Malta - May 2007

Participants were Rex Hargrave, Karl Knight, Mark Jones, Karl Barstard, Sharon Elfleet, Emma Poole, Matthew Galley and Tod Wurr.

We flew out from Luton to Malta on Saturday 5th May staying at Falcon Court Self Catering apartments in Bugibba, arriving at 8pm and after a hearty meal at the restaurant Tapawla and a few quiet beers, hit the sack.

Outside Buddies Dive Shop The first day we sorted all our kit out at Buddies Dive Centre, our partners in Malta and boarded the transport to Ghar Lapsi, our destination for the first days diving. We dived as one big group on the first dive, all went ok. The second die we split into 2 groups, Tod Sharon, Mat and Emma with Rex and Karl B and Mark (known from now on as Buck) went with Karl K. The site was relatively shallow and ideal for the first 2 open water dives with a max depth of about 12 metres and for the other guys to acclimatise. On our return to the dive shop we washed all the kit and filled in log books, had a beer or 2 and took on board another superb meal. Kitting Up
Mat and Emma Sharon Second day after loading up we were carted off to the Blue Grotto, Zurrieq. We went through various briefings - kit assembly, safety checks etc and then took to the water, a giant stride entry. We split into 2 groups again. Stuart, one of Buddies instructors, took the 2 Karl's and Buck, after spending time on the surface while various skills were carried out, Rex's group and Stuart's group descended together. Stuart took his group along the reef. After a little time the other group got it together and descended to their maximum depth of 18 metres.
The second dive of the day was a total success with Tod, Sharon, Mat and Emma completing their open water certification. On our return to the shop, log books and certification cards were duly filled out. The day however, was not over. That evening Rex, the Karl's and Buck carried out a night dive at Sirens Bay and wa fully enjoyed by all.
Tod Everyone after a hard second days diving at Zurrieq
Mgarr ix Xini Karl B The third day found us without Sharon and Tod who had decided to sit the day out and savour the fact they had passed their open water. The rest of us boarded the transport and took a ferry ride to Gozo, the north island of the Maltese archipelago. We arrived at a site called Ghanjsielem, where recently the Maltese had sunk 2 new wrecks, the Comino Land and the Carowela, next to another wreck that has been there a while - the Xlendi ferry. Rex, the Karl's and Buck dived the Carowela wreck and Stuart took Emma and Mat along the reef. After these superb dives we changed location to Mgarr ix Xini (pronounced Engira Shinie) a shallow site just down the road where we all completed our final dive.
After a great day once again we all had a super meal together and finished the day with a few beers and a really bad karaoke session!!!
We returned to England on Wednesday evening with us all thoroughly enjoying the 5 day diving break and everyone asking when we would be arranging another one!!!

Congratulations go to Tod Wurr, Sharon Elfleet, Matthew Galley and Emma Poole for completing their open water diver course, and Karl Barstard for completing his advanced open water course.

Painted Commer Sand Gobi Buck contemplating going home!