Ladies of the Deep: “We Dive in Dangerous Sea Caves and Swim With Sharks!”

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Credit: Cropix
by Igor Nobilo,

There are women who love endless shopping or coffee, but then there are those in love with sea depths, a hobby taking up most of their spare time

Just like their numerous male counterparts, three ladies joined the underwater photography competition “Antun Gavranić” in Komiža town on Vis Island. Carefully preparing and checking their gear, with cameras in hand and air tanks on their backs, they descended to 30 metres below the surface of the sea. The goal was to bring back to dry land the best depiction of life beneath the shimmering blue Adriatic, as published in Slobodna Dalmacija on October 8, 2017.

And life is much quieter below, with only bubbles of exhaled air to admire. No routines, no ringing phones, no distractions or worries except the remaining air in the tank. And darkness. Until it is lit up by flashlights guiding divers through crevices and exposing small creatures of the sea bottom. As they told us, then comes a whole new dimension of colours, life in a completely different shape. It is for such moments that these modern sirens go where most will never be.

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Photo: Ivana Nobilo

It is no wonder Loriana Marović from Split began searching sea depths at age 10, with a coral diver for a father, a diver for a mother and a diving centre owned by the family. She is the mother of an adorable girl, a diving instructor and a pharmacology student, and uses any opportunity to take her camera underwater. She says she can never get enough of the deep, willing to dive a hundred times to the same location.

And the reason is there is always something new to be found. What she loves best in this sport is the feeling of freedom, space, multiplied by the all-mighty peace. Except for the murmur of breathing and the escaping bubbles, everything else is shrouded in soft silence.

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Photo: Ivana Nobilo

“Some of my colleagues love to explore sunken ships, so they focus on them. I love everything. I focus on life, fish, snails, corals, new situations. I love that silence, peace, freedom of movement. This is why I never tire of returning to the same location. I always find something new. Over time I began taking the camera with me, wanting to show friends all the marvels of the deep. And also try to convince them to join me in my exploration,” says Loriana, citing she sticks to the rule of always diving in pairs.

Ana Vučković from Omiš feels divers are spokespersons for news from another world, citing one of her favourite diving locations is the one on Vrulja. Viewed from above, this wonderful location near Makarska town seems endlessly mystical, deep blue, dangerous. Ana tells us what Vrulja actually looks like.

“Wonderful diving location, with dramatic nature as a mirror of what rises from Vrulja onto the continent. Below is a maze of huge rocks which gives an impression of an underwater mountain chain. If the sea were to dry up, canyons, caves and valleys would appear. A fascinating image. I love to explore that area. No, there is no fear. My desire to explore, curiosity and satisfaction are stronger than it,” she says.

Ana has been diving since she was little, with a mask and fins. And as soon as the first Omiš diving school opened, she took the first course. She has been active in the deep for 20 years, both snorkelling and scuba diving, and says the deep is literally another world.

“I want to use photographs to show all the fascination of colours. They are completely different, some new nuances appear, everything is more intense. I find it incredibly attractive,” said Ana.

Circumstances were such that Ivana, a photo retoucher with the Cropix photo agency of Hanza Media, began scuba diving only three years ago. But when she started she couldn’t stop. So far she has dived with sharks in Egypt. A swarm of them, on one of the multi-day tours in the Red Sea, where they sleep and live on a boat in order to dive under it several times per day. Accompanied by sea turtles and sharks.

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Photo: Ivana Nobilo

“It’s a special experience. Sharks don’t behave equally towards a swimmer and a diver. In some situations, they mistake the swimmer for pray, so they give them a bite to check. With divers, they act differently. They begin to circle in wide and then close circles around us. One passed slightly below my feet. I did not touch him, but the turtles I did. In any case, it is something fascinating. And, quite unpredictable,” says Ivana.

Originally from Split, she is a member of the Zagreb-based diving club Roniti se Mora (diving is a necessity) and acts in this manner in everyday life. She likes the Kvarner waters, but the Dalmatian ones slightly more, and admits the depths of Vis and Biševo islands were a revelation.

“The underwater world of Cres and Lastovo islands I also find very interesting. But there are some areas which I would love to visit with my diving gear and camera. Such as Mexico and their famous caves, Cuba, Papua and Indonesia,” says Ivana.

She is proof that although we should not ignore our interests and desires in life, it is never quite too late to take up something we are drawn to and inspired by.

Partially translated from Slobodna Dalmacija.

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