Jubilee Shoals is often described as the second best dive site in Cyprus after the Zenobia Wreck, for many reasons we think that on it's day it is at least as good !
Located just a few kilometres out to sea off the beach in Pissouri - Jubilee Shoals is the biggest known reef in Cyprus. Stretching hundreds of metres to the east and west and with depths of between 16 metres at it's pinnacle down to at least 70 metres at the bottom. The reef has a sheer wall on it's southern side which makes for a spectacular free descent from the surface down to a large cave entrance at 36 metres. The wall is full of marine life of all shapes and sizes along with colourful fans, sponges and corals among other living organisms. The wall is also home to lobster, moray eels, octopus, brittle stars and so much more. On one end of the wall there is the remains of a Canberra airplane that aborted into the sea many years ago on it's approach into RAF Akrotiri not too far away.
All around the reef you can see abundant fishes of all types and over the season it is visited by turtles, tuna, jacks, sardines, breams, lionfish, wrasses and even blue shark have been spotted here. You never know what you may see and you always see something different every time you dive here.
The dive starts with a very picturesque boat trip of about 15 to 20 minutes out to the buoy that marks the site. This dive is for relatively good divers with experience or a qualification up to 40 metres and we only dive here with Nitrox, usually 29%. Tanks are usually 15 litres for everyone with 7 litre stages for the staff for redundancy and back up. Jubilee Shoals is a deep dive and can have currents running across the wall with a large cave to explore too so divers need to be able enough for this mix of conditions.
From the buoy there is a pinnacle directly below with 3 shapes of rock on the top that make it look like the top of a castle chess piece, the wall is just in front of this. The descent from the surface takes you past the pinnacle and straight down the wall to a large cave entrance at 36 metres. You enter the cave which has lots of space, the walls and roof are covered with organisms and growths as you slowly make your way through with torches showing the way. The cave is large and very long and as you turn a corner the exit greets you in the distance with a beautiful glow of the deep blue. It is a stunning swim through as the cave then drops in depth slightly to 38 metres. You then exit into the clear blue and turn along the wall slowly getting shallower. This then becomes a wall dive of a good 30 minutes which gives you plenty of time to explore the inhabitants and the surrounding marine life. As we get to where the wall drops off again we turn along the wall at about 23 metres and slowly head back towards the scenic pinnacle at 16 metres, here you can look down over the wall to where it drops off to some very deep depths. Very spectacular and you really do feel like you are flying.
As you finish your dive admiring the different marine species on and around the pinnacle and the drop offs around the reef we then start our slow ascent and safety stops admiring the impressive reef formations below us as we go.
A truly fantastic dive site with so much more to explore and a dive not to be missed !