Diving the Zenobia, Cyprus, 1 – 5 June 2012

On Friday of the Queen’s Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, 8 CSAC divers and 4 non divers met at Heathrow Terminal 1 to check in for a Cyprus Air flight to Larnaca.

After a good flight and a short night’s sleep (Cyprus is 2 hours ahead), we assembled at Dive In Cyprus at 8am on bright and sunny Saturday morning.  Kit was quickly sorted out and we were off in the rib for the 10 mins. ride to the dive site: The Zenobia.  This is the wreck of a roll on roll off ferry which sank about 30 years ago during its maiden voyage (with no loss of life) due to a technical problem with its ballast system.

Rolling off the rib into crystal clear water at about 18 degrees with 20m vis and a panoramic view of the wreck was amazing.

Lying on its port side, the wreck starts at the starboard rail at about 18m; the seabed is at about 42m.  The first couple of dives were orientation dives along the outside and easily accessible structures, such as the bridge.  There’s masses to see from the outside: loading crane, communications masts, superstructure, accommodation/bridge space, davits, a broken lifeboat, a huge starboard propeller and some of the trucks that were on the ferry when it sank.

The next four dives formed an internal tour of various parts of the wreck: upper car deck, laundry, lift shafts, middle car deck – forward and aft and the starboard engine room accessible via a hatch at about 40m.

For many, the middle car deck was a highlight: accessible by a sideways shuffle through the pilot’s door and the explored in crystal clear, dark water.  There were literally piles of trucks and their cargos, one truck still hanging from its securing chain, various flotsam trapped in the roof, the captains car wedged between two trailers and lots besides.

The starboard engine room was great too: a more challenging and exciting dive. Once inside the room, there were seven engines immediately visible, pipe work, gantry walkways, pressure joints and more.

With a newly qualified ocean diver, there was plenty of diving for him too and Dive In were very accommodating with the diving arrangements for the different skill and experience levels in our group.

The Dive In team were very professional and friendly. We were also fortunate to visit during a holiday festival which meant that the town centre was packed with stalls, full of people and very busy at night.

After a non diving day on Tuesday, we returned on an early evening flight having had a great time and eager to return, with masses more to see on the Zenobia.

CSAC divers were Geoff, Gary, Naomi, Mark, Chris R and Chris M, David and Will.  Thanks to Geoff for organising a great expedition.

Looking forward to going back again soon!


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