Diving the Zenobia

This weekend I went back to the Zenobia to do four more dives, and this time I finally had the dive case for my Garmin Virb, so I was able to capture some video footage. The dives were part of my deep dive qualification, so all of them went to at least 30 metres, and on one we went down to 40 metres, which is more or less the bottom.

The MS Zenobia is a 178 metre long ferry sunk, entirely intact, in relatively shallow (42 metres to the bottom, but most of the wreck is accessible without going below 30 metres)  and incredibly clear water a short distance off Larnaca. That description will give you a pretty good idea of why it is considered one of the best wreck dives in the world, especially when you factor in that it is well-populated with interesting sea-life and has lots to see including the bridge and the cargo of tractor-trailers whose slide to one side partly contributed to the ships eventual sinking.

The wreck is also fairly easy to penetrate in several places, and a lot of the divers do swim through it. A couple of the routes are well-established and well-known to local guides, which makes swimming through them as we did relatively safe. Of course, no wreck penetration is without danger and indeed several divers have died on the Zenobia in recent years. There’s certainly a risk that because of the relatively easy diving conditions, the popularity, and the seeming ease of just popping inside the wreck, people could be tempted to explore far beyond what their experience or equipment really suggests is safe.

I’ll be returning to the wreck a couple of times in coming weeks, firstly to do my Nitrox qualification, and subsequently to do a formal wreck dive certification.

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