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July 15, 2008

Diving in the Tyrrhenian Sea

BY: Keith Ellenbogen


©OCEANA/ Keith Ellenbogen


Early this morning, expedition leader Xavier Pastor instructed the dive team — left to right: Gorka Leclercq, Underwater Videographer; Josiean, Dive Master; Alberto Iglesias, Dive Master; Keith Ellenbogen, Underwater Photographer — to prepare for underwater exploration of two small Italian Islands Lipari and Stromboli.

These islands were selected as they offered an opportunity to photograph and videograph marine life living in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The profiles for both dives were similar 65 minutes maximum depth 80ft/25m water temperature 18C/70F with visibility of 80ft/25m.

While underwater, breathing compressed air from our scuba tanks — we observed a number of beautiful living animals such as jellyfish, crabs, vibrant orange polyps, feather dusters, moray eels, octopi, as well as a green spoon worm moving over a bed of algae.

As we surfaced, with the camera still in the housing a lone Gaviota (Sea bird) stood on the rocky shore with his feathers blowing in the wind looking seaward.

In the evening as the sun was setting near Lipari Island it seemed to melt into the horizon blackening this small vertical rock that looked both like a sail or an inverted sharks tooth.

From the ‘observation’ or ‘monkey island’ deck on the Oceana Marviva Med our expedition team took a moment to pause and enjoy this spectacular part of the world — watching the sun slowly descend behind Stromboli, an active volcano, north of Sicily. Like clock work every 15 minutes the volcano had a small eruption releasing a cloud of fumes with the occasional sighting of red flames darting from the mouth of the volcano.

Oceana team left to right: Keith Ellenbogen, Luca, Eduardo De Ana, Patricia Lastra, Maria Jose Cornax, Carlos Perez, Xavier Pastor, Alberto Iglesias, Gorka Leclercq.