Before I start I want you to have a mind blank. Those of you who have dived previously in the Mediterranean or have been a witness to remarks of those who have, I ask you to just forget for the couple of minutes it takes you to read this.
I’m not implying that what they said is false, far from it. Don’t forget Black Rock started out on another Mediterranean Island many years ago which struggled with the WOW factor of marine life. Then Black Rock moved to Dahab in The Red Sea which is, well need I say more? It’s The Red Sea?!
But when it expanded over to Lesvos and Lemnos in Greece I never in my wildest dreams expected these Aegean Islands to be closer in life to their Red Sea brother than to their long lost ancestor.
The last thing I imagined when introducing myself to my new workplace was what I was greeted with. The handshake with an aquarium, I was inundated with invites from Groupers the size of Georges’ Hog Roast, the technicolour dreamcoat of the rainbow Wrasse, the sweeping whiskers of the goatfish. There’s a Damsel congestion, controlled by Giant Feather Duster Worms that are swaying ever so gently so not to disturb the herd of Nudibranch.
Clouds of Bream, Bass and Sardines so in a rush they fail to notice the Octopus working on a shell renovation nor the Moray weaving through the Seagrass where the Seahorse sleeps. Yes, Seahorses are here! And so are Rays and Scorpionfish and 4 metre Tuna that aid the boat into shore. There have even been sightings of Turtles from local fishermen in Lemnos and rumours of Seals in Lesvos.
How could I have got it so wrong? I feel somewhat ashamed, like I owe them down under an apology. But it’s not just me. Another fellow Dahab frequenter who also took the plunge said ‘This place has the abundance of life we see in The Red Sea but without the range of flashy corals’. So there you have it. The Luigi to the Super Mario, not as well known or decorated but has his own special moves, a super hero in his own right. As we speak we are on the hunt for a rumoured wreck, so Luigi may just get through to the next level.
So if you were one of those people who weren’t going to bother bringing their logbook or prescription mask because we’re in the ‘Mediterranean’ then think again, as you may just miss out on something pretty spectacular.
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Thank you for listening,