The Jewel of the Mediterranean in Palau, Sardinia, Italy by Vinnie Apuzzo
The Med is dead as the old saying goes. But you may be surprised as Sardinia, Italy has some great dive sites. There are many opportunities to take wide and macro shots but I am mostly interested the macro side of it.
The Nautilus Diving Centre I dive from is one of the many BSAC Resort Centres which do not offer BSAC training but welcomes BSAC divers and also recognises their skills and experience, enabling them to dive to their grade.
Sardinia in the Mediterranean is located just below Corsica, which is part of France and a one-hour flight from Rome and less than two hours from London. The diving ok, it's not the tropics so water can range from low season 12/13 degrees to summer months 24/25 degrees. Marine life is good. The visibility can range to a cracking 40 metres with an average of 30 metres. The underwater scenery is very different depending on the area of Sardinia you are visiting. The north eastern part has an underwater environment of granite boulders. Palau is the area that I am interested in, with an array of 40 + dive sites. It lays adjacent to the famous tourist resort of the Costa Smerelda. Maddalena has crystal clear waters and a wind blown granite coastline but also remains a haven for wildlife and sea life. It is a designated National Park, the Parco Nazionale Arcipelago di La Maddalena and was etablished during 1994.
Most of the dives are made on submerged granite boulders that range from 5 - 30 metres. As I love macro the dives are full of subjects Nudibranchs, blennies, pipefish, and seahorses. Some of my photos are included here. Those of you who also like wrecks and big fish will be surprised by the numbers of groupers and barracudas. So there is something for everyone.
During a day’s diving meet is at the jetty at 8 am with departure shortly after. All your gear is prepared for you. Once at the dive site briefings are made and dive groups allocated (if required). After the first dive there is move to a second dive site. The dive team change all your gear for you, so you don't have to do anything. At the end of the dive session the dive team will also dismantle, pack up you gear and wash it for you, ready for use the next day.
Back at the jetty at around 1pm there is time to relax before meeting again at the jetty at 2.30pm for your third dive – should you wish it.
Sardinia can be a windy island so an early 8am start is always advisable. As stated previously meet for the third dive is at 2.30pm.