Divers enter a world that has existed peacefully, for centuries transformed into a fabulous underwater paradise of colour and remarkable natural features. The cave’s natural “decoration” is absolutely magical.
The cavern’s entrance is between 7.5 and 12 meters deep with a width of about 9 meters. After swimming in for about 40 meters a series of exquisite red and white stalagmites and stalactites are revealed to greet divers as they emerge into the cave. Gorgeous white and red formations decorate the ceiling and floor, glinting in the briefest touch of light. The existence of these formations above and below the water surface is a clear indication that the cave has been shaped several thousands of years ago, when the sea waters were much lower. Among the treasures of the cave are the fossilized remains of an elephant which include vertebra, teeth and a tusk. Especially interesting apart from the elephant bones are the numerous deer bones that belong to both normal and dwarf deer, merely 30cm tall. This is a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed.
The name Minnewaska comes from the American Indian word meaning clear water. The ship was built in Belfast in November 1908 and It was 183 meters long constructed as a passenger steamer. During the first world war the ship was used by the British military to transport troops. On the 29th November 1916 the ship was leaving Souda the troops onboard when she struck a mine laid by a German submarine UC23. Hold below the water line she started to sink Captain Gates steered a course to the nearest land to try to beach the ship in the area of Marathi. Here all the survivors from the explosion made it to the shore the wreck remained here for many years until it was sold to a Italian company for scrap. One section was too deep to salvage and it is this 50 meter long, 10 meter wide section that can be seen by divers today at a depth between 12 and 20 meters.