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swimming in the mediterranean sea

swimming in the mediterranean sea

swimming in the mediterrean sea

Hi dear friends,  solsarin in this article is talking about “swimming in the mediterranean sea”.

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swimming in the mediterranean sea
swimming in the mediterranean sea



After a crazy first day in Marsala, Giovanni and I opted for a much more relaxing morning. Instead of touring more vineyards, we went down the road for some sun and beach time. We swam in three different bodies of water that day, and unfortunately the morning started with the worst location of all (it reminded me of a dry/warm version of the Washington beach).


I was just excited to get to finally swim in the Mediterranean Sea. The wind was warm, the sun was perfect, the water was…well a tad cold. Afterall it is still mid April. But for this Puget Sound fish-girl, the water was GREAT! This time there wasn’t a jellyfish in sight, and the water was so clear, I was in total all. The waves didn’t really crash onto the grey sands, but lapped quietly and soon my thoughts were lost as I closed my eyes to soak up the sun.

Giovanni and I then made our way over to Scopello, to meet everyone else for lunch. Scopello is BEAUTIFUL. The town is quite small, but charming with the cafes, restaurants and small boutiques everywhere.

The surrounding area of white sandy beaches, aqua green waters, made me feel like we wasted our entire morning at a much lamer beach. But oh well. After lunch (which was seriously amazing), we went for a short drive down to the beach, and I went for my second swim of the day. The water was MUCH warmer (at least 5 celsius degrees).



The next day we made an adventure to San Vito Lo Capo, just west of Scopello, but according to some people I’ve talked to, boasted some of the best beaches in Sicily. Just east of the town of San Vito Lo Cap was a nature preserve called Riserva naturale dello Zingero (translated it’s a Gypsy nature reserve). This place was GORGEOUS. We stopped frequently on the way to take some photos before arriving at the park.

The reserve is a MUST visit for Sicily. For just 3 euros you can spend the days exploring the trails that lead to six different beach coves. The trails were well maintained and beautiful, it reminded me of hiking along the Cinque Terre. This place had another type of beauty than the Cinque Terre but definitely still gave that sort of awe inspiring feeling. Since we were crunched for time, we stopped at the first beach and enjoyed the afternoon swimming and sun bathing.

The beach wasn’t exactly the most comfortable. Practically made of entirely stones and pebbles, but the water was clear and refreshing. A naturally wild moment in Sicily.


Water temperature of the Mediterranean Sea in novemberWhere to swim in the Mediterranean Sea in november 2022?

Several countries border the seaside of the Mediterranean Sea, including: Albania, Algeria, Balearic Islands, Camargue, Cyprus, Corfu Island, Corse, Crete, Djerba and Egypt. We measure the water temperature daily in these countries and archive it in order to calculate monthly averages, like those of the month of november.

The seasonal average for the water temperature in the month of november is between 13.7°C and 23.5°C. The lowest sea temperature measured this month is 11°C and the highest is 25.8°C.

The sea temperature map of the Mediterranean Sea in november

The map below presents a monthly average of the water temperature of the Mediterranean Sea for the month of november for several coastal cities. You can zoom and move around on the map. By clicking on the markers, you can see sea temperature details by city in november.


swimming in the mediterranean sea
swimming in the mediterranean sea

Where does the water of the Mediterranean Sea come from?

Alcyon, the boat which undertakes an expedition “from the Mediterranean Sea to the Spitzberg”, just went through the Strait of Gibraltar. This is a good opportunity to wonder where the water of the Mediterranean comes from.

Did you know that, each year, the Mediterranean Sea “looses” nearly one meter of water through evaporation? Where comes the water which balances this loss from ?

The Mediterranean Sea “looses” its water

The climate in the Mediterranean area is very warm and pleasant, and has very nice hot and dry summers. These are the best conditions for wonderful summer holidays at the beach, but also for a high rate of water evaporation. The Mediterranean Sea looses in this way nearly one meter of its water height every year!

This evaporating water leaves all its salts in the remaining water. This is why you feel a lot lighter when you swim in the Mediterranean than when you swim in the ocean: the water of the Mediterranean contains more salt than the water of the Atlantic (36 to 38 grams per litre in the Mediterranean against 34.9 in the Atlantic).

The origins of the Mediterranean waters

Well the Mediterranean is not emptying itself, so water must come from somewhere to “fill the gap”. The origins of this water are:

It has been calculated by scientists that the Mediterranean waters need 100 years to renew themselves totally (through evaporation and water coming in through the Strait of Gibraltar).

The Strait of Gibraltar is not very wide (around 14 km at the narrowest point) and quite shallow (300 m deep). Therefore, there is a very strong current going through the Strait, coming from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean Sea. This was observed by the crew of the Alcyon boat, when they began to go through the Straight, willing to go out of the Mediterranean:

31st of March 2005
At last some good wind! Now let’s go to Gibraltar… that we were going to have with port side during 5 hours, going forward with a lot of difficulties against the current! Finally, at the last point, going at a too slow pace amidst the cargos, we gave in and turned on the Perkins (the motor of the boat)…

When the Mediterranean totally dried up

7 million years ago, the system that we just described was already working in a very similar way, and the general shape of the Mediterranean was nearly the same one as today. The Strait of Gibraltar didn’t exist yet, but several small straits replaced it.

The first Hominids in Africa appeared more or less 6 million years ago. At that time, the ancestors of many animals like Felids, Canids or Rodents were also already roaming on the earth’s surface.

It is around that time that the water coming from the Ocean into the Sea was totally “cut off” or nearly so. This resulted from different factors, amongst which the movement of tectonic plates (for a definition, see another article on our website: “What if mountains came out of the Mediterranean Sea?”)

swimming in the mediterranean sea
swimming in the mediterranean sea

Little by little, the Mediterranean totally dried up, just as if we left a full saucepan of salt water to evaporate on the fire: it would leave only a thin crust of salt at the bottom.
This is exactly what happened, and important layers of salt piled up at the bottom of the Mediterranean. From time to time, some water would succeed to come through and would fill in, for a while, the bottom of the basin before evaporating. The Mediterranean had turned into a vast salt desert.

This situation lasted for nearly 700’000 years. This is why, in some places under the bottom of the sea, you can find layers of salt which are more than 1000 meters thick.

A gigantic water fall
swimming in the mediterranean sea
swimming in the mediterranean sea

Finally, around 5.3 million years ago, the Strait of Gibraltar opened because of more tectonic plates’ movements. Water from the ocean arrived into the Mediterranean basin, creating a gigantic waterfall, with a flow rate a thousand times bigger than the flow rate of the Niagara falls!

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And this is how, only a few centuries later (which is a really short time on the geological scale), the Mediterranean Sea was normally filled again.


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