A diving cruise between Corsica and Capraia. On board the Frala. In the two final days we dived in Corsica, on the Secca di Naso and then we headed towards Capraia. A gem set in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Frala, the previous afternoon, after having re-emerged from the second dive, set off again heading north.
The sun was rising for us in Ile-Rousse, an ancient fishing village that enchants with its islets that sink into the bay with turquoise water. Its name is inspired by the ocher color of the main island used as a stopover.
Slowly, the ferries coming from Marseille appeared on the horizon.
Two dives at the Secca di Naso
A vast monolithic block rose from the abyss, from a depth I did not know. At a certain point, we are at a bathymetric altitude of about -40, a huge plateau gives rise to a series of very large submerged pyramids with passages and canyons in the center, between sand and posidonia.
The first dive to seek that exclusivity that only certain places can give us. In search of the passage of large fish. But the sea offers moments and, in general, these moments are characterized by the current. That day there was no current, everything flowed slow and placid. And, then, even that pair of snappers that passed by do so with an almost holiday-like pace.
The second dive to look at the environment, on the pyramids facing the ground. Authentic walls descended steeply to the bottom. First covered by the yellow carpet of sea daisies, then by numerous fans of yellow sea fans and finally, on the bottom, where not everyone is qualified to get there, the precious red sea fans.
One night in Capraia
I carry two emotions in my heart about the time I went to Corsica. The first, the sadness of leaving a special place. Perhaps also due to the awareness that time is inexorably flying.
The second is the joy and amazement of the majesty of nature. Capraia was in front of my eyes, totally illuminated by the full moon.
The night, spent there, sheltered by the illuminated Saracen tower, in the upper city, fascinated me and gave me the opportunity to reflect on how lucky I am to be able to experience moments like these.ti.
There was a frenzy among my traveling companions, going back and forth from the cabins to the stern. We were starting to recover all the pieces that we had lost around the boat. In the afternoon we headed back to the port, in Rosignano.
But it was not yet the time to say goodbye. It was time to go underwater. Immediately, because we return in the afternoon.
The shoal of the ants
We were north east of Capraia, from where Corsica was no longer visible. The sea was flat, a large slick of deep blue, crystalline oil. It just rippled when we joyfully entered the water with our giant strides.
The top of the shoal was very large and welcomed us at a depth of 25 meters. There were vertical walls that swirled down to the light sand. We were at 40 meters of depth.
There was not a wire. I thought: “thank goodness, you don’t struggle”. Then I thought about it: “pity, we will not see fish hunting”. I was satisfied with the environment, a carpet of yellow gorgonians and daisies. I settled for a couple of large spider crabs.
The tip of the Civitata
A couple of hours at most had passed when, for the last time, I was aft, ready to enter the water. That day, Capraia had decided to be admired in all its splendor. The sun was shining in the clear turquoise sky and was reflected in all its splendor in the transparent and placid water mirror below me.
Under water, the sun’s rays filtered deeply and gave even more charm to these walls that descended vertically towards the seabed. The branches of the yellow gorgonians moved imperceptibly to the rhythm of an almost non-existent current. From the ravines some moray eels appeared timid and cautious.
Higher up, on a large plateau, some shy grouper and some luminous corvina seemed to greet us and wish us a good return.
At the bow of the Frala
A shy master was getting up, to make our return trip cooler. The sea had remained calm and, while on my right the profile of the Island of Elba passes by, in front of me the coast of Rosignano was approaching inexorably.
They are at the bow of the Frala, in an off-limits area for us customers, where the boys and girls of the crew steal a few minutes of relaxation.
I let Lisa and Paolo tell me how the dream and the Frala project were born. The following day was going to be Monday and they would have rested, always lulled by the waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It would be Monday for us too, but we decided to think about something else to rock us. Unfortunately, less welcome …
The following took part in the cruise on the Frala: Andrea Di Vaira, Massimiliano Bignami, Christian Bignami known as Il Nano, Silvia Gelmini, Salvina Montalto, Luca Ravelli, Mattia Beretta, Paolo Gomarasca, Franco Nembrini, Andrea Omati, Guido Omati, Fabio Rutigliano and Giorgio Villa.
A heartfelt thanks to the Frala staff: Paolo, Lisa, Andrea and Sara.