The Med is dead! Good viz, but no life, is the all-too-often repeated view of many divers. Underwater photographer Kevin Cullimore, who took the striking images shown here, disagrees.
You can't dismiss a vast sea in one sentence; and from the diving I've experienced in the Med, I know it's not true.Kevin Cullimore offers the Medas Islands, close to Estartit, on the Spanish Costa Brava, as a case in point. This area, he says, is a paradise for underwater photographers.
The islands are riddled with caves, both small and large. Many of the larger ones are home to a variety of marine life - especially congers. Groupers are common on almost every dive and are found in large numbers at all depths around the islands.
In addition to groupers, plenty of sardines, jackfish, bass and barracuda (unusual in the Med) can also be found.
Kevin says that most dives take place between 10m and 20m. At greater depths, below 30m, large sea fans decorate the walls and sea floor, and crayfish scuttle among the tentacles of large tube worms. The islands abundant life is owed to a marine reserve, set up in the early 1980s. Fishing is forbidden within a one-mile radius of the islands, with strict penalties for infringement.
The large shoals of fish in turn attract bigger species. There are occasional reports of sharks; dolphins can often be spotted from the dive boat; and on some journeys you might even get the privilege of spying a whale. The Med is dead; long live the Med!
- Kevin Cullimore dived the Medas Islands with Tony Murrays Unisub International, Crta Torreolla de Monteri 15, Estartit, Spain (tel. (00 34) 72 758768; fax (00 34) 72 760539).