Southern Europe

Malta's Deep-Water Wrecks

Diver on wreck of the Polynesian, Malta (45-65m)

Ranging from calm shore dives for beginner divers to technical diving on elusive, unmarked wreck sites, which can only be found via depth sounder—diving in Malta has it all. Just beyond Malta’s dramatic underwater landscapes of strange rock formations, chimneys and caves, visitors can discover Malta’s intriguing and piquant past.

River Treasures: Freshwater Biodiversity in Italy

The trench live in freshwater lakes and streams. Photo by Marco Colombo.

When considering underwater photography, we usually think about images of wonderful coral reefs, colourful fish, clear waters and undersea landscapes. In fact, 70 percent of our planet is covered by water on its surface, and, even though 97 percent of this is saltwater, the remaining three percent is freshwater in rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes and groundwater.

Aircraft Wrecks of Gran Canaria

Divers on wreck of the Douglas C-47. Photo by Sabine Kerkau.

For over a year, I had been looking forward to a very special expedition that was planned for May 2014. But as you know, life does not always go the way you plan. The expedition was postponed, and once again, I had to find an alternative, at relatively short notice.

WWII Wreck of USS LST 349 at Ponza, Italy

The LST (also known as “landing ship, tank” or “tank landing ship”) was integral to the fighting forces during World War II, transporting tanks, cargo and troops directly to the battlefield. They were unique in that their flat keels allowed the ships to remain upright after beaching, without the need for docks or piers. Their twin propellers and rudders were specially protected from grounding.

The sinking of USS LST 349, which was heading to Naples from Anzio, Italy, occurred in February 1944. It happened during a severe storm, in which turbulent seas pushed the ship against the cliffs at Punta Papa on Ponza Island. Even though the people of Ponza made a great effort in the rescue operations, the death toll was heavy.

Forgotten Wrecks of Laredo

Diver on wreck of the España, Laredo, Spain. Photo by Sabine Kerkau.

Croatia, Italy, France—these European destinations have long been coveted insider knowledge for technical and wreck divers. But what about Spain? Technical diving is still in its infancy in Spain. Nevertheless, there are some dive centers in the Mediterranean, as well as on the Atlantic coast of Europe, which offer trimix. There are countless worthwhile destinations in Spain.

My Two Big Fat Greek Diving Days

Ancient amphoras lay on the sea bed outside Rafti Bay, Greece. Photo by Peter Symes.

As my plane touched down in Athens on a warm and sunny October afternoon, it did not seem that long ago since the country experienced deep economic woes, during which a prolonged spat between the Greek Prime Minister Tsipras and then Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the EU bailout dominated the news for weeks on end, painting at times a bleak picture of a nation on the very brink of collapse and si