situation. The church was now submerged until the roof. An other photographer (they come in crowds there at the moment) told me that this is the maximum level which the dam will reach. Its spilling already. :( Damn. But better then nothing.

But I got curious in the week and came back with Ira. So much for full! There was, at this time, still over one meter space. So the chances weren’t bad that the whole church will maybe submerge (except the bell tower of course). Especially since I found pictures in the internet where just the bell tower is out of the water.

But somehow that wasn’t enough for us… just to go diving there. Which would be spectacular enough already. Because I can’t find any report in the internet that anybody went to dive in a dam in Cyprus before already. Maybe we would be the first ones. And then even in the submerged Agios Nicolaos Chruch.
So, we pitched some more tales. I had the idea to “light a candle” in the church. That’s what people do in the church, isn’t it? :) Then we realized that our day X is the 17. of March… which is St. Partricks day… we got the idea with the hats. Alice got the idea of a bit voodoo… it became more and more funny :)

The church 1 week before

If you like a bit history… here we go.
Alassa is a village in Cyprus. The Agios Nicolaos Church was built in 1929 and restored in 1960. 1968 the authorities decided to build a dam to dam up 3 rivers. Unfortunately the village Alassa was in the middle of the area subject to flood and had to move to a near by mountain. The whole village was moving. The old village remained on the old place, ready to ruinous. Now is just the church and some foundations of some houses left.
In 1988 the dam was finally finished. The first time it was overspilling in 2004. This year it could happen again. Which is another factor to make our dive so special.
The only building which is left from the old Alassa is the church.

So far, so good.

The water temperature is 12 degrees!!! :) How cold that is I could feel when I went swimming. It was clear that it will be not a long dive. In, down, looking around, up and out of the water.
Our preparation time was one week. It is probably the longest preparation time for a scheduled dive of 10-15 min. Amazing. But we knew it would worth it. It would be an interesting and special dive. So many new experiences. Diving at a spot which is usually dry as dust and is under water only every 10 years!! Then the church in the middle of it (which was the main reason). There were no prove that anybody did a scuba dive in the dam before already… we could be the first ones. Then it would be our first fresh water dive (which is different to dive in salt water). Bad visibility and cold water. Also something new. Then diving with the buddy robe (due to the bad visibility).
So, tons of new experiences are waiting for us. That made all 3 of us the whole week nervous :)

Wasserdichte Kerze :)

My personal task was not that easy to solve. How to light a candle under water? Of course that is not possible. Then we thought about Bengal fire. But it is hard to get. Then… the ultimate idea. Electronic candles. I could wrap it in a plastic bag and they would be water proved.
I found some on the flea market. The last ones. But 2 are enough.
At the beach I found some stones – that the candles stay on the ground – and then sticking everything together… check. Works! :) Just need to find a way. :) This part was done then.

The day X came closer. Friday evening we were meeting at Iras place. Cooking mulled wine (my task of course :) ). The wine should warm us up after the dive again. We were not stingy with the dash of Jägermeister. :) Then we were preparing the St. Patricks Day hats, that they couldn’t get loose while the dive.
And of course we tried the mulled wine already. :) The day schedule were planed. 11 o’Clock meeting at my place, cause the dive shop is around my corner.And, who overslept? Of course me :( Mulled wine and going to bed at 3am is not a good idea. But I got ready so far until 11. Ira and Alice were there before time already and were waiting for me already.
Quickly filling some warm water in bottles and canister, to fill the wet suit before the dive already with warm water (which would hopefully help to stay longer warm) and for a shower after the dive. And then it could start.

First stop: Aloha Dive Center
Ira and me made our diving license here already and we know at least one person here. The owner changed over the winter. But Anton is still here. We were talking in the week already with him and he wanted to prepare our equipment. … But he forgot it. He was with a student diving when we arrived in the shop. And the lady in the shop knew nothing. What a great start.

But she was so kind and packed everything we needed, with our help. BCD, regulator, weights and cylinder. We were going to bring the cylinder in the car, as the lady said “Oh wait, we better check the pressure before you go.”. Ok, why not.
So, we connected the first cylinder to the maschine and … *pppfffffffff* … Seems like there is no O-ring in it. … No, the whole screw for the first stage wasn’t in the cylinder. Good that she suggested to check the cylinder. We would have taken it like it is… still half sleepy as we were. We took 3 working cylinder with us.
But then finally GO…

I just wanted to go as Anton came back with his student and came straight towards me. Checked what we took for equipment. … “No, not this stuff. That is no equipment which we rent out.” … What? We don’t have time! … Seems like he recognized it and said then “Ok, go. But don’t break it and that nobody will drown!” … Yes, thank you, we didn’t had the intention to do so. :)
But now, finally… we started.

the church at the day of the dive

A surprise was waiting for us, when we arrived at the church. The water level raised more during the last days… approx 1,5 meter. But the roof of the church was still sticking out of the water. And it was very crooked. How come? Was it always that crooked? … Don’t know. We couldn’t explain it. But more was the cold wind bothering us. The sun was shining, but the wind was really cold. Even with a sweater was it freezing a bit… and then we shall go in the cold water… and what when we come out again? The water temperature is just 12 degrees.
Questions upon questions. Doubts upon doubts.

Plus the dive shop owner was calling Ira on the way. We took accidentally the wrong regulator, which should go to the service and have no mouthpieces.
And yes, we took this one. :( Great. Becomes better and better.
To only solution … all diver will kill me now … was to exchange one mouth piece from an other regulator. Luckily have all regulators nowadays 2 2. stages and with it 2 mouth pieces per set. Now we had 2 sets with each one mouth piece. But it was not so tragically. Our dive would be max. 5-6 meter deep and one had still an octopus.

So, I smoked one, first of all… and then another one… and then we decided: As we are here already… :)

And so we started to get ready. Getting the dive equipment ready, checking and into the warm dive suit. And of course not to forget the nice fine rib vest, the sweater and thick socks. A good hint which I found in a diving forum. Not that they directly keep warm – we were still in a wet suit – but they block that the water flows through easily. So the warm water (which the body heats up) stays in the wet suit and the cold water from outside doesn’t come in that much.
Between all this preparation we made a picture here and there… and finally we were ready. Except … where are my underwater candles? Where are they? … At home… great :( Forgot them :(

 

Ok, quickly pouring the warm water in the suits… huiii… nice warm :) And then we finally started.

The church was approx 100 meter away. The way there was flooded meadow and path. The visibility at the shore was equal zero. We had to feel the way at the first meter. But it became quickly deeper and we could swim soon. The dam water was filling up slowly the suit and it was…. COLD!!! :)

After 3-4 minutes swimming we reached the church from the side, direct at the entrance door (it have 3). Quick checkup and we went down in the ‘depth’. :)
It was amazing. Absolutely different as in the sea. No cristal clear water / blue water with a visibility of 30-40 meter. Here we were in a green sludge with a visibility of maybe 4-5 meter.

Me in the green sauce

The other both were just black silhouettes within a green sauce. And who thinks now that this is disgusting… don’t know what I mean. :) I loved it. It was something different, something new.

The church was now direct in front of us. Under water… as we. We could start. Also the water in our wet suit became warm now. Just the face had no protection.

We “entered” the church… one by one swam through the door. And as we found out quickly… we had to take care what we do with our fins. A few wrong movements and the visibility become rapidly worse. On the floor and especially on the plants were a lot of suspended particles. One fin flap and they would mess up our visibility.

We swam around inside the church and had a closer look to the remaining of the building. It was just awesome… to dive in a church… but also could have been any other building. Absolutely stunning.

The floating roof

Now we could also see why the roof was still out of the water and why it was so crooked. One side of the roof become loose and was drifting on the surface now (wooden beam construction). On the other side of the roof were still roof tiles, which weighted the construction down and prevented it from completely floating away.
So we had to be careful. Also it seemed like that the roof damaged the walls when it went off. There were not wholes in the walls, which wasn’t there before.

The church itself is empty inside. Nothing is left from it’s earlier interior decoration. A few roof tiles, rubbish and stones were lying on the floor. But nothing else to see.

Tree under water

We exited the church through the back door and swam outside behind the building. Here are 4 big trees, which were as well under water (partly). Also is there a wall around the plot of the church, which run behind the trees.
That was awesome (everything was awesome! :) ) … trees under water. That is so surreal. And exactly that is it what makes it interesting. Just days ago was this whole area absolutely dry. The green meadow, colorful flowers, a church in the landscape… and now we are diving here and everything is under water.

And then… something was moving in the tree… couldn’t be a bird :) No… fishes ‘flying’ now through the branches of the trees. And I am not sure who was more looking stupid… the fish or we. At least they didn’t reacted at all at the beginning and were just looking. We did the same… and then they passed us very relaxed. Absolutely stunning! Fishes swimming through trees. Soo surreal!! :) (You need to see the movie of the dive to know what I mean!)

Break on the wall

We surrounded the church and tried to have a look at any corner. Do not miss anything. :) Unfortunately there was not much to see. We wasn’t going further as the wall. But we found a small toilet house behind the church, in which still the (broken) toilet bowl was.

After the first round we came back to the entrance in front of the church. And we decided that we are not freezing to much yet. So we went for another round around the church.
When we came back the 2. time we were cold now and we decided that it is time to turn around and get out of the water.

That feeling when we came out of the water is just indescribable. Just absolutely awesome! :)
We did it! We went despite the 12 degrees cold water and even went longer then expected. We estimated approx 15 minutes. The plain dive time was 25 minutes. Plus swimming to the church and back. So we were around 30 min in the water.
We have were so brave to dive in fresh water and in poor visibility. And we had a breathtaking dive where probably nobody has been before diving. I call that completely succeeded. We could do such things more often. Let the tourists splash in the sea and we better discover :)

Mulled wine to get warm

We had to be fast now. Getting out of the wet suit and in the warm, dry clothes… plus some hot wine of course. That shouldn’t be missed in this situations. ;) In addition, we needed something to drink on our success. So two times very very useful :)
Then storing the equipment into the car and off we were.

Brought back the stuff to the dive shop and then our ways separated… until the celebration in the pub in the evening :)

Happy St. Partricks Day 2012

Finally, I must emphasize again: Despite all the difficulties and the cold water and weather that was the coolest dive I had, until now. Maybe it will it always be. No idea what’s coming … but that will be hard to beat. The location, the circumstances, the buddies of course :) and the experiences which we gained. Apart from the imperfect things, everything was perfect!

So, the novel is done. :) Following some pictures of the dive. The movie will take a bit longer. We had 2 cameras with us (of course! :) ). I will need some days to cut it. But stay tuned and don’t miss it. A movie says more then 1000 pictures and more as 1000000 words.
Update: Here is the dive movie

Best wishes
Gordon

PS: Pictures are from Ira, Alice and me. Videos from Ira and me.

Did you ever saw a natural torpedo? Have a look at this!

I’ve been in the last day more on octopus “hunt”. After I found out – a few days ago – how to find them and that they are anyway here.

I love these animals. How they look like, how they move and especially if they don’t run away straight away and instead hovering on one place.

The interesting thing on them is that they can move in 2 ways. One way is with the long fin, which goes around their oval body. And then they have a kind of rocket propulsion, for which they use their tentacled.
When they feel save and only use their big fin, then it looks just great. Like star ship Voyager :-) It looks like they hover trough the water and somehow it looks like the fin is glowing… but maybe it is just an optical illusion.

An the one who don’t believe me that with the rocket propulsion shall look have a look in the movie below. I was playing a bit with the movie I could make and reduced the speed down to 10% – so, slow motion. The quality of the cam is not the best, but you can see how quick the small man / woman are.

(PS: As I know now it is not an octopus, it’s a cuttlefish!)