The spurt of Stoupa and the caves of Fonea

In the area of Stoupa in Messinia specifically outside the beach of Kalogria, there is a unique natural phenomenon,  an underwater flow on the seabed of fresh water. The dimension and large quantities of fresh water are what make this phenomenon unique. Despite its depth, the flow is visible from the surface where a strong surface current will drift you away. Due to the nature of this phenomenon, the Hellenic Center for Marine Research, in collaboration with the Agricultural University, started to monitor it in 2008 by taking measurements. The aim is to determine whether the water quality and quantity originating from the mountain of Taygetos is able to meet the demand of the area for supply of fresh water, especially during the summer months where there is an apparent shortage. After countless measurements were taken with submersible scientific instruments of HCMR and extensive diving to place instrumentation and extract samples, the results were discouraging. While the water in the winter months is fresh, during the summer months it becomes brackish and therefore not exploitable. The dimensions are 50m in length and 30m in width and the deepest point is 27m where the largest opening is located, this can be visited underwater particularly during the summer months when the force of its flow decreases. Apart from the main vent, there are three smaller ones that emit water depending on the season and when the last rainfall has occurred. Still, Stoupa’s fresh water vent is a unique diving destination, the quality of water, its streams and its whole morphology have created a unique environment full of colors and life. The coexistence of different types of sponge with unbelievable color combinations, along with fish and nudibranch create a colorful palette where the diver can enjoy every moment.

In the autumn of 2018, the diving team of Antonis Grafas, in partnership with Dimitris Exarchouleas, owner of the dive center Dive Code, organized and executed a series of dives for the purpose of filming and photographing Stoupa and the caves of Foneas.