August 27, 2011

Wreck treks: Lina

Lina - Photo by Karoly Szabo
The Lina is one of the famous wrecks of the Croatian Adriatic and probably the most praised in the Kvarner area. I had the chance to dive it this spring after our friend invited us to his boat to visit. It took a longer boatride from Krk town where we stayed to the other side of Cres island. The 70 meters long Lina was built in 1879, and sank in 1914.

You'll find a lot of information about the Lina but I confess my dive wasn't that spectacular. First of all, the visibility can be quite bad here, we measured only 10 meters and our friend who dives the wreck more often said it's rarely much better. The diver simply unable to see the huge body entirely. The best view is at the shallowest part of the Lina, the impressive bow stands upright so most of the good shots were taken here.

When we left the harbour we saw some dolphins, and the route was quite relaxing on the calm sea. If you're lucky the dive boat will anchor directly above the wreck. We were near the wall which meant we needed a short surface swim but at least we finished our dive below the boat. Just before submerging one of our buddies had some problems, she was a bit frightened after the briefing so he joined the dive leader and we followed. In the foggy water we descended fast, we couldn't see clearly the surface and the wreck neither. At 25 meters we arrived to the bow, made a last check and started to swim deeper- the propeller was at 55 meters but none of our group went there. I realized some of the parts of the boat but I don't remember too much details. At 36 meters I showed I didn't want to go deeper as there seemed only shadows of the stern while the water temperature was only 13-14 Celsius degrees. I don't want to lie, I didn't feel too comfortable. At one point we turned back, ascended to the bow again and now I had the chance to see the famous view. We swam to the slightly sloping wall where we needed to make our deco stops.

I confess I don't have any special memories of the wreck but enjoyed much more the second part of the dive. I saw many small inhabitants of the Adriatic, we tried to shake hands with an octopus and played hide-and-seek with a cuttlefish. Don't miss this wall after diving at the Lina, most likely you will have to stop for a few minutes after the deep wreck dive. Much more fun to look around here than to hang on a rope. So maybe the Lina is the most famous wreck in the Kvarner but for me it's not a special dive spot unless we do a long safety stop in the shallows. In my opinion the wreck is too deep for the ordinary diver (especially for beginners) and the bad visibility doesn't make it too spectacular.

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