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Scuba Diving in Turkey
Dive Site: The Gates
Location: Bodrum, Turkey
Description: Reef with tunnels and caverns
Depth: 3 - 30 metres (10 - 100 feet)
Visibility: 25 metres + (80 feet)
The Gates was certainly my favourite dive during our week in Turkey. Located on the southern coastline between Kargi Harbour and Ekice Cape this dive site has underwater canyons, chimneys and cavern like swim-throughs. We entered the water as a group and swam close to the coastline before dropping into crystal clear visibility well in excess of 20 metres. Descending just a few metres below the surface we were met with jagged volcanic rock layers resembling an almost science fiction moonscape. Swimming along at just 3 metres, the light beams penetrated from above and reflected of the rocks providing a dancing display of underwater laser beams. We soon reached a hole in the wall and descended one-by-one into a chimney which opened into an underwater cavern. Looking back up, other divers descending were silhouetted against the light from the entrance. We made our way through some short tunnels and cracks before reaching a deep blue backdrop as we exited out onto the main reef at 20 metres. Dropping down the sheer wall to 30 metres the sandy sea floor intersected with the rock and continued to slope away as we headed west. Before long we rounded a large outcrop before ascending to 12 metres where the reef top was covered in seagrass with the occasional orange sponge. Now heading east we re-entered the caverns and swam through a small maze of fissures before finally ascending up another chimney and exiting onto the rocky reef top at 5 metres. Here we carried out our safety stops amidst a myriad of bubbles which seeped up from below through every gap in the rocks making you feel like you were in a bottle of champagne.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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