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

Roadtrip in Cyprus – Follow the sun

Hello,

it passed already another great weekend. :) (PS: Ok, it’s already 2 weeks ago now)
I guess I will write a novel again, so organize a coffee and some cookies already. ;)

We (Alive and me) had the spontaneous idea a few weeks ago to make a road trip. The point was to see the sunrise in Karpaz (east end of Cyprus) and then driving all the way to Akamas to the west end to see the sunset… in the same day.

And last weekend it happend. In preparing we was posting the event also in Facebook on the Couchsurfing Cyprus page. Just in case some people would like to join us.

Who doesn’t know Couchsurfing… It’s a webpage with an interesting idea. People who like to travel offer their couch (or whatever) for other Couchsurfer to sleep on. It means someone could ask if he/she can sleep a few days on your couch. On the other hand you can also use other peoples couch. So if I would travel, for example, for a few days to Paris, then I have a look who is registered from Paris and offers his couch. Then I contact this people and if I am lucky then I have a free accommodation option for a few days and also get contact to local people. And on top I’ll get some insider information and maybe this one is also free to show me his/her city. So, it’s a great thing.

Of couse I don’t have a couch in my small studio. But some people of this community meet from time to time for a beer or to do something. Couchsurfer are in general very open people… else they wouldn’t do it. ;)

There was some people interested in our trip and 4-5 confirmed that they will join. Angelina, a – at the moment – long term traveler, was even already in the area.

Gopro FensterhalterungWe started on Friday evening.Of course absolutely to late. I forgot to pick up the GoPro car mount from Chester. So we had to pass by. I think around 7pm we left finally Limassol.
Till Karpaz is it good 250km. First to Nikosia, then crossing the border and then the whole way down to Karpaz, through all the small villages. I didn’t expected to arrive before 12. But we was surprisingly quick and arrived around half past 11 at Burhan. Burhan is renting bungalows at Karpaz.
Who is reading my blog regularly know from my “I AM” article what Karpaz is and what is going on there ;)

For all who don’t read my blog so often… a short version :) Karpaz is a nature reserve area without any houses, hotels, etc. Just a few bungalow rentals have the permission to build their bungalows there. Electricity they get only from generators.

When we arrived was Burhan (the owner) luckily still awake. So he could show us a place where we could put our tent. Which we did quick and after a beer on the beach we went to sleep in it. I forgot my inflatable bed and had a very uncomfortable night. :( Additionally we had 2 “older” English ladies next to us which was talking till late night. And in a tent you hear everything. I heard everything of their life- and love stories… which was even somehow sweet. From some stories you could made a movie. And one of them had really a good voice to tell stories… Anyway. I couldn’t sleep.

Burhans im KarpazWe was the first people which was awake next morning. Straight in the dining room for a coffee and a cigarette!!! :) And then planing our Saturday. The road trip shall happen on the Sunday.
Angelina wasn’t showing up.
So we decided to have a look to Agios Philon. It was an ancient city… hundreds of years ago. A bit of it is left. Including the old church. In front is a bay in which shall be still the remaining of the old harbor… that was our target. :) And around noon back and in the afternoon to the peninsula… which makes me crazy. Also here I want to go snorkeling. In the evening then drinking a beer with the others and then driving already to the end of the island (Sunday 5:30am sunrise… I don’t think anybody would be in mood to get up at 5 and then driving the rest to the end in the morning… then better sleeping straight there).

Angelina got up around 9 yet again. So we was chatting a bit and informed her about our plan. She didn’t wanted to come with us. She wanted to wait for the others, which wanted to come as well.
So we went alone to Agios Philon.

Agios Philon is direct above Dipkarpaz, the last village at the end. After we looked around a bit we decided to enter the water direct on the beach and see what we can discover.

Gordon beim SchnorchelnThe water in the whole bay is not very deep. Approximately 1-2 meter. Mostly we could stay. And no sign of the old harbor. :(
When we went out of the bay, then it became quick deeper. Around 3-5 meter. But still not sign of any remaining of a harbor. Therefore we found a lobster. Alice wanted to take and cook him :( Luckily she didn’t :)

After we checked the whole area again we went back to the beach. Without any success :(
And then back to Burhan.

It was already noon and the others still didn’t arrived. So we sat down with Angelina and talked a bit. Around 1 we decided the start to the peninsula. The others will find it by them self and Burhan know where we would be.

So we started to walk this around 1km, armed with snorkel and fins again :) This time as well with an umbrella… the sun was really strong. Especially in the noon time is it deadly to go without.
After half an hour we arrived. Quick dropping the stuff, arranging the umbrella and straight in the water. But without Angelina, she was more for sunbathing :) We wanted to snorkel.
So we went around the whole peninsula. It was again disappointing for me. Not much to see and I couldn’t find any hint which would solve the secret of this peninsula. :(

Secret of the peninsula? Confused? :) Well, this peninsula makes me crazy. Have a look on it on the pictures. Everywhere around is nice sand beach. And exactly here the peninsula starts are just rocks around. And very strange (hard to explain). Additionally is it not possible to enter the hill on the peninsula. This peninsula has something mysterious… and that makes me crazy :) Maybe a pirate hiding place, a volcano,… who knows :)

Ok. When we was back to our towels was Angelina gone. Maybe it was to long for her. Who knows.
We packed slowly as well and went back. On the way we saw her, with the others – which arrived in the meantime – on the beach.

GruppenfotoAfter a bit relaxation on the beach we went back to the dunes at the peninsula. A bit fun on the dunes and finally back to Burhan for a cold beer. :)
The day was going to end and the moon was shining bright already in the night. We decided to leave Burhans place around 10pm and to go to the end of the island.

The last kilometers of the way you can’t call the street really ‘street’. It is a imposition. Especially with our 2 small cars. But we did it and reached the last dip of Cyprus. A really strange feeling to be there at the end of the island in the middle of the night. Far away from every civilization. Additionally the metal sound of the metal ropes of the flagstaff in the wind (at the end are 2 huge flagstaffs with the 2 Turkish flags) and a high-current transformer was somehow broken and had flash-overs all the time… like a Tesla with this typical sound. It was really a bit scary :)

We decided to sleep in the car. The other 3 really decided to put a tent :o And they did it. The wind was blowing strong there and the wild donkeys wasn’t far, we could hear them. But they wanted it… ok.. :)
They placed the tent between to bigger bushes, so it was at least protected from the wind.

So everybody grabbed a beer and we came all together with 6 people in the small 3-person tent. Alex had a guitar and played some songs (he can really play). Was really nice. Ok, mostly I couldn’t follow the conversations, because all the others spoke Russian and went back often in this language. Also Russian and Moldavian songs we got to hear. We was 3 Moldavian, one Russian, one half Russian half Greek and me as German.
Around 12 we decided that it is time to go to sleep, cause we have to get up at 5 and the both driver had to drive the whole day.

But then we discovered a not so nice story. When we arrived at the end and standing around, a park ranger passed by. We thought already that we are in trouble now. But he just asked if everything is ok, we said “yes” and he carried on to his guardhouse, which was around 100 meter further.
When we was going to sleep, Alex just wanted to put the guitar in the car. Then he closed the door. The trouble just was that the key was still in the car. But the doors was locked already (however that could happen). So… car locked and key inside. The typical situation… which just shouldn’t happen at the end of Karpaz. Where the next civilization is around 30-40 km away.
We tried to open the car somehow for half an hour. Unsuccessful. Then we called the guard… now is not everything ok anymore! :(
He came, but also couldn’t do more then we did. But he was very friendly and helpful. Maybe he was happy to have a bit variation on his boring position there.
We couldn’t open the car anymore and around half past 1 we went to sleep for now.

5 o’clock in the morning starts the first alarm clock. And surprisingly we woke up very quick. After 3 1/2 hours of sleep in the night before and the night before this wasn’t even better.
First of all out of the car and open an instant coffee and lighting a fag :)

Sonnenaufgang in KarpazIt was already very bright and I got afraid that the sunrise will be already before 5:30. So I just grabbed the cameras and went up to the viewpoint on the hill… just in case. The girls woke up the others in the meantime and was following.

The view was amazingly beautiful. Indescribable beautiful. The view point is a small hill, on which are also the flags. From up there you look straight on the sea. On the left side is sea, on the right side is sea and straight is also sea.
I was preparing quickly the cameras. We wanted to record the whole day. Therefore we had more technique with us then anything else :)

After the technique was ready I sat down and relaxed. Nice sating on a stone and drinking coffee while enjoying the moment. And this was a perfect moment to enjoy. You can see it well on the pictures and the movie.
You sit there. The temperature is just right. The sea from 3 sides. The sky is bright already and the horizon is orange/red… is announcing that the sunrise will be soon. The fisher men going out with their boats. And then the sun starts rising slowly. It’s just dreamlike.

We stayed there till 6. Then we went back to the cars. The one was still locked and with the key inside. So there was no other way as to break a small back window to get in the car again. :(
Then quick packed everything together and we started our road trip. We had good 14 hours time to get to the other end of the island. The sounds much for 400km, but it isn’t. Only the last 50km is highway. The rest is country road… through 2 mountain ranges and with stops. A long way.

The first stage was to go back thought the Karpaz till the first village Dipkarpaz. Here we had the first petrol stop. On the kiosk quick bought some cigarettes and can coffee and straight back on the road.
After Yesilköy we turned to the north to Balalan and then on the coast road in the north in direction to Girne. Somewhere on the way we made a second stop for a fresh coffee, to get also the second eye open ;)

A proper breakfast we got around 9:30am in Girne. Nice Turkish breakfast … ok, well, wasn’t that tasty. But what to do. We was hungry.
After our strengthening we drove further to Nikosia, to the border crossing Metehan. After the border another quick stop to get rid of the long clothes and wearing something more soft. It was noon in the meanwhile and the sun was warming a lot.

And back on the road. We left Nikosia in direction to Troodos. Already on the short, new A9. The road was going a while above the Troodos mountains till it went south direct in it. Till the highest point, the Mount Olympus with 1970 meter. And here was an insect plague waiting for us. I never saw so many bugs. This was animating to leave the scene quick again :)

We left the mountains then (obviously) on the other side and finally got to the highway. Now we get faster ahead.
Cause we was good in time we decided to make another stop at the Aphrodite rocks/birthplace. Going swimming a bit… pardon… snorkeling. :) And I found a silver chain and a golden armlet :) The ladies was happy about it :)

Sonnenuntergang in AkamasAnd finally the last departure at 8pm.The last kilometers to Akamas. Though Paphos and passing by Coral Bay… till the other end of Cyprus. We arrived the west coast around 7pm. A bit early even. So we had time so search a nice restaurant on the coast with a good view on the sunset… and a cold beer :)
So, we really managed it.

To see the sunrise at the east end of the island and on the same day sunset on the west end.
That was a really great trip. Hopefully soon more :)

So, I wrote enough now :) Below some pictures and a video. The official video will follow. I still work on it.

See you next time.

Warm regards
Gordon

Here the route. There is a mistake at Balalan. Google don’t have the first part of the coast street yet.

View Larger Map

And already a small video with the out takes.

The pictures of the road trip:

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

Happy Birthday

Hello together,

I thought I’ll make a small surprise, because tomorrow have 2 more family member birthday and also a lot of other people celebrate their birthday at the moment.

But before a word of warning: Don’t hear it to loud. It is still very… cat-like… but it’s the thought that counts. ;-)

Have fun and all birthday child’s: Happy Birthday!

My first 3 songs on the violin

Hi together.

Today I don’t want to do good to you :-)

I was writing a while ago that I started  to play violin. I don’t want to become a new  David Garret (much less Vanessa May :) )… but it is a good hobby for the winter time (when it is to cold for diving).

I had now the first lessons and was also training at home a bit – I know, I should say “I learned hard at home”. :) But slowly the weather becomes better again and I don’t have much time to play at home so much.

However. I can play the first 3 songs on my violin. And I can even realize which ones they are… or is it because I know which songs I play? :)

The next step is that I have to work on the tact. Then on the string changes and a nice tone. The way is still long, but the basis is made. :) And maybe I can play at Christmas already 1-2 Christmas songs with a nice sound :-D

But judge by yourself.

A word of warning… don’t make it tooo loud. It could cause ear- and head pain. :)) I am not reliable for that! :)

Do you recognized the songs? Then leave me a comment please :)

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.

What happen when Gordon gets bored during a 3 hours power cut?

What can happen when Gordon gets bored during a 3 hours power cut and he have just a bit creative mood? You don’t know? Me too… until I found it out today :-) The result you can see below :-)

Ahh… no Photoshop… all real and just with camera and a torch ;)

The new look of my blog

Hi together,

who knows my blog was wondering today maybe that it looks different here. Yes, I took the time to redesign and renewing my webpage a bit.

It wasn’t effecting much. There is a new header with old known and new pictures, which passing through a slideshow. I was playing a bit with the main page. Here will be shown now the 10 most recent articles with images.
It makes more work for me, because I need to create for each article an extra image… but it looks much better… hopefully :)

Also everything is a bit bigger now, that the visitor can see better where he is and where he can go and the text is better readable. It is modern… or something like that :-)

Actually that’s it already. The rest is more or less the same and at it’s place.

Tomorrow I’ll publish again a longer article, because I have something to tell about. But not yet. Now I need to go to bed…

CU
Gordon

I was shooting…

Soo… today I can finally write some news :) I was shooting today, for the first time in my life with a real shotgun. :-)

My both Ukrainians always do something on the weekends. Last week they where riding Quad-bikes in Akamas. There I couldn’t join unfortunately, because of lack of money. This weekend they decided to go shooting. So I grabbed some Euro and went with them. Always wanted to do it and who knows for what is it good. :)

So we checked the possibilities to go shooting here. And there is an International shooting club not far from here. They have all we need. Guns, ammunition and targets (clay pigeons). The prices are also ok. Can’t remember the exact prices. But at the end we payed 160 Euro all together. For one shotgun, 300 bullets and a lot of clay pigeons.

But first of all we had to go there. The guys had no plan … and I was weak-kneed. First of all I had now idea how strong the recoil would be and how it would feel like… and on the other side to shoot someone by accident. Friendly fire quasi.

But we had a Aussie with us, who said that he was hunting already several times and have his own shotgun at home. He provided us with the first information and handy tips. Never point the weapon on people, loaded or not (good tip). Load the weapon just before you shoot. If the weapon is not in use, then keep it open. Point a loaded weapon always on the target or on the floor. Finger only on the trigger when you point on your target. If someone is approaching you, don’t turn around. Open the gun immediately after she shoot and keep it open.

That helped already a bit to calm down. But then he explained what damage such shotgun can create… foot gone, whole in the leg, etc. There it was again… the tension… :-o

As we arrived at the shooting range we got what we needed. One shotgun, 100 bullets (25 each) and credits for the clay pigeons. And then we started. We got area no. 4 … where is that? A guy explained us and we were walking in the told direction. Once around the range… no 4. Back again… asking again… new try and after half an hour walking (the ammunition can become very heavy) we found finally area no. 4… the last area on the place… behind the hill. I guess they were afraid that we hit more then just the clay pigeons. :)

And then we started. Sascha, the Australian guy, was shooting first. Looked easy. Then Chester. Sascha explained him how to stay … and then *peng*. Looked also easy. Couldn’t see any recoil. Ok, easy.
Then Ira, the little graceful lady in our group. If there is any recoil, then it should be visible when she is shooting. But Ira had a different problem. The Shotgun was much to large for her. She had to reach out the left arm totally to hold the weapon… and then… *peng*. She had recoil… but was still ok.

And then I took the gun and did it :-) It wasn’t that bad at all, as in my imagination. Ok, you can feel it for sure. But not that hard that it knocks you down. But the clay pigeons was a bit to hard for us beginner. We were searching for cans and bottles instead. That was better already :-) Not moving targets… and we had the first hits.

And after the first 100 bullets we realized that they gave us the light ammunition.
We were so excited about it that we went back and took straight 200 more bullets… with more vigor. :-) And also another shooting range.

The new ammunition had more power. Which doesn’t mean that we hat more hits. :-) But our kangaroo hunter even lost. With the new ammunition we were only shooting on clay pigeons and was counting them. Inclusive all chance hits Chester had 15 hits (in the last round he shot straight 4), I had 13 and the Sascha 8 :-) From 200 bullets. Each 60, because Ira couldn’t continue anymore. The position in which she had to shoot was to bad and her shoulder was hurting soon.It was an interesting experience. Now I know how it feels to shoot with a shotgun.

And because there were straight critique… here again… I am not planing to shoot on living objects. Either humans nor cats or kangaroos or anything else. Except I am starving and need food… but not for fun.

It is good to know how it feels like and that I can hit something… who knows for what it good is.