Hrvatski
German
French
Italian
Polish
Magyar
  HOME / ECO STORIES AND ACTIONS WEB MAP
 

T: 385 (0)1/ 61 77 989
M: 385 (0)91 6799 022

@:pongo@dcpongo.com
switch TO PRIMOŠTEN
switch TO LIVEABOARD
shortcuts TO INFORMATION

LAST MINUTE SPECIAL
arrow DIVERS NEWS
arrow TRIMIX DIVING
arrow ECO STORIES
arrow ECO NEWS
arrow OTHER ACTIVITIES
FAQ
TESTIMONIAL
arrow LINKS

INFO POINT

    - EQUIPMENT WE USE
    - DAN SPONSOR CENTER
    - ABOUT NITROX
    - ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY
    - SAFETY FIRST



 

    
 

ECO STORIES AND ACTIONS

arrowNEW SENSE OF DIRECTION
Every year there is many different people who pass through our diving center on there holidays and they say we have a dream job. Here is how we see it.
Click here for full story.

arrow 2008 ECO ACTION from 05.09 to 07.09

ecoThis year we organize our ecological action in correlation whit Mares and PADI.
Ecological action with two main targets:
1. cleaning of the beaches which are on the biggest hit by tourists
2. determination the artificial reef habitat - this reef project has been active for 3 years now. After making of the reef from the metal non polluting garbage wish was already under the sea, we are now determining amount of life that is inhabiting this reef.



MIMARA PHOTO EXIBITION "LIFE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT"

We are organizing a big exhibition with title: LIFE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.
The exhibition will be mainly about our life interaction with the sea and individualism of divers which influence us.
Most of the photos will be underwater photos but some will be photos which hide stories and describe how we live while working and not work and then live.
The space for this exhibition is in Mimara Museum, which is the most prestigious but also the space where the exhibition will be put is perfect for us. It would really make us happy if you could come and see it. If not I will put on our web site the entire concept and all the photos after the exhibition.





ALIEN EGG

Fantastic round shape found by Diving Center Pongo makes scientists wonder.
Squid egg identified first time in Adriatic.


click here for the full story


BEST DIVING IN EUROPE

Jabuka excursion lives us breathless.

click here for the full story



ALAIN'S DIVE

Story about the one of the best cliff dives in Croatia.

click here for the full story






NEW SENSE OF DIRECTION

''MAN NEEDS A LITLE MADNES OTHERWISE HE NEVER BREAKES THE ROPE AND GO FREE''
Zorba the Greak

Every year there are hundreds of divers coming to dive with us from all over the world. Each diving diferently, percepting diving in a different way. Some love nature, some the feeling of freedom, some engoy the combination of diferent things they can engoy by diving, some love there equipment, some love the denger of ambyss, some even dive only because there partner likes it....

But what about us, people who work when you are engoing yourselfe. I'm not going to tell you how it is a great plesure to dive every dive but I'm also not going to tell you how it is a hurd yob sometimes. It is same variety of reasons why diving Instructors love there job as there is why recreational divers love diving.
My friend Andrej Stroj told me once ''I will start diving recreationaly when I turn fifty. It is a sport you can engoy old same as now.''
And he is right, diving is not a sport where you need to be super fit in your best years of youth and is not going to change if you decide to start doing it later on in life. But the only thing what is going to change is you. You will be a diferent person then, and how you will engoy the day, who knows.





FANTASTIC ROUND SHAPE MAKES SCIENTIST WONDER



Written by Borko Pusic
Photography by: Roi Soage, Marko Prašek, Borko Pusic


Divers take the opportunity to learn about an underwater world which appears distinctly removed from our routine, every day life. Although this submerged world is largely hidden from people, it is not immune to the negative effects of civilization. Through diving we can scratch the surface of this mysterious underwater world and better understand our relationship to it. Occasionally discoveries are made that help unlock the secrets of this world, which covers two-thirds of our blue planet.

ALIEN
Last August we went for a routine dive at Muljica, a small island in the mid-Adriatic Sea, famous for its underwater cliffs, small caves, cracks, Gorgonia corals and many different schools of fish. As we submerged to the underwater precipice and looked down into the deep, there was a strange shape on the bottom, which reminded me of octopus ink used to deceive predators. Slowly sinking towards this unusual object, it became clear to me that it was something completely different from anything else I had seen before.

It was some kind of transparent oblong organism measuring about 1.5 meters long, and resembling a huge egg. Through its transparent outer covering, there was a brownish ''biblical cord'' connecting the two poles of the long axis. This unusual organism, which could be right out of an science fiction movie, was freely floating in the water without any visible stalk or other attachment to secure it to the bottom. A small fish with big eyes came and looked at me from the inside of this ''egg'' through its transparent membrane.

Although I wanted to touch it to feel the consistency of its outer covering, I decided not to disturb it in any way. Would it just sit there or would it paralyze me before swallowing me whole? Would it contact the mother ship to have me vaporized or sampled for DNA analysis? Using three underwater cameras, we took photos and footage of our discovery with the hopes of finding out more about this creature.
After surfacing to our normal terrestrial environment, we climbed on the boat and started discussing the mysterious organism. One of the divers was a Spanish oceanographer Roi Soage. Together we developed many different theories as to what the creature could be. Opinions varied from a giant jelly fish to a squid egg or some kind of appendicularian (one of underwater spaces). I decided to send the photos to the Oceanographic institute in Split and Dubrovnik for help with identifying it. The answer from the Oceanographic institute made things even more interesting, because no one there had ever seen this kind of organism before.

We then sent an e-mail to all of our Diving Center Pongo divers to enlist their help in identifying this organism, and the images made their way to the Ron O'Doru, professor of biology on Dalhousie University. He believed it to be some kind of the squid egg, and requested us to take a sample of it for DNA analysis so that its species could be identified. He also sent the photos to the scientist Stephen Haddock at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. This institute is famous for its deep water explorations and discovery of many deep water organisms off the coast of California. Stephen Haddock was also unsure about what the creature was, but he believed it to be some kind of egg. One of his colleagues, Karen Osborn, a biologist at the same institute thought it to be a 'house' of a Kowalevskiid, a family of appendicularians that secrete a large bubble-like mucus structure with a single, simple channel through the center. Stephen Haddock then sent the photographs to Monty Graham, Associate Professor of Marine Science, University of South Alabama. Although Professor Graham has been doing some research in Adriatic, he had never encountered anything like this before, but he thought the egg theory was plausible.

The photographs and interest made it all the way to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), which is one of the biggest organizations in the world for exploring and documenting different species in oceans around the world. After many more exchanges, we were no closer to knowing for certain what the organism was, other than that it was probably an egg of some sort.
Just when we thought the ?egg? would not be identified, I sent an e-mail to Dr. Steve O'Shea, Deputy Director Earth & Oceanic Sciences Research Institute from Auckland University of Technology on New Zealand, who had seen eggs like ours before. Dr. O'Shea immediately sent us his article with photographs and an extensive study including DNA analysis from similar appearing eggs found off the shores of New Zealand. Their organisms were identified by mitochondria 16S rDNA sequential determination to be squid eggs belonging to squid Nototodarius gouldi, which was initially discovered by McCoy in the year 1888. Inside of the protective membrane of the Nototodarius gouldi egg are thousands of small squid embryos that are slowly developing. But the eggs from New Zealand appeared somewhat different from the photos we had taken in the Adriatic Sea.
The excitement generated by this discovery on a routine dive in the Adriatic Sea reminded me again that the expansive, enigmatic underwater world still holds many mysteries to be solved. As I was trying to remember the exact chain of events surrounding the day we made our discovery, I remembered that we had made a dive on the prior night at the lighthouse Mulo, not far from the place where we had found the egg on the following day. On that night dive I had photographed a few squid while they where hunting small fish. Maybe they made the egg we found?
One of the biggest dangers for this kind of free-floating egg is actually from human activities rather than from the sea. Fishing nets can rupture the membrane, releasing unprotected embryos into the sea, where they are subject to looting by opportunistic fish. By destroying just one of these delicate eggs, we kill thousands of future squid.

Other sea creatures use different kind of protective housing or egg for their progeny. The Cat shark, some kinds of apendicularians and ??snails?? also have eggs and would be more plentiful in the Adriatic Sea if coastal fishing methods were better regulated.
Divers come to Croatia from around the world to experience these beautiful waters full of life. In my opinion, it is much healthier for both the environment and the economy to keep Croatian underwater wild thriving rather than to empty the sea in a few years with reckless fishing techniques. Hopefully, then divers will get to experience the excitement of exploring the Adriatic Sea for many years to come, and maybe even to make a new discovery.

BACK TO SURFACE



JABUKA 2005 DESOLATION RAW



Written by Borko Pusic

We worked through entire summer and head a great time. I must confess after more than 400 dives our team Roi, Vuk, Marko and me needed something special to fill our batteries again. There was an idea which was slowly growing entire summer in our minds. Trip to Jabuka.

Jabuka is a small island in the middle of Adriatic mead of granite black stone and entirely black. It is 100 m high and you can swim around it in 30 min. From the time when I was a small boy my father would take us there and it has always head a greater meaning in my family than just an island. You head to earn your way to Jabuka, through high sea, strong wind and lots of risks.
Biggest problem is that there is no place to hide if the storm comes and everywhere is too deep to throw an anchor.

But one thing is for sure it is a divers paradise.

We head a full boat of divers entire week and in the afternoon we where sitting in the diving center and talking about how to organize tomorrow dives. Vuk came out and said '' but there is nobody on the schedule for tomorrow's dive. We could not believe it, it was a firs day off in two months. Everyone went quiet and there where just strange looks on our faces. ARE WE GOING ??............... Lets go.
We started to arrange our equipment without a sound. Everyone knew where we are going to but no one wanted to say it. We filled all the tanks to 250 bar and Jean Pol's 300 bar tanks as much as compressor could take. Everything was set for two dives and night was slowly coming.

We woke up at 04:00 and eyes open with a new glimmering, we knew we are doing something we will not forget. Even Vuk woke up on time which is not his usual custom. Loading of gasoline, food, equipment, oxygen, first aid, gps, documantation and we where off in to adventure.
Sea, for a difference from last nights was a little ruff and rib was shaking a little bit, but the speed was constant 25 miles per hour. After we passed the V. Smokvica and the lighthouse Mulo we took a course toward the open see and direction Jabuka.

After 45 min I sow on the horizon a small growing black triangle which showed us a way. Coming closer I jell to Roj How do you like my church?.. Holy shit, it's not a church it's a cathedral.
We throw an anchor on Northwest side of the island.

Coldness, danger from sudden storms, black shadow with a look of a wolf fang are all the mechanisms of defense by which Jabuka is truing to protect its secrets.
But once you submerge yourself under the surface and from the black surface enter the tirkiz blue water full of schools of fish, which hide in labyrinth of rock and caves you start to understand how beautiful secrets are hidden under a ice cold face.
Gliding on the beginning through passages of rocks we entered three caves which are lit with streams of sun light from the cracks on the sealing. Roy and Marko where photographing while Vuk was peeking in to every whole. In this way we passed through constellation of rocks and we came to one stone we head to pass over.

And then suddenly and unexpected the huge cliff opened before us. Our ais went wide and our breaths stopped for a second. The cliff fell directly from 0 to 100 and is visible entirety in one view. Crack after the crack, cave after the cave, fish, corals and so on for 50 min of diving on 30 to 45 m depth.
I was immediately conscious of that I'm in one of though moments about which I will fantasize and enjoy but we are rarely aware of them when they are happening. This consciousness and enjoyment in each moment mead this dive unforgettable.
Just as I was preparing to enter one cave I turned around to call Vuk and Roi to follow me, but I stopped frozen in the movement. The two of them where faced toward the cliff and just behind there backs ten Palamida (small tuna) around one 45 cm long where passing in gracefulness movements.
They passed us slowly and turned in to the blue slowly disappearing. They glowed on the sun like silver arrows.

We slowly reduced our depth to 10 m and turned back toward the boat. Biggest problem is that the visibility is so good that on 13 m you think you are on 3m, so you have to look at your depth gauge a lot. Entire dive lasted 101 minutes and it was worth every second of it.
Taking our regulators out smiles went on our faces.

Tip home on entirely calm sea, after one more dive, while Jabuka was slowly sinking behind the horizon was jolly and full of stories. We filled our batteries and still though smiles haven't gone from our faces.

Sincerely
Borko Pusic

DATA ABOUT THE DIVE:

1ST DIVE 2ND DIVE
Max depth: 46,9 m Max depth: 34,4 m
Total time: 101 min Total time: 84 min
Surface temp: 24°C Surface temp: 24°C
Depth temp:16°C Depth temp: 16°C

 

BACK TO SURFACE

ALAIN'S CLIFF



Written by Borko Pusic
Photography by: Borko Pusić


It is your last dive this year in Croatia; it is a perfect day, where do you want to go?
After some thinking I got an answer from three Polish divers which came to dive with me for a second year......''Alain's cliff''.
There was a fresh wind called Bura but not to strong and it mead the visibility crystal clear all the way to Kornati on North and Vis and Svetac on the South.
Bljuch, anchor went down, ....crn crn crn crn crn the chain went after it!
With lots of sweating, pushing and puling we slowly put heavy equipment in to the sea. Weight belts started squeezing us as soon as we put them on, suits where too hot and sweet started filling them. There where some waves and our stomachs started filling dizzy.
After waiting for some time and checking our equipment we went down to the bottom on 9 meters and started pedaling to the direction of the open sea.
After just a minute or two we all felt better. There was no more weight of the equipment no more sweet and the fresh water went in to our suits. Everyone adjusted there equipment and we kept on swimming over this clearing on 6 m.

In one moment there was one small bump in front of us and when we crossed it we realized that it is the edge of enormous cliff which goes directly down and the bottom can not be seen.
Blue the incredible blue. Our bodies started sinking next to this enormous wall which went down, down, down. Hundreds of beautiful coral (Gorgonija) in blue and orange
colors looked like they are opening there bodies to embrace and welcome us in to this world of blue.
I let my body sink without moving and just my eyes followed the edge or the canyon which was opening in front of us. You can feel the pressure razing and blue is getting darker and darker ...and then you stop!!! You find yourself flying next to the cliff in the middle of the crystal blue space. You are the one who has a privilege to be there in that short moment of time.

We slowly followed the cliff which suddenly breaks and goes toward the small bay on the island close by. Slowly the bottom comes from the deep and leads us between the rocks in to a safety of a enclosed bay. A small yellow Murray eel peaks from its hole and greats us slowly opening and closing her mouth. Big octopus is trying in panic to change her colors to hide from us under the stone.
Bay has stone bottom from which sunlight is reflecting and sketching the waves and shadows all around us. There is a small cave full of small crabs and small red fishes looking at us as we peak in.
Air in our tanks is slowly getting under 50 bars and we come back under the boat.
It was a nice day.

 

BACK TO SURFACE