Forest dive @Ponikve or the "now it's there, now it's gone"/peek-a-boo lake

Forest dive @Ponikve or the “now it’s there, now it’s gone”/peek-a-boo lake

A few of our members dived this week at an interesting, temporary location: Ponikve.

The small town of Ponikve is located in the hinterland of Bakar. Just a few houses surround a beautiful, spacious meadow from where the "Ponikve Educational Trail" starts. This meadow is also called "Veliki lug". It is located in a hidden valley surrounded by wooded hills.

This charming place is in a typical karst landscape, characterized by permeable soil, which makes surface lakes mostly rare, but is therefore abundant with underground water. Ponikve is a natural phenomenon that, due to the combination of a very generous source of underground water, less permeable soil than usual, and due to very abundant precipitation, leads to the creation of a temporary "now it's there, now it's not" lake. Then, most often in late autumn during heavy rains or early spring as a result of melting snow, Ponikve becomes a true oasis for divers. Two lakes usually form; a larger one where an underground river springs up, and which overflows into another, smaller lake, from which the water sinks into the ground again and as such flows into the sea along the entirety Rijeka and Bakar bays. Since it is underground water formed as a result of precipitation or melting snow, the temperature of the water does not exceed 10 degrees Celsius. The depth of these lakes can be up to 30 meters, thus completely covering the treetops in the meadows, as well as the nearby hunting lodge. Although the trees have not yet turned green in early spring, the meadow is full of harbingers of spring, such as blooming wild pomegranate, snowdrop or violet. Late autumn, while the leaves have not yet fallen, offers us the possibility of unique diving between the lush treetops.

How was our autumn dive? Well...very unusual! You float between the treetops and above the saffron in the meadow. Everything is magical and wonderful, like a mystical forest. If one dives in early enough and catches a few rays of the sun, the treetops on the surface reflect orange rays through tiny leaves and screen the most beautiful play of light and shadow.

Fotographers: Damir Zurub, Dragana Momčilović, Vanja Krvavica