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Diving the wrecks of the Zenobia and Citti Di Alesandri

Listed under Diving in Cyprus.

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Never making it past her maiden voyage, The Zenobia was a huge ferry that sunk in 1980 due to a computer error that saw the pumps pumping water into the ship instead of out. She was a big lass and it took her two days to sink after she pitched to a 45 degree angle and it was decided she was un-savable so they towed her into deep water and now she sits under about 40 metres worth.

A no-removal rule stops the ferry from being totally decimated by souvenir hunters and the propellers and the cargo are still there, including preserved chicken eggs and trucks, the trucks creating an interesting swim through space almost 100 metres long. The bridge is in good shape as is the canteen and sleeping quarters on the deck below. Everything is on quite a large scale and remains sturdy, so it’s quite a comfortable wreck to swim though and because it’s in such good condition it feels like a proper ghost ship.

Fish fans won’t be that impressed but there are barracuda and grouper.

Careful of the oil slick which runs off one end; it makes some pretty wondrous shapes as it curls though. Start at the stern and worth a couple of dives if you have the time, the visibility is good and there is a lot worth exploring.

Written by  Nick Shaw.

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Wreck of the Zenobia and the Citti Di Alesandria

The Zenobia is a relatively young wreck which sunk on her maiden voyage whilst carrying tonnes of lorries and trailers. She sank on the 7th of June 1980 after a computer problem flooded her ballast tanks. No salvage mission was undertaken so the one hundred or so huge lorries, cars and industrial machinery she was carrying are now part of the wreck site. Amberjacks, Tuna, rays and barracuda have since moved in and colonised the wreck.

The Citti Di Alesandria is a good wreck dive for beginners. The hull of the ship has broken into sections and the engine lies away from the hull. Grouper, monk fish and octopus have all moved in. The propeller and anchor are easily spotted nearby on the ocean floor. You may also uncover pottery and other historic artifacts on the seabed, however you're not allowed to remove anything.

Some of the most popular diving cites in Cyprus are located in nearby Paphos and Ayia Napa, but the most intact and rewarding areas are around the island's northwest peninsular.

Water off Cypurs's north eastern coast is shallow and quite warm (between about 16 and 28 degrees.).

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