Winter snorkelling in Ibiza has the added beauty of a deserted coast and deafening silence.
A beautiful Saturday morning in February and the majestic Torre d’en Rovira as our only witness. As we make our way down the rocky shore, the excitement of putting on our wetsuits overcomes us. It’s a beautiful winter morning with blue skies and a soft northern breeze clears all the clouds. The sea reveals all its hues of green, turquoise, blue and waits for us, almost calling our names.
Jes, our camera wizzard, is putting on her wetsuit as she announces water temperature: a brisk 14 degrees celsius. It will probably get to a low of 13 in coming days, and then spring should gradually bring us warmer waters. But we feel blessed that this is as low as it gets in our white island.
We glide into the sea and we avoid a few jellyfish unseasonably present at this time of winter. Leftovers from the previous summer who are piling up near the shore, most of them soon dead. And then, all of a sudden, a beautiful starfish (Mediterranean red star, or Echinaster sepositus) is right in front of us. Bright red, sprawling on a bed of colourful of algae, the star seems to want to come out of the water. And soon after, a purple sea urchin under a rock, followed by a school of sea breams.
Torre d’en Rovira witnesses our winter snorkelling
Torre d’en Rovira is situated between Cala Bassa and Cala Comte and presides the bay of San Antoni. From its strategic location it alerted the population of Sant Antoni of incoming pirate vessels since the XVIII century. And these were frequent! From the XIV century, pirates from northern Africa raided the Ibiza coast and the tower was instrumental in letting locals know it was time to seek refuge. Men on the tower made smoke signals or fire at night upon sighting the incoming vessel.
The lack of an army in Ibiza made the defence of its citizens and goods a difficult proposition. It was not until the islanders created their own body of privateers or corsairs that Ibiza proudly defended itself. The legendary Ibiza corsairs marks the transition from towers of alert to towers of defence.
Winter snorkelling might be for you
I picked up winter snorkelling from a young age in Ibiza. It just seemed too long until summer came around again to enjoy the beauty of our underwater paradise. Sure, at first the water seemed a little cold to stay for more than a quick and invigorating dip. But a wetsuit of about 5 mm allows you to enjoy your snorkelling for long periods without any discomfort.
I always feel relaxed as I see colours, different textures and wildlife surrounding me. Snorkelling is also a good source of exercise as you swim and particularly as you try to fight the buoyancy of your suit as you dive. Calm, energised and filled with beautiful images is how you feel after an underwater session. Try it!