The Odyssey, Homer’s immortal poem, explains how Ulysses, after becoming victorious in the Trojan War, begins his trip back to Ithaca on a journey that, far from being placid and triumphal, ends up being a true adventure full of perils. One of the most famous episodes during this voyage takes place between Sorrento and the island of Capri, in the south of Italy. Ulysses had been previously warned about the fact that he would come across an island full of mermaids that will sing to the crew and make them loose their minds and jump out the boat, which would then cause their boats to sink. Thus, Ulysses decides to use wax to block their crew’s ears. He, on the other hand, can’t help the need to see and listen to these mermaids and orders his people to tie him to a mast, so that he can enjoy the moment without putting his men in danger.
The legendary mermaids, sea-ladies that attract navigators with their beauty and their sweet singing, do still swim across the Mediterranean Sea these days, but over a year ago they left the Amalfi coast and moved to the warmer Mare Nostrum’s waters near Tarragona. Here, they can be seen while shaking their tails and performing all kind of figures at Cala Romana, Capellans beach or Tamarit at the beginning of the summer.
The descendants of those mermaids though, have lost some of their virtues and gained others. However, these mythological creatures do no longer present any risk for the boats sailing round Tarragona’s coastline. The exact opposite, in fact; today, they have a far more friendly relationship with locals and tourists that visit our city, teaching them how to swim, perform complex figures and play games, to such extent that they have actually founded the very first mermaid academy in Europe, the so-called Sirenas Mediterranean Academy.
This experiential activity, which started a year ago with a remarkable success, is open to everyone willing to play and swim in the water, but also want to have a good time while learning something about the sea and health.
Behind the Sirenas Mediterranean Academy project, we find Susana Seuma and Alejandro Rodríguez. Alejandro says Susana used to be a huge scuba diving and sea enthusiast but, due to a car accident, she was forced to give it up for 3 years. One day, still convalescent at home –absolutely full of scuba diving pictures–, she had an idea. “Why not founding a mermaid academy?”, she said. And indeed, she did so! Today, Susana and 4 instructors teach their students –of all ages– how to move like a mermaid or a newt would.
The academy provides two different levels: the “baptism” (at just 39€) and the “advanced” level (at 49€), which varies depending on the pupil’s experience and the actual toughness of the exercises. This activity takes place in open areas, such beaches and lakes, but also public and private swimming pools.
Besides, Sirenas Mediterranean Academy offers a number of shows that can be hired for celebrations, openings and other public and private events.
Do you fancy swimming like a mermaid or a newt? Sign in for experience now!