D'Olcinium Diving Club

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Ulcinj, Montenegro

D'Olcinium Diving Club Ulcinj Reviews

alexchan alexchan
122 reviews
I wouldn't do it again Aug 03, 2014
DIVING

I had a day to kill in Ulcinj and didn’t fancy lying on any of its crowded beaches. So I opted to dive with D’Olcinium Diving Club.

They charge EUR25 per dive (up to two dives per day), plus EUR20 for all equipment. They gave a choice of a wreck or cave dive, preceded by a check dive. I opted for the wreck. It was another EUR5 to have photos taken on the dives.

EQUIPMENT

All the equipment looked near new and seemed of good quality. But I had a big shock when assembling my equipment to find that I had no backup regulator. I’ve never encountered this kind of equipment before and was extremely uncomfortable as I had seen a regulator failure only a few weeks ago. But I told myself that if they are being made that way, then it must be acceptable.

CHECK DIVE

Turning up at 0915, I got my gear ready and headed out to the boat. To my surprise I realised the post-pubescent boy (who wasn’t even shaving yet) was going to be my divemaster! The older guy was the boat captain.

I wasn’t pleased but thought that he must be competent as his father/boss wouldn’t let him do it otherwise. Also as it turns out, the check-dive was in 5m of water.

There was nothing to see except rocks with mossy growth on them; there was next to no fish. I tried to kid myself that it looked like Guilin that had been inundated due to immense global warming.

And to think that the boy had given me the choice of photographing either this dive or the wreck!!!

About halfway through the dive, the boy got me to surface and tell me that we would end the dive once the first person gets down to 50 bar of air. At the kind of depth we were at, we could have been diving forever before we run low on air. I got bored after 20 minutes and decided to go up.

WRECK DIVE

We returned to the wharf to pick up Dad. I was relieved that he would be my divemaster for the wreck dive. The wreck is the Karola (length 65.8m, width 8.8m) and sunk in 1916 due to a collision with an identical boat which survived the accident. It sits at a depth of 18m.

We descended guided by the boat’s anchor rope. I thought visibility was very poor (probably 3m) but I was told it was very good as it gets much worse since the site is near two rivers bringing silt down. That meant that we weren’t able to see the wreck as a whole but only a small portion of it at a time.

We entered the wreck via the front where the floors and walls have disappeared and made our way slowly to the rear. I didn’t think I was allowed to go into wrecks with my level of certification but perhaps it’s because there were openings above us every now and then.

While my buoyancy control has been quite good lately, I struggled a bit in the confined spaces where I had to remain stationary. It wasn’t something I’ve experienced going though caves and swim-throughs.

We surfaced after about 40 minutes aided by the anchor rope again. It was a good dive experience for me even though there was next to no fish and poor visibility by my standards. It certainly wasn’t the scenic dives that I’ve been spoilt with in the tropics.

PHOTOS

I was told after the dive photos would be ready in a day. But as I was leaving in the evening, the boy asked me to return at 1630 to collect them. And so I did. And I waited outside for an hour while people-watching. No one turned up.

I wrote an email to the address on the website saying that I’d be at the bus station from 2045 to 2115 and hoped that they could have it over to me. The Captain turned up at 2045 and Dad followed up with an email. I’d like to think there was a misunderstanding.

Having got the photos now, they weren't worth looking at. It serves perhaps to remind me that the dive was worse than I thought at the time.

CONCLUSION

I thought it was very bad form to require a check dive and then not do it properly. I would not recommend diving with D’Olcinium.
Diving the Karola wreck.
Diving the Karola wreck.
Diving the Karola wreck.
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