Zeeland, the dive
Is deep sea diving tropical? Think again! A tad cooler, but in many ways just as exciting, and closer to home, Zeeland is calling. I’ve had more than 1,000 dives in the Grevelingen and Oosterschelde, and am still as happy as a babe! I’m Heidi Vandenbussche, a blogging diva of the divers.
The Zeelandbrug dive spot
Might seem funny to call these pillars my second home, but the Zeeland bridge is just that. I’ve spent many a weekend here. I really do prefer the mystery of the Zeeuwse deeps more than any tropical, deep blue waters with 50 metre vision. Here you learn to look more – not that there are times when the water isn’t crystal clear! Can happen.
The moment you go down you’ll see oysters galore, and seaweeds. Peer a bit more and the crabs and shrimps will shape up. Especially if you stay stock still: such detail!
Colourful underwater world
People look funny at me when I talk about the colours of underwater life in Zeeland. Sure, maybe it first looks a bit green, but with a good diving torch the Pantones take over. Look … two red-orange feelers loom up … you’ve found the hideaway of a large lobster. Enjoy, but do not touch. It probably won’t be the only lobster you find but catching them yourself is off limits. The law.
Your keen eye will also notice some gunnel (butterfish), pipefish, various sculpin and anemones. The area around the Zeeland bridge is known for its sea bass even in shallow waters. Why, I even saw some bullheads once, as big as footballs. No fisherblogger tale, really!
Another time, equally unforgettable, was in ‘t Sas van Goes waterway when I saw cuttlefish for the first time. Four of them, all at once! I just managed to deal with my shutter in time. Ever since, every May and June I’ve lurked around there: people put cuttlefish ‘homes’ there, with sticks for the fish to lay their eggs on. A couple of months later, the wee babes emerge.
Tips for diving newbies
A great place to earn your ‘feathers’ as a diver is at the Gemaal van Dreischor station. The area is well vegetated. Another good site is the shipwreck next to the pier at Scharendijke. I must say that the first time I was taken there, I didn’t take my buddy’s tip seriously, that it was a wreck. Now that I am an instructor myself, I make a point of telling newcomers about it. And once you’re a bit more experienced, try your hand (and flippers) at diving in the impressive currents of the Oosterschelde. My own favourite segs are at Schelpenhoek, the Zeelandbrug and around Goes.
To know more
For more information about diving in Zeeland, go here. If you really want to enjoy life underwater for a bit, check out all the diving sites in the province here.