How we went on a diving weekend to Milna?


author: Anamarija Paradinović

I will try to bring you closer to the importance and beauty of our relaxed diving weekend for members, but first I need to describe what our business trips look like.

Preparation for the diving trips of the Association Sunce more or less always looks the same. „Call him – he is busy; call her – she’s already diving somewhere else; and her? she’s pregnant and says see you next year. Call Tasić the diving leader! – he asks if the dog can come with him.“

Struggle, confusion, but we finally get together and off we go. Our Caddy is loaded with equipment so that not even a needle can fit in, and we are on the road to Klis. However, it always somehow reaches our destination and then the real show begins.

Every day from early morning, the dive leader roars with the compressor. We are drinking coffee while Strigo makes breakfast for everyone. Then the bottles are taken to the boat, the diving equipment is installed, and we check if we took the tiles, squares, transects, GPS, and cameras with us on the boat. The diving leader complains to us that we are too slow and that his boat is now messy, and around 10 o’clock we finally set sail. While driving to the dive sites, if the weather is nice, we are singing and dancing but if it rains or wind blows, we sit frowning. When we arrive at the location, well-coordinated diving couples jump into the sea. One dive, and then pause, second dive, data check and return to land. When we return, we start debarkment, cleaning the equipment, showering, and then we run off to dinner. If someone looks at us from the air, would probably say that we look like worker bees. After dinner, we have time for a short break, i.e. video calls with children, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers. Then back to work, entering data from the dive and the GPS device and transferring images. And so, with jokes and laughter, time goes fast so after midnight when we are going to bed we do that very elegantly and quietly because we don’t want to wake up our dive leader Tasić, the early bird who is already in bed.

And so day by day, hour by hour, our trip flies away. On the last day, the rush starts with packing, searching for a mailbox to send postcards around the island, and then the sad goodbyes. And of course,  we promises to each other that we all have to get together one weekend to dive for fun, not for business. Trip where we can enjoy our beautiful underwater without thinking about data and writing everything down.

And this spring, when the plans for the new diving season started, we remembered that “goodbye promise”. Denis had the idea a long time ago, and this time, Zrinka said, “Let’s try to organize this casual diving trip. It’s at the last minute, and the members probably already have weekend plans, but we have to start somewhere!” And so we sent an last minute e-mail invitation. Only 8 members of the Association Sunce signed up, but we were there and dived!

Our diving weekend for members took place on May 14 and 15, 2022 in Milna in cooperation with the Draulik diving center. We dived in the sea on the southern side of the islands of Šolta and Brač, it was a little cold, but on the way back we were lucky enough to see a flock of yelkouan shearwater. You can find out more about them in the Life Artina project. The visibility in the sea is currently quite dimly due to the production cycle, which is very good for the entire ecosystem, but that didn’t bother us. We flew around the rocks and looked for lobsters, and saw a float of sparids and lots of playful blackfish. The only thing that worried us a little was the condition of the corals, which are currently covered with mucilage and have significant damage.

We hung out, held a presentation about the Sunce and talked about events that happened in 2021, we talked about ideas for some new projects and eco-actions, and most importantly, we made a plan for a new diving weekend! That’s why we are already announcing to you that you should free up a weekend for diving in the middle of October (when the sea is still warm), and we will send you all the information on time this time.

And yes, we enjoyed diving without diving tiles and squares.