Underwater Treasure

Text and photos: Rafa Martos

 

The first time I had the opportunity to enjoy Eivissa was during an end-of-school-year trip which topped off my years of mandatory basic education. I was mesmerized by the odd atmosphere that existed even when my imagination was still impregnated by a noticeable hippy side. I liked seeing all types of people from all over, happy, fun and carefree. But what really made an impression on me was the beauty and colours of the numerous coves and beaches where the pine trees and colour of the water mixed to exert invincible magnetism.

 

 
The eternal island of glamour, style and beauty was still hidden from me. Nowadays I continue to be interested in being close to the sea and often under it. I shall leave you with a few ideas for routes that divers from all over the world often follow to visit another side of the island of Ibiza, the island of a thousand underwater treasures.
 
ES VEDRANELL CANYONS

Es Vedranell is the horseshoe-shaped island to the east of Es Vedrà. You should head to the point furthest west and, depending on the winds, dive well down on the north side or the southern part where there is a small valley.

 

If you dive down on the north side, you'll find a rock and posidonia bottom. The outside of this rock mass is an overhang full of encrusting yellow anemone and delicate colonies of bryozoa. Circle around it to find the first canyon offering a beautiful hall filled with colour. After exiting and leaving the wall to your right, you'll find the second canyon which stands out because of the large round rock stuck about 20 metres away. Cross over it to the south in order to exit and change direction to pass through the third canyon which is also filled with soft-bodied animals like small nudibranchia.
Now moving back to the boat and getting closer to the surface, this sensational dive ends with impressive geological architecture.
 
SOUTH LLADÓ

The Lladó are two small islets nearly 4 kilometres from the port of Eivissa. As often occurs with these reliefs, there are many diving options allowing for variety depending on the diver's level and preferences or circumstances like the currents or visibility.

As you descend on the north-eastern side of South Lladó, you'll find a rocky substrate covered with small green algae and Padina pavonica. The wall becomes more and more vertical and features numerous scars with large rocks that have fallen off at the base among which you can see some moray eels and octopus always well entrenched in their lairs. Leave the wall to the right and you'll begin to see a string of rocks scattered around which will offer an encounter with fish like Phycidae and corvine. Keep observing the rocks and gradually head up the wall which at about -8 metres in depth is crossed by a narrow tunnel some 2 metres wide through which you can cross over to the other side of Lladó but be careful not to damage the false coral cover and encrusting anemone decorating the walls.
 
PLATAFORMA MARIANA
 
Plataforma Mariana is the name of a fish factory dedicated to fattening gilt-head bream which was built near the island S' Espardell, in the channel that separates Eivissa from Formentera.
Its abandonment and lack of maintenance led to the collapse of some of the pillars and flotation elements supporting it with the platform ending up falling to the bottom of the sea on its side. This dive leaves no one indifferent. The platform is overflowing with the fantastic landscape created by columns of concrete and metal structures. Since the shallowest part is only -11 metres and the bottom is at -32 metres, you should dive down to the greatest depth and journey through the landscaped maze at the base which is home to groupers, moray eels and large scorpionfish.

 
Three of the many underwater routes you can take have been highlighted here. Also standing out, among others, are the underwater Es Pallaret route and the Tagomago anchors which also offer a unique Mediterranean underwater landscape