Kalymnos Island, Aegean Sea, Greece, October 2019
Home of the sponge divers, Kalymnos is a Greek island belonging to the Dodecanese island chain in the southeastern Aegean Sea.
The reason to our first visit to this arid and rocky island was to film the sponge diving activity during our voyage to the Red Sea back in 2011.
That was when we met Mihalis at Divers Island who offered us to join him diving at some nearby fish farms to film Atlantic bluefin tunas.
.Now we are back again to dive the waters of Kalymnos as we have heard that there are not only many more tunas around the fish farms where Mihalis works, but several groups of bottlenose dolphins who also come to the aquacultures to feast on the discarded farmed fish.
.Back in 2011, we were very impressed by the 5-10 tunas we then saw during our dive. But now, 8 years later, we hardly can believe our eyes when seeing the size and numbers of the tunas circulating around us!
The Atlantic bluefin tuna is the biggest species of tuna, with an average size of 2-2,5 m long and approx 300 kg. They can get much bigger though and is said to possibly exceed remarkable 900 kg!
When the dead farmed fish is ejected from the cages, the tunas come with high speed and such an intense power that it, at times, is very difficult to keep a steady camera due the strong turbulence created by these massive, strong, yet elegant creatures.
So many bluefin tunas that we now are surrounded by is something I never would have been daring dreaming about before. Seeing these highly powerful fishes so close feels mightily impressive!
No dolphins were around during our first dive, but as we are here for a longer time we join Mihalis on numerous dives at the fish farms.
Plenty time is the key. In addition to the majestic tunas that keep us company at every dive, we get to experiences several encounters with the curious dolphins that appears in the area now and then.
One morning, the dolphins are even waiting for us to get ready for the dive. Meanwhile we prepare our gear they stay side by side with the dive boat, patiently waiting for us. When we slip into the water they seem extra joyful and keep follow us during our entire 60 min dive.
There is especially one dolphin that Mihalis feel a closer relationship with. This dolphin often stays close and curiously interacts with him.
This dolphin he calls Misha.
During our many dives at the fish farm, we observe that the dolphins not necessarily only stay around to get food. Sometimes they don't eat at all, but keep close to simply enjoy our company and curiously watch when Mihalis do the maintain work on the cages.
Such amazing dives and incredible encounters we have experienced these past few weeks. Thanks so much to Mihalis Koumparos and the team at Divers Island for outstanding service and smiling company :-)
All the underwater pics in this blogpost are screenshots from our dives with Mihalis who runs Divers Island Kalymnos. More info about his dive center you find at: www.diversisland-kalymnos.gr