Lučice

dive site type: caves & caverns
difficulty: medium
depth range: 0-35 m (cavern 5-35 m)
distance from the diving center:  9.5 nm
short characteristic: a cavern, in shape resembling a bell, with the entrances (looking like blue eyes) at the depth of 5 m, a height of 30 m and diameter exceeding 40 m

 

On the island of Brač, south from the town of Milna, there is a picturesque cove called Lučice. Well-known among sailors, attracts crowds of tourists. People choose this place for holidays because of the privacy that can be easily reached – on one hand due to isolation, on the other due to facile access both by car and by boat. Nevertheless divers visit the bay from another reason. Under the water there is a cave, which is listed among the top sites of the Adriatic Sea and it is not unusual that the diving centres from the near islands or even mainland operate here. Although the underwater caves are quite common on the Dalmatian coast, this particular one belongs to the most interesting. Dalmatia is mainly built of limestones and dolomites, which are prone to karst processes. Tens of thousands years ago, when the sea level of the Mediterranean Sea was much lower, karst processes took place in many places in Dalmatia. Then – when the sea level rose and the Dalmatian coast was formed – caves and tunnels were flooded, and the sea, through its activities, contributed to their enlargement, scouring the sediments.

One of such caves is located in the western part of the Lučice cove and it is known by the same name. The cave resembles in shape a bell or a grinder tooth. There is one big chamber with a diameter of about 40 m and a height of about 30 m. The chamber can be reached by one of two entrances (exits) located at the depth of about 3-5 m. After entering the cave divers usually spirally move around it, being close to the walls. The maximum depth of exploration is about 35 m. Deeper there are two branches (like roots of the grinder tooth), where seriolas, fish similar to tunas, live. Swimming around the cave, the divers come across a place, where enormous stalactites exist at the depth of about 25 m. Close to it there is a rubble arisen after a collapse of a ceiling during inception of the entrances. The part below the entrances is shallower – going down to more or less 20 m – and lighter. In this place divers can easily communicate even not using torches. Although there are dark parts in the cave, the entrances are always visible and due to the coming lights and shape they resemble blue eyes. Swimming spirally, divers approach the ceiling and leave the cave to do the safety stop and reach anchored boat.

Outside the cave numerous urchins, octopuses and sea slugs can be found, but it is the cave itself what is the most interesting. The shape and size of it make a big impression on divers, but the walls wouldn’t be that beautiful, if they weren’t colourful. Densely covered by various sponges, they look as if someone carelessly splashed them with paint. Besides the sponges, there are numerous moss animals (Bryozoa) and Sedentaria. On the rubble, in turn, nocturnal organisms, like brittle stars, can be easily found. A very characteristic fish for enclosed spaces is a cardinalfish – a red fish with a large eye. A careful diver can see that the cardinalfish always moves directing the abdominal part of the body to the bedrock, regardless of whether it is the bottom, wall or ceiling, therefore in the caves it can be observed that cardinalfish are swimming belly up.