Thousands of divers come to Cyprus every year with one dive site high on their diving agenda - the Zenobia wreck. But so many only consider diving her for the one day, some come to dive the wreck for a whole week, but the majority only plan for the one visit. The Zenobia is a massive wreck stretching out almost 200 metres in length including debris on the sea bed, the wreck itself is 172 metres from bow to stern. With depths of 16 to 42 metres and with so many levels of the wreck to explore this is a dive site you have to visit a number of times to get a real feel for the diving she has to offer.
The standard dive profiles that most first time visitors to the wreck complete are usually a dive around the stern and back to the middle area where the ascent lines are. This is then followed by a dive around the bow and some easy penetration into the cafeteria depending on experience and ability.
These two dive profiles are excellent and there is a lot to see. These dives can also be just an introduction to a lot more of the wreck that is waiting to be explored. When diving the Zenobia dive centres and professionals follow an easy dive profile to start with which is the right and proper approach when taking divers on this immense wreck for the first time. Depending on experience and qualification levels there is a general policy of no penetration on the first dive and limited on the second.
When people book multiple dives on the Zenobia or want to return we can then discuss the many variable dive profiles that are available. As always dives planned depend on training, experience and equipment requirements with safety as always the highest priority.
Here are a number of dives that are available for wreck heads and Zenobia enthusiasts.
First dive descends to the side of the wreck, across to the props, around the stern doors and we then start to dive over the lorries on the upper lorry deck. We then dive between the funnels exploring the various cargo's past the lines and along to the lifeboats. Depending on air we then visit the bridge area and then up onto the side of the wreck looking into the cafeteria and accommodation windows. The dive then brings us nicely back to the ascent lines to finish the dive with a cool 4 to 5 metre dive back under the dive boat with an extended safety stop and final ascent.
The second dive then takes you over the lifeboats, over or into the bridge, around the bow and into the cafeteria. Some of the accommodation block can then also be dived. Wherever we finally exit it is normally time then to finish off with diving back along the wreck and around the starboard prop area.
A second visit can then lead to a number of profiles.
A full dive through the accommodation block followed by entering the upper area of the inside of the upper lorry deck is very interesting. A dive into the lower part of the upper lorry deck to see all the lorries stacked up on top of each other is also an excellent dive and an opportunity to see the cargo's close up.
Diving into the lift shaft is another dive profile. You can enter deeper areas of the accommodation, the launderette, captains quarters and the staff quarters. This dive brings you out deeper into the bridge where you can exit and even visit the chain locker.
For deep divers a dive to the seabed is a must. Here you can dive on the lorries on the bottom, the port funnel area and the quarters that are in the bottom half of the wreck. You can also venture from here deep into the wreck, deep into the upper lorry deck and this is the area where the entrance to the engine room can be seen. On the other side a deep dive to the port prop and along the hull to the arched swim through of the bow is well worth doing.
To enter the middle lorry deck there are a couple of profiles that can be followed either down from the upper deck past the engine room or in through a hatch on the side of the wreck.
The middle lorry deck can be dived a number of times and should be dived on a technical type rig due to being totally enclosed. Inside the dives are excellent with scores of different types of vehicles and cargo to explore. You can dive to the stern on one dive, to the bow on another with a range of depths to drop down to on further dives.
The engine room, lower lorry deck and other dives like the auxillary engine room are fascinating but are for technical diving only.
You can dive any mixture of the above and easily dive the Zenobia for a week and not see it all. I must have dived her almost a thousand times and always find diving this top wreck an absolute thrill with something new always to be seen and we never get bored of her. This is a dive site and one of the best wrecks in the world with at least 20 different dives you could enjoy !