dive site type: nature
depth range: 0-35 m
distance from the diving center: 3 nm
short characteristic: a slope by shape resembling the stairs, where every step has its own characteristic inhabitants from the spiny lobster at the depth of 25 m to octopuses in the shallows
The westernmost part of the peninsula of Kabal is the most interesting for divers. The slopes are quite steep and the rock formations differ in shapes, from time to time resembling artificial objects. Just in the place where Tiha Bay ends and Stari Grad Bay gets narrower, there is a rock formation looking a bit like stairs. Rocks are pretty flat and it seems that someone might have purposely arranged these rectangle blocks to build steps for giants. This kind of story is of course a fantasy and the formations are totally natural. They can be seen in the emerged part of the peninsula as well as under the water. The slope which extends to more or less 40 m BSL consists of a few big steps. The story of the stairs is hidden in the name of the diving site – Croatian word stepenice in translation to English means stairs.
Diving on Stepenice might be organized in a few different ways. It can be both a drift dive or a dive from a moored boat. Moreover, there is more than one place for anchoring the boat, as well as the directions of drift dive may be changing. Maximum depth is also a choice of divers. Exploration of the sandy bottom below the depth of 40 m seems pointless, but it does not mean that a depth of about 35 m is not worth reaching. On the other hand there is plenty of life between 10 and 20 m and this part is hailed by many as the most interesting.
Nevertheless the most common way of diving in this place is starting in the westernmost part, in Mario Bay, and doing a drift dive keeping all the time east direction. In the very beginning it is worth to reach the depth of about 20 m, where a big sandy tongue starts. Following this tongue to more or less 27 m BSL, the divers can find numerous fossils of heart urchins on the bottom. The tongue is surrounded by short walls, forming a small canyon. Next the divers follow the “steps” of the slope, swimming shallower and shallower as if they were climbing on the stairs to finish the dive after passing the cape of Stupišće, in the calm waters of Tiha Bay, where – at the depth of 5 m – various sea slugs seek food on the yellow sponges. During the whole dive it is worth to look into the blue and observe the behaviour of particular fishes, like for example damselfishes hanging unflinchingly and eating.