Today we drove up to the north of the island, to Cirkewwa, right next door to where you get the ferry to Gozo. There is a brilliant area for divers here, complete with dedicated parking, loos, multiple dive sites and even a tea and snack van! What’s not to like!???
The weather was hot and sunny but breezy. In fact very gusty at times. But no problem here getting in or out. Our first dive was on the P29 shipwreck. The P29 is a 69m German minesweeper which was sunk deliberately as a dive site. It is now nicely crusted up with marine growth and has become a fish magnet. It lies between 38 and 31m in depth about 100m off the shoreline. It’s pretty easy to find as once you drop down over the dropoff into around 20m it is a straight 270 degree line to the stern of the wreck. On the way out, you see a number of little points of interest: The Madonna which is no longer a statue of the Madonna but a collection of statues of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; Sugarloaf Rock, and a memorial to a diver. The visibility on the wreck was excellent and we had it to ourselves just about. Swam the length of it and peered into the open holds and deckhouses. It’s really pretty covered in life especially the infrastructure. A really good dive. Daisy did tremendously well and is now firmly back in the diving groove. Will hope to revisit before the end of the holiday.
Came back to the car park and had coffees from the van and our packed lunch. Then went and did our second dive which was around the reefs and caves of the wall. They underwater topography is really nice: good wall – not massive but sheer, big rocks, swim throughs and caves. We swam through quite a long swimthrough which was much fun. Dipped down and looked again at Snow White and then just bumbled along the wall and around the rocks.
Got back to the hotel by about 1pm, had a drink and then went down to the pool and pegged out with our books. Came back to the room about 5, showered and then drank some wine and relaxed. Tonight we ate out at a very good restaurant in Mellieha called Commando. No it had nothing to do with the dress code! It relates back to wartime when a group of British commandos stationed in Malta made it their base and erected a wooden sign outside naming it Commando Bar. It is now a fine dining restaurant. Had a fantastic meal. Italian/Maltese cooking as is pretty usual here. We passed on starters but enjoyed the wonderful warm ciabiatta bread with hummus, olives, oil and balsamic vinegar that was served with our drinks. Then I had had rack of lamb on garlic mash with mixed vegetables. Bob had fresh king prawn risotto and Daisy had a veal chop crusted with aromatic herbs and parmesan with potato and veg. All the dishes were very richly flavoured and very generous portions. My rack was 6 chops and Daisy’s veal chop was enormous. We had a bottle of Chilean Cab Sauv and Bob had a beer brewed on Gozo which was delicious. No room for pudding but they gave us free liquers. A great meal and I would definitely visit again without hesitation.Drove back through a massive lightning storm. No rain or thunder though so it must have been a long way off but the lightning was very vivid.
I did take underwater pictures but I have been a dunderhead and left the cable at home that connects my underwater camera to the laptop, so I cant put any of those up till I get home. Really disappointed about this but…..
Tomorrow a day off from diving as it is going to be mega windy. We are going to Valletta, the capital city, for the day.
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