Tarkhankut – a diver’s paradise
The heady tart aroma of dry virgin steppe, the famous Tarkhankut winds, sheer cliffs, rocky shores, under which the cleanest sea in the Crimea splashes, and amazing coastal and underwater landscapes attract vacationers of a special type. People come here not to lie on the sand, but to relax actively. Tarhankut is one of the most interesting places for diving in the Crimea, which you need to see with your own eyes.
Actually, here, in the classical sense, there are not so many beaches here either – they exist only near the village of Olenevka. For Tarkhankut regulars, the beach is a place where it is convenient to approach the water. The beauty of the rocky shore will not leave indifferent even stubborn skeptics. If you go down to the sea, there will be no trace of skepticism.
The pearls of Tarhankut are the landscape tract Atlesh and the landslide coast of Dzhangul (both of which are state reserves of local importance). The huge limestone rock massifs of Atlesha with grottoes, bays, arches and caves, underwater reefs covered with a soft carpet of algae and mussel brushes, amazingly clean emerald water always evoked special favor from filmmakers (the Soviet blockbusters “Amphibian Man” and “Pirates of the 20th Century filmed here) ) The less visited, but thanks to this, and the more wild Dzhangul arose as a result of a massive collapse of the coastal rock, which created a bizarre pile on the coast, for each of which admirers came up with their own name: Three-headed Dragon, Stone Heart, Kiss, Demon. Unfortunately, travelers will no longer be able to admire the real decoration of the tract – Rock Stone Flower: recently, the spirits of Dzhangul stopped its existence in a grand collapse.
You can get to Atlesha and Dzhangul from Olenevka only by car: there, respectively, 5 and 11 km on a dirt road. The “lack of development” and the absence of any infrastructure are predetermined by remoteness from settlements and the lack of normal roads (even a jeep can be “killed” on rocky steppe tracks in a couple of months), today, paradoxically, this is almost the only guarantee of preserving these pristine corners of the wild nature. Tarhankut as a magnet attracts people of one “blood type”. It is not difficult to identify the representatives of this group; their stories about getting to know the region start surprisingly the same: “I came, saw, fell in love.”
Karma Olenevka is not to be a banal resort village, but an outpost for thousands of divers who come here from the old “scoop”: in the summer, the population of the village grows about ten times – up to 15 thousand people. Serving divers is the main area of employment for the local population. Here you can see ads for rental of diving equipment everywhere, and the sign “Housing. Air ”will not cause any surprise or smile.
It is difficult to find a more beautiful underwater landscape than on Tarhan, as travelers call it. Here, nature itself took care of the perfect dive in any weather: if there is a storm on one side of Cape Tarkhankut, then there is calm on the other. But in order to feel like a fish in water, you first need to undergo training – to know what diving equipment is and how to use it properly, to master the skill of “neutral buoyancy” – to hover in the water at the right depth, without diving or floating. The weight of diving equipment is approximately 25 kg: you can’t run with them on land, and the price is even more striking: if you are keen on diving, your wallet will be lighter by € 1.5–3 thousand. Diving is generally not for the faint of heart. It requires iron self-discipline, willpower, responsibility for the partner, because the occupation is exclusively paired. The main enemy of the diver is panic. It slows down breathing, which is especially dangerous at depth: a quick ascent can result in decompression sickness or barotrauma of the lungs.
Before the first dive, instructors warn beginners that they are not responsible for their subsequent life. And we are talking, of course, not about physical life (just in this sense, you can safely trust a professional instructor), but about the great likelihood of a fundamental change in worldview. Divers joke that the air from the cylinder has narcotic properties: inhaling it once, you will not get rid of this dependence. And diving itself (and this is no longer a joke) gives a person peace and harmony: “You feel like in outer space: weightlessness and black unknown below. But you need to be careful, because at a depth of over 30 m there is a danger of nitrogen anesthesia. Divers even have a saying: “The Abyss called.”