After watching the new Elpida wreck being sank in December 2019 we have dived her many times since and she is a great addition to the dive sites and official artificial reefs programme here in Cyprus.
The Elpida was a Greek container ship and the name means Hope in Greek. She is almost 70m in length and lies at a depth of 30 metres. The top of the hold is at 20m and the bottom is 27m, with the general quarters and bridge at depths between 20m and 14m. The tip of the masts are at 10m and the wreck is nice and flat on the seabed.
She lies just 25 minutes from the Zenobia so you can dive the Elpida and Zenobia on the same dive trip.
For the dives the main line is on the wrecks mid ships so you can dive either way from here. We tend to head towards the stern where you can drop into the hold at it's deepest depth and dive all the way through it. You then come to the large engine room which is safe to penetrate and with good buoyancy you can dive all the way around the room before exiting. We then take a flight of stairs from here and start to explore the many rooms of the main quarters structure. Here we find tiles still on the floor, toilets, more stairs to dive slowly shallower, shower rooms, cupboards, windows to peer out of, doorways and corridors, and a large bridge to dive through. It is a great structure to explore and it takes you eventually out onto a walkway all around the stern which is great to swim along, and then there is still the outer of the main quarters structure to explore as you continue to get shallower watching your no deco time. From here we then dive on the outside of the main container up to the bow to look for more marine life and the main winching gear on the bows deck.
The main dive has a maximum depth of 28m but it is suitable for divers with a maximum depth of 20m. We then gradually get shallower and do a small stop at 9m on top of the main mast which is very nice looking down over the whole wreck. We are then back to the line for our main safety stop and slow ascent to the dive boat above. Dive time can range of course depending on the diver but a dive is possible up to 50 minutes.
As time goes by the wreck will continue to grow as an artificial reef and marine life is already colonising it in large numbers. This will only continue over the next 12 months and beyond. Already we are seeing shoals of large Amberjacks in big numbers, sea breams, file fish, triggerfish, lionfish, wrasses, parrotfish, nudibranchs and other organisms will start to cover the structure to encourage even more life.
It is a great dive and one not be be missed on your diving itinerary to Cyprus !