re-sized diving in the Med

Wet suits and diving in the Med

The weather is definitely changing in these parts – the nights are longer and cooler and although the days are dry and bright we no longer get the sun overhead – it is just perfect. With the weather cooling we thought about warmer wear and then decided to do some research into wet suits! Must be lateral!

We found this very useful article on www.examiner.com which explains the physics behind heat loss whilst in the water as well as how and why the wet suit will keep you warm. Take a look at what they say – very good and sound practical advice:

‘Starting the first day of Scuba class, divers learn that water conducts heat away from their body … quickly.  After a two or three hour pool session, even in an 80 degree pool, divers start to get chilly.  It’s during these early stages of learning, we come to realize that the thin layer of synthetic rubber called neoprene can be a diver’s best friend.

There’s an added problem because water is very different from air. Air is a thin gas, while water is a heavy, dense liquid. So, when you swim, there are far more water molecules surrounding your body. The water molecules are also much nearer to one another, so they can conduct heat more efficiently than air. This is why water carries heat energy away from your body around 20 times faster than air. It’s also why, on a warm summer’s day, you can get in the ocean and feel freezing even when the water and the air are the same temperature: you feel cold because the water is ferrying heat away from your body like a conveyor belt!’ …..and they continue……

‘ The wet suit traps a layer of water between the diver’s body and the insulating neoprene. The diver’s body heats up the water trapped in the inner layer.  The warm water and insulation keep the diver warm…………with the correct wet suit, a diver can remain very warm in the coldest of waters.  Buying the right wet suit and taking proper care of it is essential in the warming process.’

We trust you heed the sound advice – and then thought about diving and diving in the Med and that certainly at this time of year you would need to wear your wet suit if you decided you were going………but to where?

Good question – when we started researching the subject we could not find an unbiased compendium of where to dive in the Med. We would therefore be very interested to hear of your own experiences of where, when and what happened – so send us your accounts, we could include part of them in our report of that area.

Today we will look at Malta, Gozo and Comino

  • HMS Maori – 18m, sunk in 1942 in Valletta Bay
  • Qawra Reef – 60m, spectacular caves off Qawra Point
  • Ahrax Point – 25m, Posedonia meadows and more
  • Rdum L-Ahmar – 36m, large rock formations, great visibilty
  • Qammieh Point – 70m, west of Marfa, huge drop off, cave
  • M’Tahleb – 70m, difficult access, better from a boat, caves and ledges
  • Migrah Ferha – 60m, off Dingli Cliffs, best from a dive boat, caves
  • Ghar Lapsi – 15m, off south coast, near Mnajdra and Hagar Qim Temples, great cave which returns to your starting point
  • Um-El-Faroud wreck – 34m, 110 m tanker scuttled in 1998, sits on sand bed, has attracted many species of fish
  • Wied Iz-Zurieq – 30m, off the ferry slip at the headland, swim out of the bay and turn right to find many caves
  • Filfla Island – 70m, boat dive only with a permit, ex war time shelling range
  • Tugboat Rozi, Cirkewwa – 36m, wreck 120m off the old steel jetty, scuttled in 1992
  • Marfa Point Caves, The Madonna, Cirkewwa – 18m, just before the light house at Marfa Point, easy access, fantastic dives
  • Santa Marija Caves, Comino – 15m, north west of Comino, boat dive only, superb cave system, many dives
  • Cominott0 rock and reef, Comino – 36m, boat dive, on the edge of the reef drop off
  • Lantern Point, Comino – 50m, boat dive only, off sw point, great drop off dive with swim throughs

Photo of the colours found at Cirkewwa diving sites Malta.

Some of the fantastic colours that can be see on the coral at Cirkewwa are shown in this photograph by Mike Croft. Malta, Gozo and Comino lie in the middle of the Meditteranean sea between Italy and Tunisia.

Getting about is easy with boats to rent and professional dive companies who will no doubt take your money but should ensure you are diving in the right place and in the right conditions. Always check their qualifications are bona fide and in date.

The winter months are considered a good time for diving the wrecks and cave systems – there are regular flights and accommodation is comfortable and clean and will suit all budgets.

We will return to this subject of dive sites in the Med another time and are always pleased to hear of your experiences.

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