Jul 11

Cypriot Scuba Diving, Church Bay | Cyprus

By Graeme Contributor

Graeme is an experienced and well trained diver, with PADI Divemaster and Master Scuba Diver status in addition to CAUS Scientific Diver Lv.2 and being a Canadian standards (CSA Z275.4-02 and CSA Z275.5-05) trained commercial scuba and surface supply diver. Currently employed as a commercial diver in the interior of British Columbia, he is always looking to improve his skills, gain new qualifications, and do as much diving as possible!

Church Bay is an interesting dive site near Paphos (Pafos locally), on the Greek side of the island of Cyprus. As with most dives in the this part of the mediterranean, it's all about the odd rock formations and the potential macro photography. If you're very lucky (we weren't) you might see a Sea Turtle, but it's mostly about swim throughs, stone formations, and macro photography. Keep your eyes open, because Church Bay is a quietly awesome dive!

The dive is an easy one over all. The max depth we hit was 10.6m, but you might be able to sneak an extra metre or so in at high tide. The water is a pleasant 18˚C, and while you could easily do it in a shorty, this is a bad idea. The rocks that make up the entry and exit to this shore dive are as sharp as the ones you can run into underwater, so a 3-5mm full wetsuit is a good idea to avoid abrasions and cuts in the salty, salty mediterranean water. The small bay has a small amount of current, but not enough to cause worry. This dive site is entry/intermediate, owing to the swim throughs. While they are large and easily navigated, good buoyancy is essential to ease the dive. That and there are fireworms in the poseidon grass, and no one needs that part way through a dive!

The life at Church Bay is sparse. You really have to hunt for photo opportunities here. They are around, but they tend to be macro or landscape shots. The main attraction here is the swim throughs, where great stones have fallen against each other and created artificial caves, open at two ends. These are glorious is their spartan beauty as you pass through them, simple, enduring and beautiful. A quick reconnaissance of the entries and exits is needed for safety, so an experienced dive guide or a cautious approach are strongly recommended here.

This dive is definitely not for everyone. The claustrophobic will have problems with all but the biggest swim through, and those looking for marine life will come out disappointed. Those comfortable with closed spaces and looking for a bit of an adventure, will thoroughly enjoy it. Cypriot diving is a bit unusual, but definitely worth it!

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