Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Malta – Gozo Trip

Waves Shape

Ten of us went in, but how many came out? Ten intrepid divers spent the whole day travelling out to the second largest island of Malta, Gozo. Once we landed in Malta we took a taxi across the island to the ferry port for our 5km ferry crossing over to Gozo. Another taxi ride saw us arrive at St Andrew’s Hotel in Xlendi Bay, in the evening. Our journey had taken roughly 11-12 hours, but we were glad to finally get to our holiday destination. The first day on any dive trip always has a slow start, as everyone needs to sort-out their dive kit; this time was no different, as we needed to get our diving kit stowed away in assigned boxes at our dive centre – St Andrew’s Cove (Xlendi Bay) – which was located across the road from our hotel.

For our first dive, a check-dive, we descended into Xlendi Bay and swam through a small tunnel-like cave to the reef on the other side. From there we spotted a school of juvenile barracudas swimming past us; it was a great first check-dive and the group was excited for the dives that were ahead for the week! On this trip we did a combination of reef and wreck dives. Most notably the Cathedral Cave at Wied il-Ghasri had the group buzzing, as we descended up into a cave that needed to be accessed under the water as it was located within the reef; it had an amazing blue hue. Perhaps what made the dive even more thrilling was the tricky descent via some uneven rock pools, and a sharp descent using a ladder into the ocean. On the way back Michael spotted an octopus against the reef, and Teresa tried to say hi to the little octopus.

On the fourth day, six of the group went down to the Karwela wreck at 40m. Michael, Jay and Gloria spent some time along the reef at Xatt L-Ahmar Bay where a curious amberjack kept circling back to us. The MV Karwala was a ferry that was sunk in 2006 to create an artificial reef. It lies at 42 metres immediately in front of the kitting up area between the Cominoland and the MV Xlendi wrecks. Jumping into the sea Clive, Sally, Monica, Ian, Teresa and Sally, with Stuart (from the dive centre) leading, headed West towards their intended destination. Like an apparition the wreck eventually materalised, and the group began their descent to the boat’s bow, and then along the left/port-side to an access-point to view the boat’s impressive steel staircase.

Behind the stairs was a large room that was quite photogenic as light was coming-in through many of its windows. After exiting the wreck the group headed to the stern to view the boat’s propellers and rudder, where several species of marine life could be seen. Conscious of DECO limits (adhering to Maltese diving laws), the group made its way up from the bow, exploring the bridge and the upper part of the wreck, before heading back to the shore to be reunited with the group that dived the reef. Gradually heading to the exit point, a gentle dive back gave the group diving the wreck a chance to examine the reef for marine life beneath its boulders and crevasses.

On our last dive, we decided to take a boat out to Comino to see the P31 Wreck and the Comino Caves; Santa Maria reef. The group enjoyed exploring the P31 Wreck which went down to 20m. Everyone started by exploring through the hull and then circling around the boat. Sally and Clive also had a great time just chilling on the boat and Fiona spotted a little flat fish in the sand too.

Every night we tried a new restaurant along Xlendi Bay. We thought Ta’ Karolina Restaurant was the
best, so we went there a second time on our last evening on the island.

On the 6th day after our 5 day dives, a group of us went to explore Victoria. Some of us were able to sneak into St George’s Basilica, and at noon we all decided that we needed a much-needed lunch break. Unfortunately, we picked the wrong location and had to listen to non-stop ringing of bells for 1 hour!! On the last night, we found out that our flight was delayed by 12 hours; there was a lot of confusion as not all within the group had received this update from the airline. However, apart from this small blip in our holiday, we made it back safely to London on Saturday evening. Massive thanks to Fiona for organizing this trip and to the rest of the group for making this trip so memorable!!
Our dive itinerary:
10.07.22 – Xlendi tunnel & reef / Ras il-Hobz
11.07.22 – Blue Hole / Inland Sea
12.07.22 – Xwejni Bay / Wied il-Ghasri (Cathedral Cave)
13.07.22 – Karwela wreck or Xatt L-Ahmar Bay / Xlendi reef
14.07.22 – Comino: P31 wreck / Comino Caves & Santa Maria reef

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