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Dive Review of Alpha Divers in
Mediterranean/Cyprus

Alpha Divers, Aug, 2011,

by David Schwab, AE, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6173.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Malta, Red Sea, Burma, Thailand, Norway, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Florida, Missouri, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Cayman Is, BVI, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 20 to 30 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 10 to 20 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dived on a major wreck . . . divemasters kept divers to depths specified by the dive plan.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The wreck is a great subject, but the dive boat is not set up for UWP support. Alpha Divers did give me a bucket of fresh water on the boat when I asked. All personnel handle cameras with care.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I returned to Cyprus just to dive on the "Zenobia" (a roll on/roll off ferry that sank in 1980 with all the vehicles on board) . . . I told Alpha Divers owner Chris Martin that I was only interested in diving the wreck . . . no shore dives, please. Chris was very accommodating. Only on the first day was there a possibility he would not be able to take the boat out . . . and he was prepared to make arrangements for me with another dive centre; fortunately he was able to take the boat out.

Diving was superb . . . great conditions and each dive was well planned and led by capable divemasters. Except for one dive that I made with my just-certified friend, I was usually consulted about what I wanted to see on the wreck. If I wanted a deep dive . . . we planned a deep dive. Divemasters took us on easy penetration routes through the wreck. Owner Chris Martin took me on a more difficult penetration through the upper vehicle deck . . . through lots of wrecked trucks (awesome!!). Before he takes divers on difficult penetrations, Chris ensures each diver is capable after observing them during several dives. I too, observed him and determined that I had confidence in his ability to guide me safely through the more dangerous parts of the wreck. Chris is very knowledgeable about the "Zenobia" (history and dive routes through and around her) . . . developed over several years and many dives.

While there are shore dives available, the wreck "Zenobia" is so huge that divers can spend several days on her and still not see it all. She lies in about 42 metres of water, on her port side; starboard side is about 16 metres below the surface. Good amount of the usual fishies in the warmer water including the usual large Grouper or two. Didn't see any eels or octopi, although I suspect there are some there.

Nine dives on "Zenobia"; one dive on the wreck "Alexandria" . . . an Egyptian fishing vessel in 30 metres of water (good dive).

Well planned trips to the wreck included opportunities for those in the OW and AOW courses to gain experience and demonstrate skills at shallower depths; this gave the more experienced divers time to set up equipment and relax during surface interval time. Dive boat "Kalypso II" is not a huge boat, but easily accommodates a dozen divers or so. There are no frills . . . the boat is not a cattle boat. All Alpha Divers personnel demonstrate exceptional enthusiasm and are very helpful to novice and advanced divers alike. This is clearly the best dive centre in Cyprus to dive with (PADI and BSAC instruction available).

The ten dive package included accommodation in a furnished apartment, pick up/drop off at the airport and daily pick up/drop off for the day's diving . . . all this for an excellent price. Post dive, after the equipment was clean and hung up, Chris and his divemasters often invited divers to hang around for a beer and to talk about the dive.

Consider renting a car for all or part of the time in Cyprus; cheap rentals are available. Rental cars are preferred for day trips to various sites on the island. A local wetsuit manufacturer can make a new wetsuit (3.5 or 5 mm stretchy neoprene) to your measurements in only 2-3 days. Chris can set that up. Chris also readily provides recommendations on day trips, restaurants and other activities on the island.

August in Cyprus is HOT . . . temps frequently 35-40 degrees C; on the boat it was very comfortable. Water temps in August are great . . . about 30 degrees C at the top of the wreck, but there is a thermocline and temps drop to close to 20 degrees towards the bottom. Still, all sorts of wetsuits worn . . . even saw a woman in just a swimsuit (I suspect she stayed at the top of the wreck).

Alpha Divers uses good quality MARES dive equipment . . . much of it new, all of it well-maintained. Chris accepts credit cards but prefers not to because of high fees. He'll request your payment through PayPal . . . I experienced some difficulty with that on one occasion . . . don't know why.

Overall, challenging diving . . . safe diving . . . excellent experience . . . will do it again.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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