Last Dive and Dinner a Deux




Today is our last full day in Malta on this occasion.  Undoubtedly it is a place we will revisit over and over again, because we have our timeshare here and we like it so much. We love the history, incredible sites dating from Neolithic temples, through, Greek, Roman, Biblical, Crusader, World War 2……  there is so much to see and remarkably for an island so strategic that it was heavily and brutally bombarded by the Germans throughout WW2, it is remarkably well preserved and intact.  So much so that many films are shot here using the historic locations (Gladiator/GOT/etcetc) The food and wine are excellent and very reasonable, and for us a massive plus is the quality and variety of the scuba diving which can also be enjoyed very reasonably, far more so than anywhere else we can think of.  This is because so many of the dive sites are accessible from the shore, so you can do your own thing without need of a boat.  Just pick up tanks and weights from a good dive shop like Maltaqua and you are away.  Our dives are costing just a tad under 10 euro pp.  That’s a bargain in a sport where nothing is a bargain these days.

So, after a quick breakfast we headed up to Cirkewwa and our last dive of the trip on the P29 patrol boat again.  This is a bit of a favourite and the third time we’ve dived it this trip.  There’s just so much to explore and it’s very pretty.  It was extremely quiet at Cirkewwa today, not many divers at all.  Getting toward the end of the main season.  Plus it was like a millpond today so there are many other sites available for diving.  Not so sunny today, patchy cloud.  Still around 22C though and the water around 26C.

We got in, excited to be using our new masks!!! Wow!  What a difference in visibility.  I can’t believe what a difference the new masks have made.  The lenses on my old mask must have been fuzzing up slowly over time and I didn’t really notice.  Anyway, one benefit was on the way out to the P29 we found someone’s underwater camera dropped on the bottom!!!!!  I picked it up to try and return it after the dive.  I absolutely HATE losing anything and I could very much sympathise with the owner who must have been absolutely kicking themselves to have dropped it underwater.

We had a really great dive on the P29.  The visibility was very good today and I took my turn at being cameraman and filmed quite a few clips of Bob swimming outside and inside the wreck.  As usual there were a lot of fish, big and small all around.  A particularly large silver fish on the stern deck.  Someone else said it was a tuna but it didn’t look like one to me.

I include some links to video clips of diving on the wreck.  They were shot in HD but Facebook seems to reduce the quality quite a bit.

I was sorry to leave the P29 when it was time to return.  Shall look forward to diving her again, maybe next year.  We had a few minutes of stops by the time we got back to the shallows and tootled around till they cleared.

When we came out I asked the other divers if anyone had lost a camera and one of the divemasters from Maltaqua said that there had been a post on the Malta Divers Facebook page the night before that someone had lost their camera on a night dive at Cirkewwa.  So, the camera went to Maltaqua and the owners were contacted to come and identify it.  Glad that they were reunited anyway.   Apparently they’d also lost a mask (!!!!) and another diver found that this morning so lucky all round.

We drove back to the shop and settled up (90 euro) for this weeks diving which was just amazing.  Can’t thank Maltaqua enough for their excellent service over the last two weeks.  They are tremendous.

Came back to the hotel and dumped all the diving kit into the bath and sinks to give it a good rinse before travelling home tomorrow.  Important to get all the sea water and sand out before storing it away till next time.  Then spread it out on the terrace to dry.

Had a lazy afternoon.  It was not quite sunny enough for the pool, well…. it was patchy.  We decided to just laze about on our terrace and read….

Tonight we went out for dinner to mark the end of our holiday.  We chose to go back to the Cork and Fork restaurant in Rabat where we’d eaten previously with Stuart and Fi.  It’s got a really nice, rather romantic ambiance and the food is ambitious and quite exciting.  I don’t think it’s quite as good as Tarragon…..yet….. but it clearly could be and is already winning prizes.

The chef sent out an amuse of a very rich and creamy root vegetable soup with sumac crumble.  Yum.  I had mahi mahi to start with a saffron tartar sauce and Bob had a warm salad of duck with a black pudding sausage.  My mahi mahi was very nice but Bob’s duck was fantastic.  Great food envy on my part.  He gave me a taste though!!!  The black pudding sausage was divine, very crisply fried on the outside but very soft in the middle.  More like French boudin noir than English black pudding, and it was quite thymy.  Lovely.  For mains Bob had a crab tagliatelle and I had a sirloin steak with onions and celeriac puree and a red wine reduction.  Both absolutely delicious, my steak was one of the best pieces of meat in a long time.  Bob’s crab dish had lots of crab in the sauce.  Very good.  We were both too full for dessert but had double espressos and chef sent us two limoncellos.  A really nice dinner and a very good end to what has been a super time in Malta.