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It started as one of those drunken conversations about whether anyone wanted to go for a long weekend somewhere. Following a blown out Fishguard trip, plus a Farnes day with 3 degree sea temperature, I put forward the idea of a long weekend in Malta. I had been there about 3 years ago for my IDC and was keen to get back.

The intrepid explorers, myself, Chris "the legend", Jo and Michelle were all up for the idea. A search of the interweb found us Ryanair tickets from Leeds for a suitable price so all that remained was a location.

It is amazing how much variance there is on dive and accomodation packages to the extent you wonder how some people manage to compete yet price isn't everything. Quality was important as well, as was the diving!!
I fired off a load of emails, spoke to a few people and ended up with an absolutely cracking deal with Scuba Kings in Gozo - accommodation, airport transfers and a 5 dive package for 150 euros each. As one of my mates has dived with them several times and had nothing but praise - the deal was done.

So then - beers at the airport, flight, arrival, transfer and then meeted and greeted by Richie (owner) and Mark (guide, instructor, carpenter and general all round great guy). We were whisked off to the apartment (clean and comfy), briefed as to the procedure for the next morning and left to get fed and watered. The guys at Bojangles saw to both of these needs so we settled down for a bit of a kip after leaving at around 2am! (Night 1).

The Scuba Kings dive centre was situated right on the harbour road, 2 mins from the accomodation. Even so, Mark popped round in the pick-up to take our bags there for us on the first day. Richie was waiting to greet us and check certs etc and we were good to go.

First dive - off to the Blue Hole which was brilliant. Mark gave a really professional briefing covering any and all questions. We were the first divers there so had the clear blue (AND WARM!) water to ourselves. Really nice bimble round and made the most of the scenery. There seemed to be loads more fish life than the last time I was there, tuna, jacks and a blinking huge grouper. We did a full tour of the garden and chimney area and finished our safety stop under the arch with suitable photos of all and sundry.

Surface interval later and the Inland Sea beckoned. Again, great briefing and off we went to do some wall diving accompanied with onion burps from the surface interval snack. Jo found the john dorey that has adopted the passage way for the time being.

Following a quick trip to the dive centre for cylinders, it was off to the Cathedral Caves. Jo managed to drop her hood at the top of the steps and had to go back, then down to the water, then in. The highlight of the dive was the swim into the cathedral cave, surfacing into a large cavern and enjoying the turquoise glow of the light illuminating the water. Found a baby cuttlefish on the way back before facing the dreaded climb back to the jeep. Simply superb day!

Jo and Chris wanted to do some of the wrecks but Michelle is only AOW so they were a bit deep. Richie suggested that as I had my insurance and HSE with me that he registered me in order for me to do her deep spec so she could dive them with us under training. That is the sort of extra mile which makes you want to go back with a dive centre. As it turned out the wind had another idea, but it was a really nice gesture.

That night we found a great pasta place - sirloin pasta mix and risotto with 4 bottles of wine for only 32 euros for the four of us - can't go wrong.

The next day thanks to the swell we had to abondon the wreck idea but did the swim from the blue hole to the inland sea. We then did Mgarr Ix Xini in search of sea horses (they don't exist) and also to educate Mark in the more creative entry techniques available to mad people. We finished off with a brilliant chilled dive at Xlendi (tunnels, loads of fish and a flying gurnard at exit).

That evening we went for a quiz night at Bojangles, had a few beers, a few beers more then left at 4am! Can't praise the staff there enough.

I spent Sunday morning on a beach front cafe in shorts!

Absolutely brilliant weekend, excellent diving and great company all a 3 1/2 hour flight away. I cannot recommend Scuba Kings highly enough. Richie was ace, laid back and helpful and passionate about his diving and the island. Mark was a great guide and a really nice guy.

Look into it - you will not regret the experience - we are back for a week in September if at all possible!
 

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Just enough education to perform
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Great report Stewbie. I've allways used G.A.S but may well look into Scubakings. I've seen them there on the main drag.
 

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Oh goody, we are off to Gozo in September, didn't get to dive last time I went. I cannae wait. Nice report, sounds like a fab thing to do on a long weekend
 

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Dive tart, just can't say no :-)
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Oh goody, we are off to Gozo in September, didn't get to dive last time I went. I cannae wait. Nice report, sounds like a fab thing to do on a long weekend
Yeah but you are diving with the best outfit on Gozo (ok I admit to a teensy bias :embarasse )
 
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