So, now, yes... It was worth it d' to face the 16°C at the bottom for such colors... (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
So, now, yes... It was worth the 16°C at the bottom for colors like that... (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)

Exotic Mediterranean Sea

  France: French Riviera - July 2014

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


The coral of tropical seas just has to behave itself. The bottom of the Mediterranean looks good, too. The flashy pink evidence at Port-Cros.

Memories of summer 2014: diving in Port-Cros

At the end of July 2014, I was in Hyères, in the Var. And I still can't believe what I saw underwater. When the coral revealed bright tropical hues - pink, purple, red - under my flash, I hallucinated... 😮

So, now, yes... It was worth the 16°C at the bottom for colors like that... (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
It was worth facing the 16°C at the bottom for such colours... (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)

Well, I admit, at first, I'm a little bit wondering what I'm doing here, swimming in cold water, above a monotonous stretch of Posidonia with my 7D

I start by trying to turn my little friends into graceful shadows on a blue background. Not very conclusive.

And then the bright colors and life came out. There are the big placid groupers, which are legion in the area - we are on the site of La Pointe du Vaisseau, near the island of Port-Cros. And then there are some nice candy-pink nudibranchs, impossible to photograph at the fish-eye. Small shoals of bright-silver fish with yellow stripes whose name I don't know. And even some barracudas on the prowl! But they are a little too far away for decent pictures...

The more you go, the more I am having fun in this new Mediterranean environment, unheard of for me - the Breton diver who fears cold water and does not palm anymore in tropical seas ... ????

Two big sleeping groupers take off from their rock when they see the divers coming... Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
Two big sleeping groupers take off from their rock when they see the divers arrive... (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
You want my picture? (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
You want my picture? (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)

Even posidonia, this aquatic plant (which is not an algae) that I only knew from TV reports, and that I am therefore discovering for the first time with my own eyes, is becoming a fascinating subject, undulating with the swell. A spectacle in its own right, very difficult to photograph...

Gaby, from the À l'Eau Plongée centre (whose name has become Eco Diving), who accompanies me and Christèle, my duo of the day, even plays the models for my lens near the big rock covered with pink coral! Really nice, I appreciate it. 👌

I am transient, but I take it upon myself and persist, at the end of the dive, to throw a few last flashes. 

Divers release their bubbles above the expanse of posidonia. (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
Divers release their bubbles above the expanse of posidonia. (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
Posidonia provides shelter for small fish. (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
Posidonia provides shelter for small fish. (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)

My enemy: the cold

Back on the boat, I am shaken by violent tremors, impossible to repress. My poor 5 mm worn out (I put a shorty hood over it though) and my frail carcass of a cold-blooded woman are not adapted to Mediterranean waters of around 20 degrees on the surface at that time and barely 15-16°C at depth... 🥶

But Alain's boat, which holds the center Eco Diving (ex À l'Eau Plongée) in La Londe-les-Maures, is equipped with HOT water showers !!! 👏 Luxury and supreme happiness. Those who are never cold (but really cold) underwater cannot understand.

I'm smiling for the photo, but I'm freezing when I get out of the water... (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)
I'm smiling for the picture, but I'm chilled when I get out of the water... (Port-Cros, Hyères, France, July 2014)

Most of my short stay in Hyères having been devoted to a apnea trainingI only found the time to go on one and only little exploration trip with a tank in the Mediterranean waters... A first in my little life as a diver, I had never dipped my fins in it before! Porquerolles, Port-Cros, the peninsula of Giens : these famous sites in the south of France are really super-exotic spots for me... 

I'll probably go back there sometime soon. But not before I've equipped myself seriously, with a suit adapted to these waters too cold for my taste.

When you come from Brittany, the Mediterranean coast is "exotic"... (Hyères, France, July 2014)
When you arrive from Brittany, the Mediterranean coast is "exotic"... (Hyères, France, July 2014)

  France: French Riviera - July 2014

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  1. Posidonia, when you bewitch us.... it could be the beginning of a song, without forgetting to include a little verse about the cold... 😉

  2. Thank you for this nice ticket. Looking forward to seeing you here for wrecks this time. Happy new year and good little bubbles elsewhere!

  3. 20 °, for me diving in Brittany at 12-15 °, it's a dream! : p
    Great pictures, as always! the posidonia that stands out against the blue background is beautiful

  4. Hello,
    I come back to the first of your remarks: "When the coral revealed vibrant tropical hues - pink, mauve, red - under my flash, I hallucinated ..."
    I started my diving career in Tahiti, then the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and finally the Atlantic. When I was "discovered" the Mediterranean, I already had more than a hundred dives on the meter but especially all my equipment. You must know that I always dive with a lighthouse (see two). During this first dive, the DP told me: "The lighthouse, not worth it, today there is good visibility. I dipped and found it dull, colorless. Going up, everyone seemed happy with his dive but not me. I did not understand why. I put this on the account of my dives in the warm and clear sea.
    The next time, reflexively equipping me, I took my lighthouse and hung it in its place. Underwater, I did as usual: turn on my lighthouse during the descent. And there, once down, oh wonders, the colors were revealed. Beautiful.
    I continue to dive in the Mediterranean with the friends of the club and always with the light, a little less often because I quickly cold. In fact, I never understood divers who left without light. Such a waste !
    Have a good day

  5. We will sometimes look far away what is next to it ...
    Very beautiful photos, which gives a little color to this very dark day
    => I AM CHARLIE

  6. @Corinne: Well! Like what! Beyond your beautiful photos, you made me laugh with the freshness of the water! 😆
    I can only imagine, you're so used to tropical waters! 😉

  7. For me, the best dive sites in France are on the island of Port Cros. Follow-up of those around Hyères and Marseille. That's wonderful. The best of the best is the Gabinière that I highly recommend. Groupers with shovels and benches of barracuda (sort of Barracudas), I even found the sea cicada found lobster.
    Even if we have a lot in common because I have been to most of the dive sites you describe in South East Asia (my diving career started in the Mediterranean in 2003), for me the Gabinière is one of the best dive spots in the world 😉 If you want some, I can give you some tips of sites to see absolutely in France.

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