Not the most popular of destinations among divers, but it’s surprising the number shining opportunities for getting a look at the deep blue sea. The actress Silvia Espigado (who’s played Clara in the series “Cuentame cómo pasó”) travels to Ibiza to discover the best kept secrets of its murkey depts.
If you’ve only known Silvia as her character Clara in the series “Cuentame cómo pasó”, it’s hard to imagine her as an avid diver and lover of new and exciting adventures. Her fictional has quite little to do with the persona she’s portrayed for the last 15 years. Daring, enthusiastic and always moving… Silvia took the Scuba Ibiza team by surprise with her infectious energy. It’s been almost 7 months since her last dive, and despite having already gained the title of advance diver, she only took up diving a year ago. The adrenaline is coursing through her veins.
In a special interview with AyudainIbiza, the actress describes her experiences in the in the deepest “pitiusas”. She’s come to the island attracted by the fantastic visibility provided made possible by the “poseidonia” and the rich sea life of the Mediterranean. Keep reading to learn more about her experience with diving Ibiza.
1 EL DADO – ESPONJA ISLAND
It’s 8 in the morning: the day begins accompanied an intense spring-time shower, but Silvia’s positive attitude remains unmoved. By 9 the rain has dissipated and Silvia’s the first to arrive at the diving school. She’s dying to try out her new light-weight gear. After analysing the weather conditions, Nuria, Paulo, and Vidal (Scuba Ibiza instructors) suggest we head out to Esponja Island and El Dado Pequeño, as a warm up to the days ahead.
El Dado Pequeño is the first dive on our day’s schedule. It’s one of the easiest dives, and only requires a beginner’s level, but offers an impressive richness of sub aquatic life. Within its walls and rocks you can find sea bass, bream, eels, scorpion fish, barracuda , locusts, brittle stars and nacre… among many other species.
Having completed the dive, the group returns to the slip, Queen is blared out the speakers and Silvia dances to keep herself warm. Paulo chances his arm as DJ, pickling a select choice of hits to keep us all up beat. The unmistakable melody of the “El Círculo de Willis”, Vidal’s instrumental music group, accompanies the group as they’re handed out some sweet treats in a bid to get energy levels up. They all share a picnic and talk about the experience.
Once our break was over, the diving party begins to plan its second immersion, the Esponja Island. It’s a small islet situated 10 minutes from Scuba Ibiza. The dive begins on the south part of the island. Along the isnads coast we see cabroches, anemones and sponges. Paulo points to a school of tiny fish, but Silvia admits that it’s still quite difficult to make out many of the species she sees.
In the north of the island there’s a 15 meter long rock platform, where the divers cross paths with octopus and shoals of barracudas. The time under the water runs short quickly and it’s time to head back to the surface. It’s not a hot day and the team greet us with huge warm jackets. It’s time to eat and get our energy levels back up.
The second day starts off quite windy. The instructors decide to abandon the plan of setting off from the south of the Island for safety reasons. They recommend we head off in the direction of Malvin. “One thing I’v eparticularly liked about Scuba Ibiza is the professionalism and the confidence and sense of safety they exude from the very beginning. If they recognise that the site isn’t safe they’ll always suggest an alternative, says Silvia.
The islet of Malvin is protected from the wind, making it an ideal location for days like to today. The dive proves surprising, with the impressive seagrass meadow found to its north, where you can easily come across schools of Salps , amberjack and Sargos. To the south of the island, the rock platform descends to 32 meters deep, where between stones and within caves you find false Haddock , moray eels, octopuses and cabrochos seeking refuge.
Back on the boat the weather conditions are getting worse. The wind and the strong swells won’t stop, and the current shifts on the surface. The instructors suggest we go back to one of the spots from the day before just to be safe, before deciding to head back altogether.
3 THE DON PEDRO (FORE AND AFT)
It’s the last day of diving in Ibiza for Silvia and also the most eagerly anticipated. The double dip today is cherished among the more advanced divers. The Don Pedro is one of the best shipwrecks to explore in the whole of Europe. Sunk in 2007, the ship was damaged when it ran ashore on the islet of the Dado Pequeno.
Today the weather conditions are optimal for diving in Ibiza. In the pre-dive briefing, the three instructors explained the main points to remember when diving sown to aft of the ship (34 meters deep)
The group follow the anchor on their descent down the aft of the ship. The first thing you notice is the massive ship propeller, covered over by a dense forest of seaweed. The buzz overpowers any other feeling you may have, and you soon get over the temperature of the water. Silvia doesn’t leave Vidal’s side. She’s beginning to understand what the computer is indicating and Vidal is helping her to interpret the meanings.
The time flies by and it’s soon time to begin the ascent. The team stop some distance away, just to appreciate the enormity of the boat they’ve just explored together. It’s an impressive view and the imagination goes into overdrive as you try and make sense of the ship’s story. A truly awe inspiring site. Back on the slip, everyone is talking about their newest experience. Each diver wants to go back in, but they take this opportunity to rest, eat, dance and laugh with each other.
The descent down the front part of el Don Pedro is a shorter affair. As we dive down to the 26 meters depth, we are afforded a magnificent view of the structure. We come across he fore anchor and much like the rest of the ship, there is an impressive seaweed colony covering it completely.
We keep going down, catching a glimpse of the bow thruster. The divers come back from the ship to get a better perspective. The size of rotor is impressive. Right next to the vehicle ramp we see more cabrachos, moray eels and other marine life camped out in its crevices. As we finally begin our ascent the instructors point out the sealed ship windows, from which we get to see the Lorries and vans that were the ship’s cargo.
Throughout the last jaunt home Silvia emphasises just how comfortable and spoilt she felt throughout her experience with scuba Ibiza. “They wouldn’t even let me fill my oxygen for myself”, she tells us with a massive smile. Silvia leaves with the reassurance that she’s made some good friendships during her time here, and a promise that she’ll be back for another dive in Ibiza. Her next challenge will be to do a deep diving course!
Silvia Espigado: for sharing her experience (and providing us with a wealth of detail)
Scuba Ibiza: for the photos from under the sea, and of course for your professionalism
Jaime García: for the photos above water.
Translated by: Èamon Heavey