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Dive Review of Issa Diving Centre in
Other Locations/Vis, Croatia

April, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Stephen Elves, Stockport, GB (2 reports)
Report Number 5862
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
England, Wales, Scotland, Malta
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
16   to 16    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 20    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Cert. Level, guides all tech. qualified  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
2 stars   
4 stars    
When we set off on our little roadtrip to Croatia via a friend in Munich
the plan was to go to Croatia Divers as recommended on here to finish of my
buddies OW as it was a PADI centre (then maybe head to Vis if time
allowed). Unfortunately despite advertising on their website that they were
open from Easter when I phoned them from Slovenia to find out which is
the best ferry to take to get to them it turned out they would only be open
the day before we were due back in the UK(29/4)! They suggested we try one
of the mainland centres in the north as they maybe open, they had not heard
of Issa but thought as Vis was so small it was unlikely to be open. I had
the number for Issa anyway so I gave them a call, luckily they were open
(they had been open since the middle of March, it seems because they mainly
catered for the techy crowd) so off we set.
The Centre


Being a tech diving centre they are fully setup for Nitrox, Trimx and O2
clean fills, they don't have any twinsets (although they said they may be
able to make up one for hire), but they had single steel 15's and 18's with
modular valves so all you Hog Loopers out there can use 2 x 1st Stages,
they also have 5/6 Ali stages (with O2 clean regs) and said they would be
getting more.
Their compressor can't do 300 bar, and so you usually only get 200bar,
210bar if you are lucky, even with cold tops.
They charge 5 euro extra for Nitrox and whilst they ask what sort of fill
you want I never got better than 33% despite gas blending using pure O2
rather than a membrane system, techy divers wanting deco gases etc. should
have more luck.
With some warning they should be able to get some Lime for RB's but I got
the impression that because of the difficulties inherent in mixing OC and
CCR divers they would prefer if RB came as a group (although I'm sure they
wouldn't turn anyone away), they obviously have He and O2 if need be, plus
can lend stages for BO.

They have 2x Hard Boats although the will only usually use them with groups
larger than 4 divers, no lift's.
They also have 2 RIB's one small one large, I think they probably only use
the larger RIB as even with just me and a dive guide diving we used the
large one.
For all the boats the procedure is to swim out to them from the (pebbly and
quite hard to walk up/down in full kit) beach before passing up your rig
and climbing up the ladder or if you are man/women enough, (I wasn't, well
I did it once but life is too short), climb the ladder in full kit. And the
same in reverse at the other end. After trying 2 approaches of carry rig in
arms up the beach and walk up wearing it I can say it's a lot easier to do
it wearing it but still take care,.
Instructors/DM's/Dive Guides

The owner doesn't speak much English, I never dived with him and he only
came out on the boat nce or twice, me and my buddies check dive was carried
out by the 2nd in command Ivan Urosevic an SDI/TDI instructor who is a good
guy very understanding of new divers (I was only on my 28th and my buddy
was on his 3rd OW dive), help full and laid back. After that we were mostly
diving with Packy, a ex-commie, SDI/TDI instructor, who seems to have
somewhat forgotten what new divers are like getting quite annoyed at me and
my buddies poor rate of air consumption at times, I'm sure he is a great
tech instructor but I wouldn't want him for my OW one (unfortunately as
implied above my buddy was just finishing off his OW in Croatia, having
found February UK temps to be far too cold) and don't get me wrong he was a
good diver + guide just had a bit of short fuse (some of which maybe down
to frustrations due to his relative lack of English) but by the end of the
week we were getting on OK. We only dived with 2 other staff, one an older
guy was quite a good laugh (although his jokes were awful) and the younger
one didn't really get to know.

The Diving

It's a bit hard for me to judge the diving having only ever dived a) India,
b) Muddly Puddles and c) UK seas with 1-2m vis (none of which were wrecks),
so I'll try and stick with the facts.
Vis was on average 10m which apparently is very poor for area so hopefully
you will get better but compared to the UK it's fantastic. Water
tempratures were 14 by my DC but that reads about 2 degress low and most
people agreed that it was about 16 degrees, virtually all the divers used
drysuits, although some used semi-dry's.

The Reefs are seem somewhat less colurful compared with India (the Andaman
Islands) with no large fish bigger than a meter or two (although my buddy
saw what he thinks was a dolphin on the surface), but a lot more
life/colour than what I have seen in the UK, but again I have nothing to
compare it too.

I saw 2 wrecks in the Rec. range the Teti, 72m Long @ 10-34m and the
Vasilios 104m Long @ 25-55m, although they have apparently found a new
aircraft wreck at approx. 35m that they will be opening up soon. There are
surposed to be a lot more as well but the weather was against us. In the
tech range there are a lot including a B-17 @ 70'ish and a Sub at 120'ish,
so plenty for all. Both wrecks had plenty f squishy stuff as well.

In summary most of the diving was wrecks or walls, although there are
supposed to be some caves, neither myself or buddy are experienced enough
so didn't dive any. The prices are on the website so you can look for
yourself, my may be able to pay by card although probably by prior

Komiza itself is a very small village which apparently survives on the
tourist trade (we were there in low season) and some fishing (although we
only ever saw 4 boats out and about, it feels like there are very few women
although that maybe because it was always the blokes in the bars whilst the
women stayed at home. The area around the harbour has proper has 5-6 bars
and restaurants, most of the restaurants seem t only serve pizza (beware
the seafood ones: fishsticks, mussels and what would appear to be frozen
north sea prawns, quite nice but you want something a little more local
when you have driven 1500 miles to get there!) There are as far as we can
tell 2 proper restaurants one next to the dive centre very nice (we have
grilled Red Snapper) but very expensive (for that one course x2 + 2 soft
drinks = £55'ish) and one on the harbour, especially amusing is the
Black Spaghetti or Risotto, very nice and if you are of a childish
disposition (which me and my buddy are) then the sight in the toilet bowl
for the next couple of days is sure to raise a laugh! We eat in the this
place 3 times in all and it was always good, apart from the black XXXXX,
the Dalmatian style ribseak and the stuffed beefsteak both come
Vis Town

We drove the 10 mins. one lunch time but apart from the supermarket and a
lot of bars we couldn't find anywhere serving food (apart from one place
that had a couple of scabby looking bits of pizza) so we returned to Komiza
to eat, bit of a waste of time really.


We asked for the cheapest accommodation which was to be a twin room with
private bath in private accommodation, in the end however we were put into
a self catering apartment for the same price as it's pretty quiet at this
time of year. The flat was clean and pretty well equipped with
fridge/freezer, hob and all the utensils you would need, we however were
lazy and apart from breakfast always eat out, we paid about £20 for
the room a night but again this was low season and we were upgraded.
There is also a 2 star hotel (the only one in the village) which is right
next to the diving centre were most of the other divers were staying,
apparently about £20-30 per person per night. Whilst there is plenty
of private accommodation we were told it could be quite hard to get a room
high season, so it is probably worth booking ahead. The dive centre
handeled all the booking and paying the bill so that is easy.
Getting There

We caught the ferry from Split which cost about £60 for the two of us
+ the Van, at the moment there are 2 sailings a day, one in the afternoon
and one in the evening, the crossing takes 2-3 hours, I'd plan on eating
before/after getting on the boat as from what we saw the fare is pretty
rubbish on board, loading/unloading was pretty fast/efficient so not to
bad. There are 2 roads on the Island, both of which run between Vis Town
and Komiza so it is hard to get lost. Once in Komiza follow the signs to
the hotel (you can leave your car in their car park even if you are not
staying there) then walk through the hotel and the dive centre is in front
of the hotel on the beach (you should be able to see the boats).

One suggestion if there are a number of you travelling and you absolutely
must dive twins or RB is to send a van ahead with all the heavy stuff
whilst the rest fly, there is an airport at Split is quite cheap flights I
am told. You should be able to do the trip from the Channel ports in 2 days
of not too hard driving, although the van we had struggled to do 80 on the
flat and 30 up hill so with a newer/more powerfully vehicle it should be

Other DIvers

All the time we were there there was a large PADI contingent from Poland
consisting of Instructors being taught how to teach the PADI Tech courses,
slightly annoying as they were always there first in then morning (it's not
lazyiness on my part we were told to turn up after them) and they proceeded
to occupy virtually every available space for kitting up, although they
were always ready to lend a hand, and helped sign off my Buddy's OW so
can't complain. It was quite amusing to watch some of these PADI Pro's
struggling with (some very new and shiny) OPH's and me on 20 dives offering
them advice on how to get in/out of it with my vast store of knowledge
(although as anyone who has seen me in mine can attest I should probably
have kept my consul) . I also didn't feel too much of a Halycon nobber as
there was plenty of Blue H's on display (although even they drew the line
at Halcyon Regs  most using Apeks). For 2 Days we were joined by 2 Finish
guys whose flights had been delayed for 2 days by some dust cloud or
something (dunno what that was about) so they spent it diving.

(See I did remember something from science class at school)
So would I go back, probably but I'd fly if there was just of us if I was
only diving singles, with twinsets I'd go as a group and be happy to drive
over with a van.
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