Categories
Adventures & Expeditions General Scuba & Training

SCUBA Diving in Romania – Black Sea

Black Sea – located in the SE of Europe, is a unique environment which despite its name, is quite diving friendly. Well… is not quite a Red Sea or the Mediterranean Sea, but for sure, is beautiful! In the next chapter, I will talk a bit about SCUBA diving in the Romanian Black Sea coast sector with which I am familiar. Other Black Sea coastal areas might have similar or different particularities. Contact a local dive center(s) for collecting the right and up-to-date information.

We are diving the Black Sea all year round. Anyway, the preferred season is beginning summer – half autumn, starting sometime in June and ending sometime beginning of October. With plus/minus.

Weather & winds: Unfortunately, everything is related to the weather, respectively to the wind direction.

In the north part of our coastline is the Danube Delta and everything else is south of it, and with the predominant wind from NE which blows down all the muddy water, the visibility is heavily affected by the weather. Danube Delta is a UNESCO Heritage – a fabulous place to visit, approx 150Km North of Constanta.

When winds blow from the South, clear and cold water is brought from the deep waters of Bosporus, and visibility is greatly increased.

And one more thing… there are no big bays or islands to break down the winds or currents. So… better have your passport in your hands, just in case. Just kidding!

Also, another characteristic of the Black Sea is… is very moody! We need a large window of good weather ahead to go out at sea. Websites as Windguru & Windy are constantly monitored, as well as marine VHF channel 25 for last-minute weather reports. We had dives when the sea status changed even in one hour from flat to choppy.

Visibility: average: 5…8m. Extremes: -0.5 to +20mtrs. 5m is decent and good visibility to enjoy any dive. Black Sea dive!

Water temperature: from +4degC in the winter to +27degC in the summer (surface) with strong thermocline anywhere below -10m…-15m down to 8-10deg C. So in the summertime is very common to have a 15-20deg C difference between surface and bottom.

This requires the diving plan to be well-executed, teamwork and coordination, otherwise overheating in the drysuit is not a good idea.

Warm water comes with lots of plankton and vegetation. Which drops the visibility. Not so friendly for underwater video photographers.

Salinity: Black Sea salinity is very low, almost as freshwater. Excellent for “out of mask” situation 😊and bit less weight ballast 😃 Plus that we use Steel cylinders for backmount, Aluminium cylinders for sidemount.

Wrecks: our area of expertise! We love wrecks, we dive wrecks, we know wrecks inside outside. With +29 years of sea experience, we embedded in our DNA & breathe ships & wrecks!

An excellent description of the Black Sea wrecks accessible in our area can be found here: https://www.blackseawrecks.ro/

Best ones: the warship Russian destroyer Moskva and the two Russian submarines (SC-213 & Malyutka XII).

In some wrecks, penetration is possible, of course, with proper qualification, team & gear. For wreck diving training – You Xiu, Sadu and Paris are offering excellent profiles in depth and complexity.

Depths: from -22m to -45m. We require for all divers to be qualified minimum Advanced Open Water + Basic Nitrox and for some wrecks (over -35… -38m) – a minimum TDI Deco Procedures, ANDI Technical SafeAir Diver L3 or equivalent. This is due to the distance from the safe haven combined with the harsh conditions (thermocline, currents, visibility) as we try to minimize any possible reason for an unwanted event.

Diving insurance: compulsory. If you don’t have a valid one, we can assist you.

Medical fitness: all divers are required to be in a minimum decent physical shape! Overweighted and under influence of alcohol or drugs – not accepted. We do not support smokers therefore, we suggest you refrain from your unhealthy habit for the duration of our activities. The new medical form must be filled up and signed by all participants.

HBOT: in Constanta, we are proud to have a private high-class medical facility with a qualified team, in case of emergency and also, for regular check-ups or specialized medical examinations.

Sealife: quite rich I can say, depending on the season. Sea horses, pipefish, gobies, crabs, jellyfish, all sorts of local fish, even stingrays, and sometimes, dolphins.

Underwater archaeology:

  • Sunken city Tomis: just 150m distance from our dive center. Dive into history! Max depth: -6m to -8m.

Easy dives but very interesting site, good for training and check/try/refresh dive, rich in sea life and history!

  • Callatis: presently Mangalia city, located approx 40Km South of Constanta. Depth: -3m to -9m.

Facility & logistics: we do and/or have:

Diving Boats: we have 3 charter options:

  • One large vessel (up to 25pax) – slow(er) speed, only for coastal diving. Good for large groups, even small parties onboard 😊
  • One diving boat, approx. 15m length, up to 8-10pax, good for offshore diving.

Accommodations and restaurants:  Constanta city is full of hotels, motels & restaurants for all budgets.

Traveling to Constanta:

The main Romanian airport is Otopeni, Bucharest (OTP) – approx. 250kms distance, shuttle (mini) busses/ cars or trains available.

The local airport (international) – Kogalniceanu (CND) – is just 25kms distance from Constanta city.

Train station: approx 3km distance from our location.

To visitHistriaAdamclisi – historical places. Murfatlar is a great place if you like some good wine. Good restaurants in the city with traditional and international cuisine. Rich nightlife in Mamaia Resort, just north of Constanta with a great beach (very recently extended!) with lots of night party clubs.

South of Constanta – a dozen large resorts are offering all kinds of entertaining for day and night visitors.

Museums: Naval Museum, Military Museum, Art Museum “Ion Jalea”, The Museum on National History & Archeology, Mosaic Museum.

Techirghiol – another famous place, very well known for its therapeutical mud!

Covid19: this is as you know, ongoing situation. We try to comply as much as possible or exceed regulation, when possible (including UV lamp in the technical room, for example), but we need to keep eye on the local and international movements as things might change at the last minute

Other diving locations in Romania: caves (Isverna), mines, lakes.

Latest updates: as of April 2021, any recreational diving activity is under surveillance and control of the Romanian Navy Dive Center. Unfortunately, the totalitarian monopoly of a governmental military institution with NO international accreditations, experience, training, standards, or knowledge of any kind of our recreational/technical diving activities is coming with a heavy negative impact on our businesses. At this moment, the APSR (a private NGO of Romanian professional recreational divers) is in discussions with high governmental institutions in order to clarify and establish a professional relationship between recreational/technical divers and other parties.

As such, most of our activity will be temporarily re-design, including for overseas training and activities. Will keep you updated!

For any additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at:

info [ at ] t101 [ dot ] ro or

info [ at ] scubatech [ dot ] eu

or via Phone/Whatsapp: +40 774 547 323.

Thank you and stay safe!

Costa