MALTA (15) – Final


DIVING

Our last post of our visits to Malta (and Gozo) is finally here!

In this post, we will share just some of the amazing diving spots you can find in Malta. While visiting Malta, Berto explored many wrecks and other spectacular sites … without further ado, let’s go diving!

HMS MAORI:

The wreck, the HMS Maori can be found at St. Elmo Bay close to Valletta. On the 12th of February 1942, the HMS Maori was moored in Grand Harbour, Valletta. An enemy aircraft threw a bomb during the early hours of the morning on the HMS Maori, after which she was abandoned and shortly afterwards an explosion followed. During that afternoon she slowly filled with water and sank.

A small fish can be spotted through a port hole of the HMS Maori

COMINO CAVES:

This dive site is situated at Comino Island (the small island between Malta and Gozo). Berto took a dive boat to get to the site and enjoyed crystal clear waters at an average depth of 12m.

A diver at Comino Island – one of the popular dive sites here
Diving inside the caves
Sea life on the reef wall

IMPERIAL EAGLE:

The Imperial Eagle was built in 1938 in England under the name of New Royal Lady. After a few name changes, she was sold to Magro Bros. in Malta and re-named Imperial Eagle. With an approximate length of 45m, it was the perfect vessel to act as a ferry between Malta and Gozo.

In 1999, however, she was deliberately sunk – about 500m from Qawra Point at a depth of 38m.

On the bridge at the ship’s wheel

A short distance away is the Statue of Christ – a nice extension of the diving at the Imperial Eagle. The statue is 3 meters tall and stands on white sand.

Divers over the Statue of Christ

L’AHRAX POINT:

This dive site is situated at the most northerly point of Malta and Berto again joined a dive center for a boat dive from Mellieha to get to this site.

The north reef has a maximum depth of 10m, but once over the edge, there is a drop off down to 23m. The South Reef Tunnel and Inland Sea has a maximum depth on the reef of 12m and the tunnel is reasonably shallow at 8m.

Sun rays reflects on the reef
The bright colours of the reef
Divers going through small tunnels from the inland sea to get back to the ocean

SANTA MARIJA CAVES:

This is another dive site that is situated at Comino Island. There are plenty of caves, sandy and rocky seabed as well as an abundance of fish. This is a great second dive for the day, because the average depth is only between 10-16 meters.

A diver surrounded by fish on the sandy seabed
There are some interesting arches at this dive site

TUNA PENS:

Tuna farms are somewhat discredited and it is for everyone to decide if diving in them is a good or bad thing to do … though most divers that have done it, speak of an unforgettable experience.

Divers on a boat with one of the tuna pens in the background

The tuna farm pens vary in diameter from 50 to 90 meters and reach depths up to about 30 meters. Only a few dive centers are allowed to undertake dive excursions to this site (near Mellieha) and Berto joined Seashell Dive Centre to see what it was all about.

Each of these pens holds around 200 tuna and range between 1-2 meters long.

Divers hanging in the water with tuna circling around

P29 PATROL BOAT:

The patrol boat P29 lies at a maximum depth of 38m off Cirkewwa. This vessel was built in the 1960’s in East Germany and her duty was primarily that of a minesweeper. From 1997 until 2004, the P29 patrolled the coastal waters of the Maltese Islands.

In 2005 she was sold to the Malta Tourism Authority and was finally scuttled in 2007 to serve as a diver attraction.

Berto diving the P29

UM EL FAROUD:

The ill-fated tanker Um el Faroud has been scuttled in 1998 after a terrible gas explosion on board killed 9 Maltese dockyard workers in 1995.

The wreck of the Um el Faroud can be found at Wied iz Zurrieq (Blue Grotto) and lies at a depth of 35m. This is possibly one of the best wreck dives in the Mediterranean.

Berto at the propeller and rudder of the Um el Faroud
A famous monument to divers – a statue of a diving helmet at a depth of 30m

And this is then the time, while looking back at the amazing diving sites at Malta, to say thank you to all of our readers for following our posts about Malta and Gozo.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these posts as much we did … and that you will be able to visit Malta some day – maybe even for a 2nd or 3rd time 😊.

We have done these trips in 2011 & 2013

Categories: Malta (2011 & 2013)

46 comments

  1. We are not divers but didn’t see this when we were in Malta. Such a fascinating site you saw.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What amazing underwater photos Corna. Have you tried diving too?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much Marion 🌸. No, I’ve never tried … I’m more comfortable ON the water (like on a boat or kayak 😉). But it sure is a different (and fascinating) world underneath the water.
      Thanks so much for reading about our Malta (and Gozo) trips – I almost feel sad that it now came to an end. Have a good week further.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is SOOOO Cool! I can’t swim so I can’t dive, but my wife probably would love to do that…I will share it with her!
    Thank you for sharing amazing experience and photos!
    HiRO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and your comments! My husband is a truly “water baby” and he loves to explore the underwater world! Oh, and he always says you don’t have to be able to swim to dive … the wetsuit keeps you buoyant and you’ve got an oxygen cylinder that gives you air … hmm, I’m not so sure 😉. Glad you’ve enjoyed this post!

      Like

  4. Beautiful underwater photos. They all look like fun dives especially the Imperial Eagle. John

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok this is amazing! I’ve never explored the ocean like this before! The most I’ve done is your typical snorkeling in Hawaii 🤣 such a cool place with so many things to do and see. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fabulous set of photographs guys. We remember seeing the divers go off every day from Xlendi – we seem to remember it was a PADI training centre? These posts have brought back great memories of our time in Malta and Gozo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you guys! Yes, PADI is one of the most popular training centres (Berto made use of a dive centre in Mellieha – Seashell Dive Centre – and they was also PADI certified). Glad our posts could bring back some memories to your visits in Malta and Gozo (and I also hope you are making a lot of wonderful memories in Greece at the moment 😁).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful post and love the dive photos – I haven’t been diving in years and no longer have my gear.
    Why was the Eagle deliberately sunk and how did the statue get down there?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Nilla 😊. My husband is like a little boy when he gets to scuba territory 😉.
      After the Imperial Eagle has done its duty as ferry (and became too old to continue), it was stripped to make it environmental friendly and then sunk to serve as an artificial reef.
      The statue was created to commemorate Pope John Paul II’s first visit to Malta in 1990 and it was then placed on the seabed in his presence – to serve as a “monument” for divers to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a magical experience that diving trip was! Like you I’ve never been diving (only snorkelling) and in truth have never felt much desire. But exploring The Imperial Eagle looks a fantastic prospect. And the photos turned out really well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Leighton! I think, for Berto, Malta is probably under the top three diving destinations … and for me, under the top three history destinations 😉. It’s always great to look at all the photos that Berto took underwater (no reason for me to get 30m under water then)!
      Thank you once again for reading and following our Malta posts – it was a long series! Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I shall miss Malta. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Malta looks like a great place to go diving. I love all the wrecks and swim throughs. I haven’t been diving since the start of the pandemic. After looking through these pictures, I can’t wait to get back in the water.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I really enjoyed this tour of Malta… I learned a lot about the country and it’s definitely been bumped up a few spots on my travel list. Can’t wait to visit one day, and thanks to you guys I’ll have no trouble figuring out what to do once I’m there!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m not a diver but I did enjoy seeing all these underwater photos, especially the wrecks, the statue of Christ and the fish 🙂 And I’ve really enjoyed your series of blogs about Malta which have enthused me for my visit (hopefully) in 2023!

    Liked by 2 people

    • For me, who is also no diver, it’s so interesting to see the world under water … I must agree, I’ve loved the fish photos 😊. Yes, I really hope you will be able to visit Malta (then you can tell us all about the newest places to visit)! Thank you for reading our posts about Malta (and Gozo) – that is much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow it must be pretty amazing to swim around and see all that… Just mind boggling 😍😳🤩definitely enjoyed seeing these photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Wow, beautiful, especially the photo of you surrounded by all those fish 🐠🤿

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great insight of a world largely unknown to me. I prefer to keep my feet on land, but the sea is a fascinating place, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and beautiful pictures. I have definitely given you a follow as I can’t wait to read more.

    If you are interested in stories about travel around Africa, then please take a look at my blog where I’ll be sharing my stories as a former safari guide.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you for a great series of post on Malta, I am looking forward to visiting there one day ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • And thank you Henrietta for following our Malta series … it was quite enjoyable for me as well to re-visit all of our pictures and memories of an amazing time in Malta.
      I really hope you get the opportunity one day to visit this wonderful Mediterranean island 💌.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Corna, I’m sad we’ve come to the end! I have so enjoyed these posts, and this one was fascinating, although I am not a diver, either! I wonder why there are so many ships and statues on the ocean floor near the island? Or is this normal for a big dive spot? Hope your weekend is lovely! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lisa for following our Malta posts (to the very end)! I’ve enjoyed it so much to look back to our amazing time there … who knows, maybe we’ll have the opportunity one day to go back there again.
      As for the many wrecks and statues around Malta – I think it’s probably because of Malta’s position in the Mediterranean Sea that has led to a heavy ship traffic (and they also played a vital role in World War II). And I do think that the Heritage Foundation in Malta try to keep the diving opportunities interesting – therefore adding statues and old ships that are deliberately sunk.
      May you also have a great weekend – enjoy nature & life!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Amazing! It is a dream of mine to be able to dive. I do fear that I may never be able to because for some reason the thought of it makes me feel claustrophobic. So I’ve only been to snorkelling experiences, which quite literally only show the surface of the immense treasures hidden down below!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. No idea, until now, that Malta also has great diving. It looks like there’s a lot of variety too. My guys would love the wrecks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Malta is well-known for wreck diving (especially because of their history with World War II) – and my husband just loved the diving here! But it’s like you’ve said, there is such a big variety of things to do … I’m not a diver, but was never bored 😁. Thanks for reading our Malta posts to the very end!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a great resource. Hopefully one day we’ll get to Malta to dive. I’m bookmarking this. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

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