Malta, 2010

Just thought I’d share my holiday dives in Malta with you all.

The Sunday after we arrived I went with the Dive school that was affiliated with the hotel [H2o]. Our first dive was at the “Right Arch” Cikawwa, it was a pleasant dive with the usual fish, i.e. Cardinal fish, Two Banded Bream, Saddle Bream and a few Fireworms, later on in the dive we came across a small Moray Eel in it’s hole. The highlight of the dive was near the end when we were shown a Cavern  containing a statue of the MADONA and a plaque.

Dive two was at The Cave @ Popeye’s Village, now I know what it is about cave diving I don’t like, boy talk about spooky, luckily you could surface and breathe the fresh air, one of our group “lost” her buddy/husband who had the torch, I was able to calm her down ‘till he and the rest of the group arrived to join us. I was very happy to return to the open water and finish the dive with no more problems.

Dive Three was a nice little bimble at Langton Point West off Comino, this was a pleasant dive with not much to see except for a solitary Moray Eel towards the end of the dive.

Dive Four was on the P31, a purpose sunk Patrol Boat recently sunk off Comio Island. As we rolled of the side of the boat we found ourselves right on top of it, you could see it quite clearly about 20 mtrs below. We sank down to it on the starboard side and when we were altogether we swam to the bow and knelt in the sand and looked up at it,
The main difference between the P31 & it’s sister ship the P29 is that as the P29 lies at a shallower depth, she’s had to have the upper part of her mast removed as it was a hazard to shipping in that area. Anyway getting back to the dive, we then swam round the Port side and entered her thru’ the side coming out midships and swimming to to rear where we entered her once again thru’ the aft hold and came out by the Pilot house, we all then swam to the upper bow were I was able to take a group photo, by this time some of the group were down to 100 hundred bar so we started our ascent mid water, firstly sending up the D.S.M.B. we stopped at 6mts for a safety stop before surfacing.
A fantastic dive and one I’d do over again and again.

Dive Six was on the P29, a slightly deeper dive at 33meters, we jumped in from the boat as usual over what is called the Sugar Loaf  Mound, and finned out towards the anchor which points in the direction of the boat’s stern, we came up to it and one by one we dropped down into the aft hold, exiting on the starboard side, swimming round to the bow and down the port side ‘till we came to stern, by this time my computer was showing that I was into Deco so my buddy and the Dive Master {in training } Alistair, and myself made our way up a couple of metres or so, slowly, and followed the rest of the group from above. We all met up at the Plateau as planned and continued with dive.
A very good dive, with a bit of excitement thrown in.

Dive Seven   was at Langton Point East, submerging down the shot line we came to a chimney, which we followed down and emerged into an opening, this time we turned left and went into another cavern and dropped down to 38mtrs, my deepest dive yet, again my computer went into deco mode so this time all of us came up slowly about 10 meters and levelled of on top of the reef where we were met by about a dozen medium sized Barracudas we stayed and watched them for a few minutes before making our way to the boat and surfacing.
A brilliant dive.

Dive Eight  this dive saw us travelling to South Gozo to the site known as FESSE ROCK, which we were told was like an Iceberg, only the tip could be seen, the rest of it, and there was quite a bit, underwater. I was with Eddie, our guide, a nice dive, the only thing we saw was a Thornback Ray, which we startled, I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of it. I was about 5 minutes before going into Deco once again so we all came up about 15 meters and levelled off; by this time the majority of the divers were on 50 bar so we did our safety stop at 5mtrs before surfacing.

Dive Nine  altho’ I’ve done this dive before, it still fascinated me, there was just the two of us on this dive, me and the dive guide Eddie. We swam over the reef and down to the boat which was lying @ 33 metres. We came across her on the port side amidships , I spotted a large White Bream, we swam around the ship taking some good photo’s including one or two of Eddie in the pilothouse looking out. On leaving the ship I was nearly into Deco again, even after taking a couple of days off. Swimming towards the reef was arrived at the Arch and after this we made our way to top plateau were was saw at first just a couple of medium size Barracuda’s, all of a sudden we were surrounded by at least 100 of them, it was just like a scene from a wagon train and them pesky injuns. We did see a gap and swam for it, hell for leather. We then started our ascent, doing a safety stop before surfacing.
An utterly fantastic dive.

Dive Ten this was a leisure dive, on entering the shallow lagoon we headed for the swim-thru’, on exiting we turned right along the reef until we came to the cave. On entering it we swam ‘till we came to the dead-end were two of our group went up the “chimney” and into a fresh air cavern, I stayed with my buddy, as she was a bit apprehensive.
We the exited the cave the same way we came in. Making our way slowly upwards and back to the boat we were surprised by the number of big Fireworms the were congregating, in this area, for the mating season.

Dive Eleven  The M.V Karwella, just off South Gozo was my deepest dive yet, all 39 metres, but worth it. We came across her at the bow and as we made our way on board we were “welcomed” by the guide who saluted each of us in turn. We then swam in and around the boat and then back to the bow and slowly zig-zaged our way back to the reef at 10 metres were we did a 6-minute safety stop before carrying on upwards. As we got to the 5 meter level, Martin, our guide, pointed to something in the grass, there we saw about 50 baby Damsel Fish that were just newly hatched, seemingly we were the first divers to see them so soon, apart from them there wasn’t much else to see.

Dive Twelve   My last dive of the holiday and my 200th one at that, unfortunately it wasn’t much to write about, other than two of our group were going thru’ a couple of training tasks, one was doing navigation and the other was diver rescue, these were carried out at 15 meters [ both  passed ]. The “highlight of the dive was when we spotted asmall Red Scorpion Fish in amongst the sea grass.

All in all a brilliant time and a dive group I can recommend, PARADISE DIVERS.

Dave N