YD Scuba Diving Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,572 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A group of us have just got back from a week diving in Gozo and I thought a trip report is in order to share some of the things we learned during what we all hope will be our first trip of many.

A motley crew of twelve of us flew out from Heathrow on a chilly saturday morning, a mixture of recreational divers, technical divers with rebreathers and some non-divers too. The three and a half hour flight with Air Malta was comfortable, and good value too. Those of us travelling with lots of dive kit especially appreciated the very cheap excess baggage allowance for sports equipment (you need to book this on-line before arriving at the airport).

The dive centre arranged a minibus to collect us all from the airport and take us to the ferry terminal on the north coast of Malta to catch the ferry for the half hour journey over to the island of Gozo (free from Malta to Gozo, 5 Euros to return). Sitting waiting for the ferry in the hot evening sunshine provided the ideal excuse for an ice cold pint of Cisk - the local lager. We were met by another minibus when we got off the ferry and driven to Gozo Aquasports at Marsalforn where the keys to our appartments were waiting for us. Our dive gear was left at the dive centre which has dedicated drying and storage space, plus secure lockers for valuables. I was very impressed by the cleanliness and organisation of the dive centre, and all the equipment was well maintained and good quality. Patrick, the owner, is a service engineer and so has a huge number of spares and tools available to deal with any kit problems during the week, and sofnolime and helium was ready for those of us that needed it. Not surprisingly rebreather parts are virtually non-existent on the island, so make sure you take any spares with you.

The accomodation is situated about a minutes walk from Gozo Aquasports and is comfortable and spacious. Each flat has a living room with sofas and a balcony, a well equipped kitchen with a fridge and gas cooker, and beds for up to 5 divers with a shared bathroom. A word of caution - don't use the 4 cables that run just above head height over the balcony to dry wet gear; although they look like a drying rack they are in fact the mains cables for the whole street!

During the week we split into three groups - Ric (Tufty) and I hired a jeep and went off with the rebreathers to do some normoxic trimix diving, Mrs Calamity and the others did some guided dives with Gozo Aquasports and the non-divers enjoyed themselves sightseeing on Gozo and Malta. I'll leave Mrs Calamity to upload some pictures and a report from the guided divers.

For a technical diver Gozo is a superb destination, with deep water available from many shore diving sites around the island. Hire of a 4 wheel drive jeep is essential - many of the sites are down steep muddy tracks, with jeep parked in rockpools a few feet from the divesite itself. Ric and I felt that the off road driving experience was almost as much fun as the diving itself, and jeep hire was quite cheap - 120 Euros for the week, which included collision damage waiver. The roads on Gozo are really really awful - the Gozo equivalent of an A road is roughly the equivalent of a potholed country track here in the UK. If only they spent as much on their roads as they spend on mighty churches and statues of Mary... The team at Gozo Aquasports were most helpful in advising us of which sites were best each day as well as advising us how to get there in the jeep.

Unfortunately the weather was as unexpectedly bad in Malta as it has been unexpectedly good here in the UK - strong winds meant that only a few sites were available to us but we were still able to to put in some solid 60m/2 hour plus dives and see some great sites. Playing with dozens of cuttlefish during the deco after a long bimble around the Karwela was especially memorable, as was the sight of the utterly clueless single tank diver with no buoyancy control standing on Tufty's sentinel whilst doing our 6m stop at the inland sea... Both Ric and I took our drysuits with us - long deco stops and a temperature of fifteen degrees at 60m ruled out wetsuits for us. The recreational divers were all fine in 5mm suits with surface temperatures in the mid twenties.

Gas fills plus hire of three stages for a week was a very reasonable 200 Euros, and food and drink at any of the local snack bars was sensibly priced - ten euros was plenty for a meal and a Cisk or two. We ate breakfast and lunch at the flats each day - there are a couple of supermarkets within easy walking distance.

Overall the week was superb value, and as a destination for tech diving with rebreathers I give Gozo a big thumbs up. It would have been nice if the weather had let us get to a few more sites (Stubborn will have to wait until our next visit in February), and next time I would probably hire the jeep from the airport (NB, if you do this then make sure you hire from someone who has an agent in Gozo, as if you break down or flatten a tire you really don't want to be waiting for someone to come across from Malta) but really there is little I would do differently.

Mrs C should be along shortly with a report from the recreational divers, and a few pics. Tufty will hopefully put some if his videos up on YouTube over the next few days too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,736 Posts
Looks like a good holiday, thanks for the report and the photos, so pleased you all enjoyed yourselves .
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top