50th anniversary 2021

A lot has happened in 50 years.
In the anniversary year 2021, we received many congratulations with photos and stories.

Many of them are just too beautiful not to be presented on the website 😉



Story #1: UPS for Mary

by Uwe Kiehl, September 2010

Now, this was really VIP service:

UPS for Mary

Mary has been dreaming of a decent underwater photo equipment for a long time. It should be small, handy and of high quality. She wants to go on underwater photo hunt with macro and fisheye lenses to capture the beauties in the bay of Tamariu (Spain).
In the summer of 2010, the time had finally come and after much deliberation, Maria placed her order.  
She ordered an EOS 550D with a 60 mm and 100 mm macro, a zoom lens with a focal length of 18 mm - 55 mm and a wide-angle lens with a 10 mm to 17 mm zoom from Tokina. For land shots over water, it was to be a 55 mm - 250 mm zoom lens.
The camera was completed with an underwater housing from UK-GERMANY, with a 45 ° viewfinder, and all the necessary planports, extension rings, dome port and a Subtronic PRO 160 E-TTL flash.
The days went by and Maria waited eagerly for the delivery, which Uwe Kiehl had promised by UPS for 18.09.2010.
But what Maria could not know at that time was that Uwe had phoned Ade and told her that he and Stefan would personally come to Tamariu to deliver the equipment to Maria. The special thing about it: the handover is planned under water and no one is supposed to know about this beforehand. A real surprise.
For Ade, this is the beginning of a logistical masterpiece. She has to plan the weekend, especially 12 September, so that she can go diving in the bay with Maria at a certain time and under the pretext of having discovered a new seahorse.  This is the only way to ensure that Uwe and Stefan don't miss Ade and Maria under water.
At 4 a.m. on 12 September, Stefan and Uwe set off from Germany. At 6.05 a.m. the plane takes off punctually and brings them to Girona within 2 hours. With the previously booked rental car, the two arrive at Tamariu at 9 a.m. in very fine weather and meet Ade there for breakfast to discuss the plan for the handover in detail once again.
After Maria has left the harbour with the boat, the equipment for Uwe and Stefan is put together and stashed at the base.
Ade quickly initiates a diving couple into the plan, they are to tell Maria about the sighting of the new seahorse after their return from the boat dive.
Around noon, Maria's new equipment is ready to dive.
The EOS 550 D is equipped with the 100 mm macro, and the flash is positioned and ready for use.
At 1.45 pm the time has finally come. Unnoticed, Stefan and Uwe watch from a safe distance as Ade and Maria make their way to the bay.
While Stolli takes a few pictures of Ade and Maria, Stefan and Uwe prepare for the dive and go to the jetty to jump into the water immediately afterwards.
The visibility is fantastic, so that after only two minutes Ade and Maria can be seen searching above the seaweed meadow.
Slowly the two men dive closer. Maria is so busy looking for the seahorse that she only notices the two divers coming closer at the last moment.
Uwe unrolls a prepared document in front of Mary. After all, the delivery was announced by UPS ;-)
After Mary has read the lines, but not yet quite made sense of them, Uwe hands over the underwater case so that Mary can read her engraved name on the back. Only now does Maria realise what is being played. The surprise is perfect and successful.
Maria quickly finds her way around the housing and off she goes on a seahorse hunt.  An octopus, a sea robin and some small fish have to serve as models until the seahorse PETRA shows up and seems to pose for the camera. Just as if it had known that Maria was on a photo hunt.
Maria forgets space and time, and so it borders on a miracle that there is still air in the bottle after leaving the water.
Back on land, Maria can give free rein to her joy and everyone rejoices with her.
At the base, the unexpected "presents" continue, because she gets the rest of the equipment and can immediately examine the first photo results.
Of course, there is a party after the dive and the unforgettable day comes to an enjoyable end in the restaurant.
Already the next day, Uwe and Stefan are on the flight home again and think contentedly of the successful action.
Click here for the picture slideshow

Story #2: how those two Austrians ended up in Tamariu

by Tom

Every now and then, guests ask us how we ended up in Tamariu. Maria thought that a newsletter in our "anniversary year" might be a good occasion for us to take a look back and reminisce a bit about how it came about that two little Austrians moved to a faraway place ...

Let's perhaps start in the last millennium, i.e. 1999.
Three important events took place:
In the US Bill Clinton was accused for perjury in the Lewinsky affair, in Spain Crown Prince Felipe married Letizia and in Austria Maria and I found each other and started our life together.
And no, at that time neither of us had dived yet. Relatively soon I told her that she had to be prepared for the fact that I wanted to emigrate to Spain at some point. At that time I didn't really know when, where and what I wanted to do there ... but I wanted to mention it in time.
I'm still not sure how she classified my state of mind at the time, but it obviously didn't discourage her.

The beginning of our diving career started in the same year during our first holiday together in Turkey. My two children from my first marriage - Nina and Martin - were with us and persuaded us to take part in an intro dive in the pool. We ended up doing our Turkish CMAS* with a Swiss instructor.
Professionally, we were both working for an automotive supplier at the time. Maria then switched to purchasing for a motorbike manufacturer (KTM).
A few years later, the time really came and we decided together at the beginning of 2003 that we didn't want to stay in this routine until we retire and wanted to try something different.
Since we both enjoyed diving, it was obvious to look for something in this field.
However, at that time we had no intention of running a dive centre or anything like that.
We just wanted to switch back a bit and work as guides. In the meantime, we had done CMAS *** and had about 100 logged dives each.
It took as approximately a year to prepare the step well and to decide where the journey should go.

The final decision should be taken at the "Boot" in Düsseldorf, where we arranged meetings with some of the dive centres we had been in contact with beforehand. That was in 2004, which was also the year Facebook was founded - how time flies ;=)
The first meeting at the fair was with Ade and Stolli. The atmosphere was right from the start, so we only used the other meetings to confirm our decision that Tamariu should be our destination.
We also enjoy thinking back to the first meeting with a Scotsman in a traditional kilt …James was at that time representing Poseidon Calella . It was also him who later inspired Maria to attract attention at the stand in her dirndl dress.
So, now at least we knew where we were going. To Catalonia. Neither Maria nor I had been to mainland Spain before. We had already acquired some basic knowledge of the language a few years ago in an evening course, but it was still very rudimentary. The rest had to be achieved by "learning by doing".
We still had a few weeks for the final preparations. Then the time had come and on 28 April at 6 o'clock in the morning we set off south with our station wagon packed to the roof. After a forced break in Italy due to a defective turbo, we arrived in Tamariu on 30 April in the evening.
That was the start of a very exciting and interesting time.
But that is another story ...
Story #3: 1996 - the year Ade arrived in Tamariu

by Ade

In 1996, Stolli's dive centre celebrated its 25th anniversary - and "by the way" I moved in with Stolli in Tamariu.
Stolli decided to have Gabriela restored from ground up - so that she would last until the end of his days - "Gabriela made it"!
- of course also thanks to further annual overhauls by Craig, Stolli and me, then with and by Maria and Tom :-)

The extensive restoration dragged on from October 1996 until the start of the season at Easter 1997.
The photo album from that time is a bit battered on the outside, but all the more interesting ☺.
No sooner had the beautiful Gabi been completely refurbished in the bay than one night there was an unexpected storm with waves several metres high, which no (sea) weather forecast had predicted and which the strong buoy line, which was also brand new, could not withstand: the boat was hurled by the surf into the small bay below Hotel Hostalillo onto rocks and sand.

We were informed in the middle of the night, rushed down to the beach and were stunned to see the "mess" - a horrible sight and Stolli fought with lion forces to save his beloved boat - trying to fix it somewhere with ropes so that the waves could not continue to use it as a plaything.

Sometime at dawn, it was stuck in the high washed-up sand and the storm subsided.

It quickly became clear that the boat could not be freed from this predicament without great effort - not even by sea because of some damaged spots in the hull where the "Gabriela" had hit the rocks...
So at the weekend, a runway was built in no time at all from Hotel Tamariu across the beach to below Hostalillo with heavy stone blocks and gravel on top. Many lorry loads were necessary until the "road" was firm enough for a low loader, which could then lift and load the Gabriela with a long crane after 2 days and bring her back to the shipyard, where she had been overhauled in months of work before. Now there was a lot of work to do again, but Stolli was happy that his boat had been saved at all!
You can also browse through this photo album online here!
We had our hands full, because there was not much time left until his 60th birthday on 3 May 1997. A big event was planned with a 3-day rally to the Pyrenees with many long-time friends and regular customers who spent their holidays in Tamariu every year.
The day before the rally we were able to transfer the repaired Gabriela from the shipyard in San Feliu de Giuxols to Tamariu and put her on the buoy. Of course, this was celebrated with a second christening and fine champagne - because according to Stolli, only the best is good enough for the most beautiful dive boat of the Costa Brava...;-)
Then we had 2 reasons to celebrate properly: Stolli's 60th and Gabriela's 70th - and both well and ready for many more years at sea!!!
Stolli sailed the Gabriela with great enthusiasm for more than 15 years as captain and then confidently passed her on to his successors Tom and Mary, knowing that they would value and look after the boat as much as he did for many decades.
So in conclusion and on the 50th anniversary, Stolli's motto comes to mind:
"Long live Stolli's divebase and Gabriela"!!!
All the best for the future and I am always very happy to be with you at the divebase and on Gabriela,
Yours, Ade
PS: here are a few pictures from the time when the four of us renovated the boat together:
Story #4: 10 years of marine biology

50 years of Stollis - 10 years of marine biology... or how it all began
by Tina and Larissa

It all started with a relaxed diving holiday at the Stollis' in 2009, during which we had a long
chat in a cosy atmosphere. It was known that we both had been coming to Tamariu for years
with the University of Tübingen to conduct marine biology courses for students. At some
point, the idea came up that we could also introduce recreational divers to the big and small
secrets of the Mediterranean Sea and, above all, the decorative material in the sea....

From the first idea to the implementation of our first course, some time passed. In May 2011, our first marine biology course took place in Tamariu. Over the years, the course has changed a lot and has continued to grow. In the beginning we only had 3 participants and the theory
took place in the living room of the flat above the divebase.

In the following years there were more and more participants and we converted one of the bedrooms of the flat into a "classroom" - beds became comfortable sofas, coffee, biscuits and a good atmosphere were always provided.

Over the years, the number of participants continued to grow, so that at some point the places on the boat “Gabriela became the limiting factor for the Marine Biology Week.

Since then, we have been allowed to use the adjoining room in "Es Furio" as our course room. There we are always well supplied with hot and cold drinks and delicious baked goods. Here we had a good time, teaching and studying the theory of the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean.

The last two days of the course were always organised according to the wishes of the participants with our "Missing Links". Of course, over the last ten years there have also been many fun and exuberant evenings with the joint dinner and finally the final exam, where the participants could once again show what they had learned during the week with full physical effort and the use of all their creativity. Over the years, we have continued to adapt and change the course at the suggestion of the participants. The debriefings of the dives now take place in a convivial atmosphere in front of the divebase and with the help of our card index, which is now well filled with Maria's great photos.

This way, you can review everything you encountered while diving right there on the spot. If possible, in recent years there has always been a practical part with animals from the fish market. Like this, it was possible to compare, for example, different pairs of crab-legs or mouth shapes of different fish.

We both always have a lot of fun seeing the beaming faces of the participants after the dives, when someone had discovered and even recognised something from the theory parts or the debriefings. Also, it is always exciting to see the most diverse characters that come together in the marine bio-week - and all of them are united by the love for the sea and the enthusiasm for diving. We are happy to be able to run our course with the Stollis in Tamariu every year. For us, as for all the Stollis, the fun of this exciting week is in the foreground and if you learn something in the process - tiptop!

Congratulations on your 50th anniversary dear Stollis, stay as you are and keep up the good work! We hope for many more years of the marine biology course!

Tina and Larissa

Story #5: Tamariu - The Jewel in the Crown of the Costa Brava

by Hans Baumhauer, about 2009, written in Englisch

Foreword by Maria
When Tom and I arrived in Tamariu in 2004, we quickly got to know not only the place, the divebase and the dive sites, but also the large community of friends and returning divers at Stolli's dive centre. From the moment we met, Hans and his wife Dagmar left a special impression on us. Hans was one of Stolli's first dive students and has been a loyal friend ever since - at least once a year they would come to Tamariu for several weeks.
Most of the time I was allowed to dive with Hans, and quickly a deep friendship developed between us as well. It must have been around 2008 or 2009 when he handed me the following article. At that time, unfortunately, I couldn't find a suitable place / opportunity to publish the story. And so the sheet ended up in my red recipe folder and travelled back and forth between Spain and Austria in it and with me for over a decade.
Now, finally, on the 50th anniversary of Stolli's Divebase, I find the perfect opportunity to publish Hans' declaration of love for Tamariu.
Dear Hans, we wish you all the best and hope to see you and Dagmar again soon in Tamariu!


Tamariu - The Jewel in the Crown of the Costa Brava

By Hans Baumhauer

Having visited Mallorca, Fuerteventura, Kenya and the Maldives for scuba-diving a couple a times I started searching for another very special destination that would offer those unique holiday and scuba-diving ingredients for which I have been always looking during the years before. That place had to have an outstanding natural beauty, no typical 'tourist' development, but a beautiful sandy beach, pretty apartments or comfortable hillside houses that I would be pleased to call my "home away from home" for a few weeks of the year.


My search was over when I met Guenter Stolberg called 'Stolli' in Kenya in 1976. This role model of a unique dive master who was looking like a cutting from a fine figure of an old salt, told me that he was also running a diving school at the Costa Brava in a little former fishing village named Tamariu. After having spent my next vacation there the search for other holiday destinations was over and so I am delighted to introduce you to Tamariu, situated about 80 miles south of the border of France in a tranquil and secluded bay between the nearby towns of Palafrugell and Begur.


Small coves set amongst rugged pine covered cliffs cascading down to meet the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean have made the area famous for it's outstanding beauty. Simple village houses and pavement cafes surround a lovely beach in a sheltered bay -it is this special kind of magic that entices people back year after year. So it goes without saying that from 1976 on I am coming back to Tamariu every year.


Originally a small fishing village, Tamariu has not been over developed and has easily retained its individuality and charm. Some new villas and apartments have been creatively blended with the traditional architecture but there are no high rise blocks, no English pubs and certainly no English cafes or German Ballermans*)! The quality of holiday homes here are  of a generally higher standard than is usually found in holiday resorts at the Costa Brava and you will be particularly pleased with the general "solid' standards of building and finishes.
South facing on to one of the most sheltered beaches of the Costa Brava, you will find a still family owned small hotel and some small restaurants and bars where you can relax and enjoy a drink and some of the local Catalan cuisine. The beach itself, extending nearly all around the bay is very clean and nearly all fine golden sand. The crystal clear water is ideal for swimming as the beach, especially on the right hand side, shelves at a fairly gentle angle.
The waters around this area are believed to be the purest on the coast and there are many other beautiful beaches within easy reach. Just a few miles north one can find the Cape of Begur with the beaches of Fornells, Sa Tuna, Sa Riera and the never to be forgotten scenery of Aigua Blava. This area consists of a huge geological mass dropping down to the sea in vertical cliffs and because of the height of the mountains and the density of the pine tree cover, the whole area has immense natural beauty.
Just a few miles south from Tamariu, the pretty village of Llafranc is to be found where again one can find an excellent beach, a small marina and a beautiful tree lined promenade with several excellent restaurants by the waterside. There are simply so many beautiful places to visit but for those who feel less energetic, just sit on Tamariu's beautiful beach and watch the world go by. Welcome to Tamanu - the Jewel in the Crown of Spain's rugged Costa Brava!
Getting there...
During the summer there are daily scheduled flights to Gerona airport, less than 30 miles away and numerous daily flights all year round to Barcelona's International airport, which is by car or coach about a 2 hour drive from Tamanu.

Ballerman became a synonym for a special type of party. At first there were the "Balnearios": Pubs directly on the beaches of Mallorca with no names but only numbers. It became common for German party people to go to No. 6. The parties there were/are legendary: excessive drinking of Sangria from buckets with straws. So to say: a lot of drinking in the bright sunshine with the respective result: loud singing, dancing on the tables, being rude. The feeling was somewhat like apres-ski. The problem was, that Germans couldn't or wouldn't pronounce correctly the Spanish word "Balnearios", so it became shortly: Ballerman. Even the German verb "ballern" can be a synonym for boozing. So in Germany the Ballerman became the synonym for such a party location, and nowadays even for that type of party.

PS: some more pictures to follow:
Story #6: 50 years Stolli's Divebase

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