A forest dive at Ponikve – “the peek-a-boo lake”

by   Profile Damir   When 8th March 2023
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A few of the members of RK Roniti se mora dived recently 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 it's 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 very abundant precipitation, leads to the creation of a temporary "now it's there, now it's not" lake. 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 which overflows into another, smaller lake from which the water sinks into the ground again and as such flows into the sea along the Rijeka and Bakar bays.

Since it is underground and the water is formed as a result of precipitation or melting snow, the water temperature does not exceed 10°C. The depth of these lakes can be up to 30 meters, 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, snowdrops or violets. Late autumn, when the leaves have not yet fallen, offers us the possibility of unique diving between the lush treetops.

How was our 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 sun, the treetops on the surface reflect orange rays through the tiny leaves and create the most beautiful play between light and shadow.

Written by
Profile Damir
When 8th March 2023
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