EDITION: August - October '07




It is summer, Ibiza’s beaches glow with heat and life. People bask in the glistening light, the air vibrates with the beats from the beach bars… but just a few meters away there is a world which is completely calm and cool and blue. It begins where the waves roll onto the sand. A breathing apparatus grants entrance.

Whoever glides into the depths in front of the Salinas beach, floats over wide meadows. The Neptune grass, also called Posidonia, gently sways in the surf. A real underwater garden which accommodates thousands of species: looking closely one can discover colourful slugs, sponges, clams, seahorses, moss animals, sea squirts. Small crabs hide here until dusk, and above the green grasses shiny shoals of fish glisten in the sun’s light shafts. Welcome to Octopussy’s garden.

The rocky coasts of Ibiza, sparse and dry above water, fill up with life in the depths. Whole cliffs are covered with leather sponges, anemone, colourful lichen and alga, creating works of art that change with time. In nooks and crannies live morays, sea eels, groupers and crayfish. The ocean and the rock have created landscapes. You can dive through caves, chimneys, canyons and arches.

For example by Es Vedra, the “magical rock”, which hides its most beautiful treasures under the sea. Large sea fans are attached to the stone and shine bright red in the light of the diving torches. Or on the coast of Formentera, which conceals large apertures under the water level: they lead into caves with golden shining walls, where you can emerge to the surface.

Hardly anything unifies transience and new beginning more than a wreckage: the sunken object becomes a new home for plants and animals of the sea. Usually they are shipwrecks but Ibiza offers divers something special. It lies in the middle of the big blue by the island S’Espardell. No sea signs point to the place, and the surface of the water seldom gives it away.

With calm seas dim structures can be found in the depth; long dark shadows. It is a ridge of the ‘plataforma Mariana’, a disused fish farm, that used to swim on the surface and now rests on the ocean floor. A wreckage of unusual proportions, that creates a bizarre atmosphere. The enormous cement structure rises diagonally from 32 to 12 metres deep, pillars and debris relics protrude into semi-darkness. Below the platform a large shoal of barracuda swim circles and on the construction itself various sea animals have settled. It is a place that enchants time and time again.

Breathing under water
Whoever wants to visit the still, blue world, begins with a test dive. A small introduction and then you can go down with a professional at your side. We take a journey through the clear turquoise, over the luminous seabed to the underwater garden. It lies only a few meters deep. Very close are the beach-goers, the heat and the pulsating beats – but still very far away, as long as we float through the stillness.

The first breaths under water, levitating like an astronaut, you will never forget. Some people take a course, so that they can dive independently – and a bit deeper. It is important to know how to move in this other world. You learn about underwater pressure, about floating, about other forms of life. And what to do if water gets into your mask, when the diving regulator falls out of your mouth, if the oxygen should run out. Once you have trained in shallow water, the real adventure begins: you can go by boat along the cliffs to Es Vedra or across to Formentera. A crowning completion of the course. After that the oceans, lakes and rivers of many countries are open to you. Whoever then sits on their towel and looks out to sea, there where the waves roll onto the sand, might think: the world doesn’t stop here. It goes much, much further.