WHERE: Villasimius, on the south-east coast, 50 km from Cagliari
location: Isola dei Cavoli, Variglione on the North East Side. The area is marked by rocks that rise from the sea.
seabed: granite, big rocks.
difficulty: fairly easy.
depth: from 7 to 25 m.
current: variable, be careful after strong Mistral winds. Sometimes strong currents on/near the surface.
visibility: good in every season
summer temperature: 22° C
winter temperature: 13° C
Points of interest: beautiful underwater landscape, large granite monoliths with gorges and splits. One of the latter almost reaches the surface, and looks like the profile of a ship with a tall stem. Dive among the gorges and admire the high rock monoliths and the marine flora and fauna.
Fauna: shoals of Barracuda (Sphyraena sphyraena). Migratory fish, Dentex (Dentex dentex), big Serranidi (Epinehelus marginatus) inside the gorges and shoals of Corvines (Sciaena umbra) in the area. The big rock face is home to Claveline sp., Sertelle sp., Madreporari such as Leptopsammia, Astroides, Gorgoniari (Eunicella cavolinii), sponges such as Ircina variabilis, and different species of Spongia sspp.
There are beautiful carpets of Haliclona mediterranea and Hemimycale columella, Oscarella lobularis, lathrina clathrus and Spirastrella cunctatrix.
Anchor in the flat area on the seabed at about 10-12 m.
The dive starts by descending along the hill on your right.
After a short swim you come to an enormous granite monolith, shaped like a ship, which almost reaches the surface.
Swim around the part of the rock that looks like the prow of the boat and forms a sort of a saddle, deflate your GAV until you reach the seabed and turn right in order to enter the large canyon which has walls which are high up to 12 m.
The right wall is full of Invertebrates, such as red and purple sponges, sea squirts and small Eunicelles.
Dive down to a depth of 25 metres, pass under a granite bridge on the sandy floor and swim along to the right as far as the entrance to a cave, which is home to a colony of Parazoanthus.
Swim back to the seabed at a 12-15 m. depth.
On the way back, you pass above the high part of the “Roman ship”, which forms a wonderful hollow that can hold up to 10 skin divers.
On your way back look in the distance to see a shoal of Barracuda!
photo: Efisio Pinna