Photographer's Note

Saros Bay from Koru Mountain

Saros Bay on the Aegean coast of Thrace is a depression of tectonic origin that extends from the tip of the historic Gallipoli peninsula as far as Enez on the Greek border. Known in antiquity as Melas and Xeros, this bay is one of the least polluted parts of the Aegean owing to an abundance of underwater currents and the total absence of any large settlements or industry.

By virtue of its position in the region and its ecological properties, the Aegean Sea has a special importance in the Mediterranean ecosystem and a structure unique unto itself in terms of its biological characteristics. The northern and southern waters of the Aegean, which forms a basin where the waters of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean meet, exhibit different degrees of temperature and salinity. Although the surface waters can get as hot as 20 C in summer, the temperature of the waters 10 meters below the surface hovers around 15-17 C. Owing to these properties, the area is a meeting place for warm and cold water species. Western Mediterranean life-forms predominate in the North Aegean region, Eastern Mediterranean life-forms in the South.

Saros Bay meanwhile is nothing short of a miracle, fed as it is by the waters of the Sea of Marmara and of the Black Sea with its rich nutritive salts. The fact that its waters are so pure compared with those of other seas makes it possible for heat to penetrate to great depths. This in turn results in a relative enrichment of the communities of living things on the sea bed and a proliferation in the deep-water fish that feed on them. It’s not for nothing that Jacques Cousteau dubbed the bay ‘a northern version of the Red Sea’ after diving at Saros in the 1970’s.

Saros Bay is also famous for being self-cleaning. The currents produced three times a year in February, April and July by the cold water on the bottom and the hot water at the surface purify the bay of all the refuse and waste matter discharged into it. Thanks to this natural property, Saros is one of the rare seas that has retained its cleanliness and transparency. The warming up of the southern waters in summer and the high ambient temperatures are also a major drawing point for diving buffs. And Saros’s proximity to Istanbul makes it a favorite with divers at every level of experience. As soon as the weather warms up, the nearby underwater educational centers organize daily tours to the area, and underwater sports clubs flock to the bay especially on weekends.

If you’re an underwater buff with a life-long yearning for the deep, then the colors of Saros Bay are definitely going to turn you on as you journey to the Spirit of the Sea.

(Panoramic realized by cropping from RAW Format. It had been brightened and sharpened)

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Additional Photos by Seref Halicioglu (WepWaWet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 355 W: 5 N: 629] (3798)
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