You’ll hear a million stories on the shores of the Lake of Ohrid, but the story you will read today is different from the others. The story of Nikola Paskali, an ecologist, a diver and a promoter of the beauties of the Lake of Ohrid, tells us that the craft is passed from generation to generation.
Nikola is a professional diver, he has his own diving center named “Aquatek”, and he inherits all his love for the water and the water sports from his grandfather and father.
He told us about the family chain and the development of the family business on the lake shore. His grandfather, Alexander Pascali-Cane, is a famous swimmer, coach, swimming and water polo referee, or in other words, a lake lover. His grandpa bought him his first speedboat back in 1968, the Perkins 40, but he previously owned a boat in which he took Nikola fishing every morning.
His father Kocho Paskali is a pioneer diver in Macedonia, a water polo player and a great lover of the lake. He was one of the first researchers on the Bay of Bones in 1997. He is quite engaged in underwater archeology in Ohrid and around the famous Ohrid House where today is the diving center “Aquatek”.
Apart from tourism, research and ecology, Nikola’s family has participated in several Macedonian movies. His father, Kocho, was actively engaged in the movie “Stand Up Straight, Delfina “, where in the popular scene with the speedboat he is the driver of Neda Arneric, the main character.
Nicola Pascali is the third generation or the youngest in the line to take over and run the family business. He works as a tourist guide, land and underwater archaeologist, researcher, diver, photographer and ecologist who every year carries out an action to clean the bottom of the Lake of Ohrid.
He has been diving for 19 years, and professionally 10years, for whom this is not only a job, but also a hobby, entertainment, profession and passion. For him, the Lake of Ohrid is something sacred and it is his duty to protect and nurture it. His life, all the memories of his past and his ancestors, the unforgettable adventures, the work and fun are connected with the lake.
He is happy that he managed to make an interesting combination from diving, archeology, tourism and ecology. Nikola says that the diving center “Aquatek” is not only tourism; it is a perfect blend of archeology, speleology and biology. The diving center is a real promoter of a clean environment and a green Ohrid.
Like his father, Nikola has worked on many Macedonian movies. Starting from the movie “Children of the Sun”, diving scenes in Prespa together with the Macedonian actor Vlado Jovanovski, the movie “Grandfather and Grandson” by Ilija Piperkoski and part of the scenography of the famous Macedonian comedy “Prespav”. He does not rule out the fact that he has worked with a Hollywood production company for the movie “Fallen Angels” in the Matka Canyon.
Nikola says they survived the “Covid-19” pandemic like all the other tourism workers and for him the pandemic is just a good life lesson that opened new horizons in his work.
For the actual season, he is concentrating on the diving tours on the beach Sarajiste. This beach has a lot of history. Here is the house of Sadilo who is a famous music legend in Ohrid, the house of Klime Savin in whose honor the swimming track of the marathon in Ohrid is named, the house of Hristo Uzunov, and at a depth of 3 meters there is an old wooden rail that was used to lift ships. Nikola says that at the bottom of the lake, there are a lot of ceramic vessels from the Ottoman period that the families in that time had a habit of throwing an earthenware vessel in water when a loved one dies.
It is quite important that the Lake of Ohrid has many endemic species of flora and fauna, says Nikola. For these reasons, for almost 10 years he participates in voluntary environmental actions and campaigns to raise awareness among people for a clean environment, and has excellent cooperation with the Hydro biological Institute in Ohrid.