Five Putney BSAC divers ventured to the “White Island” of Ibiza in May, known for hippy culture in the 60s and raves in the 90s and beyond. Despite some jocular comments at the HYC that “larging it at Pasha” can not be logged as a dive, there is also some excellent underwater activity to be had in the marine reserves and wrecks, including the extremely impressive Don Pedro, a 160m container ship wrecked in 2007.
We dived with Scuba Ibiza, a dive operator in the Marina Botifac. Paulo and the team operate a large commercial RHIB with the berth by the dive shop. The cost of the diving for the three days was €209 (plus €10 fuel surcharge) .
With sea temperatures around the 17-18 degree area, there was some debate as to what to wear, with the party splitting between wet and dry suits. Both parties seemed to be perfectly comfortable with the usual advantages and disadvantages of both types of protection. Should we return later in the year (and we might!), it will be very much a wet suit environment.
The first day’s diving was requested to be relatively easy and a “shake-down” before the deeper adventures on day two and three. It proved a little more challenging than we would have liked with a circumnavigation of the small island of Malvi Gross, just off shore from Platja de’Bossa. Wind and moderate-to-rough sea conditions also caused some additional challenges. Helen had some problems with her BCD inflator and abandoned the dive early, ably assisted by her buddy Paul. The rest of us pushed on round but ended the dive on low gas after a long swim (by UK standards). The second day’s dive, on a shallower profile and smaller island proved easy going.
Day two saw the weather ease and the team head over towards Espardell , near Formentera to dive La Patforma, a huge sunken concrete structure, originally used as a fish farm before sinking in the mid-nineties. The structure lies between 12 and 32 meters, and is teeming with wildlife; eel, lobster (I think slipper lobster) , scorpion fish and a huge shoal of barracuda. The structure is very photogenic and the dive was enjoyed by all.
The third day’s diving was the big wreck dive; the Don Pedro, which sank quite recently, in 2007. Some salvage has been performed but the wreck lies intact propellers and many features visible. The holds can be penetrated and there are swim-throughs of various lengths. We dived on Nitrox 29, using 15l cylinders. The first dive took us down to the upper deck, and then to the propellers at around 35m. We did not have much time to spare (it was a no-deco dive) so a quick trip round the stern and up to a shallow profile on the upper rail before ascending. The second dive saw us penetrate the forward hold via a hatch, exiting at the bow ramp and then swimming back to the shotline at roughly midship.
That brings me to the end of the diving, but several members of the party added on extra days to enjoy the islands, with Byron and myself visiting Formentera.
In summary, great diving, comfortable accommodation with a rooftop bar, a party vibe and fun to be had exploring the beaches and town. Ibiza is very accessible flight-wise and in the off-season, reasonably priced. I would also note that the Don Pedro is of similar size and depth profile to many of the Scapa wrecks, and can be used as useful familiarisation for those dives, but in a warmer and high-visibility environment. We hope to come again.
Credit – Mark (Trip Organiser)