Scuba Diving in Sicily, Italy with Under Hundred Diving Centre
Ocean lovers and passionate scuba divers Marina and Roberto have been married since 1999. Their passion of scuba diving turned into a profession back in 1997 where they managed a dive centre in Kenya, Africa. After many years of travelling the world and to different diving centres in places such as Africa, South America and Sardinia they ended up in Sicily.
Once they got to Sicily, then found themselves, just by chance, to be in an amazing little place known as San Vito Lo Capo. Where the sea happens to be the town’s main attraction, meaning that a diving centre was just waiting to be opened, so that’s just what Marina and Roberto did. Welcome to Under Hundred Diving.
The Under Hundred Diving Centre
The dive centre is located in a quiet area and faces the beautiful sandy beaches of San Vito Lo Capo. It sits underneath a pine wood roof so it’s nice and cool even during the hottest month of the year, August. After working and living in Africa, they decided to bring back some African culture with them and add this to their new place of work in San Vito Lo Capo.
With a fast rubber boat on site, it is easy for them to reach many dive sites located on the North Oriental Sicily coast. The area that surrounds the dive centre, truly is a paradise for scuba divers. With walls, caves, shoals and wrecks all at different depths will cater for divers of every experience level.
Open from April to October, Marina and Roberto are waiting to guide us divers through the beautiful dive locations which lie between Zingaro Reserve and Capo San Vito. The dive centre is not organised to support a large number of divers, this is because Roberto prefers to guide no more than 4 or 5 divers any at one time. Most dives are scheduled between 09:00 – 15:00pm and a night dive is scheduled every week, more on demand.
San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily
If you were to google “wonderful images of beaches in Sicily” there is no doubt that San Vito’s beach will appear in your search results, followed by images of the Scopello’s “Faraglioni”, the Macari’s beach, and the small bays in the “Zingaro” Reserve and the “Monte Cofano Reserve”.
These are just a number of the beaches than have made Sicily famous and all happen to be located in the stretch of sea between Monte Cofano and Castellammare del golfo, on the western tip of the island. At the centre of this beautiful coast is San Vito Lo Capo, where it is headquartered Under Hundred diving centre.
And there is no doubt that the beauty of this location continues below sea level and under the waves. With dives of all kinds perfect for all levels of experience divers. Shoals, Walls, Caves, Wrecks wait a few minutes by boat from San Vito. What are you waiting for? Go and enjoy San Vito.
The Zingaro Reserve is a protected area located between San Vito Lo Capo and Scopello. Thanks to its beauty, it has been the set of several film productions with international actors such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon all who starred in Ocean’s twelve and also Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix who starred in Mary Magdalene, and this is just to name a few! The richness of the sea has been outstanding for many years, and since then, nothing has changed.
What Dives do Under Hundred Diving Offer?
The Under Hundred Diving Centre is surrounded by a beautiful area which in turn offers some amazing dives, each with different characteristics to offer, making each dive, one to remember.
The Secca di Cala Rossa
The Secca di Cala Rossa is one of the most beautiful dives in the area. Located in the Tonnara’s Gulf, far away from the coast and at a depth of 40 – 50 metres deep, is a shoal which rises up to about 10 metres. An area nearby, marked by the ancient anchors of the old Tuna Factory, more towards the deeper end, there are a few caves in which the shrimps seem to congregate in large numbers.
It is huge and there are several different paths you can follow on your dive. The dive offers an array of different marine life, such as eels, lobsters, crabs, shrimp and congers in each and every hole around. Larger fish such as groupers and snappers were often found swimming where the stream split on this area of shallow water. Jack fish are usually seen hunting around these parts for their prey. Check out a video of them here.
The Kent Wreck
Kent is a cargo ship which sank back in July of 1978. The ship sank because of a fire on board which then forced the crew to abandon the ship. Take a look at this footage of the Kent Wreck here. The cargo remains on the sea bed at around 50 metres in water where it has laid for over 30 years.
During this long period of time, it is now heavily colonised by many forms of marine life. This dive in particular is more for the advanced divers, those who have experience with deep-diving. Although the vessel itself is within the navigation trim, given the size and depth of the wreck it is not possible to see it all in one single dive.
The Perciata Cave
This dive takes place along a wall that drops from a maximum of 22 to 23 metres in depth to about 9 meters. The boat is moored on a rock plateau at a depth of around 6 metres. In this area it is very often that you are able to encounter small octopus which take shelter in the clefts of the rocks, pulling stones and shells towards them like a door. After a while, once you reach the end of the plateau, you will fall onto a sandy bottom.
The wall full of classic coralligenous concretions in the Mediterranean provides shelter to small lobsters and shellfish, making it very easy to meet the unique and colourful nudibranchs, just take a look here at the cave.
After coming away from the rocks, but not too far you, will begin your search for young bream and snapper and just as you do, is where you will meet the main wall and the entry of a large and bright cave, the Perciata Cave.
Perciata in Sicilian slang means “broken”, and is named this way because the roof of the cave has so many holes in it, so much so that it is almost unnecessary to use a dive torch. The walls are covered with sponges, asteroids and yellow coral. The gleaming light coming through the roof provides a fascinating opportunity to play with your underwater photography skills.
Roberto, the base owner and leader, who has now been running Under Hundred Diving Centre for ten years, completes an average of more than 300 dives each year and is now up to an amazing 3000 dives. His experience and knowledge of the area means he really knows his stuff and the best places for scuba diving in the area and what these dive sites have to offer.
Besides his know how, Roberto and his team are very passionate and always promote the importance of marine conservation and ways to protect the oceans. They ensure that all of their divers behave in an appropriate manner at all times and dive with the same values as the diving centre itself. Their news archive brings you all sorts of articles around how they do this, and also share other stories from expeditions to dive events to photo galleries.
If you are thinking of travelling to Sicily and want to go scuba diving, then check out their website for more information.
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