Fortizza Reef & Coral Gardens – Sliema
The reef in front of the Fortizza in Sliema is jam-packed with places of interest to explore. To my surprise the site was also abundant in marine life which makes the location very interesting for those macro lovers. The reef is very reasonably shallow and dive time of 90 minutes without entering into any decompression can be easily achieved especially with a 12/15ltr. The shallow spectacular limestone reefs and swim throughs have been shaped by the sea over many years. When visibility is good one can capture some great wide angle photos especially when the sun is shining and the reflections form underwater. A local dive instructor who dived the area hundreds of times state that in the area there are over 25 of these tunnels and every now and again they manage to discover a new one. The only drawback of this location is the parking issue, I recommend that one should arrive on site as early as much as possible to avoid the hassle.
Slipper lobsters are a family of decapod crustaceans found in all warm oceans and seas. Despite their name, they are not true lobsters, but are more closely related to spiny lobsters and furry lobsters. Slipper lobsters are instantly recognisable by their enlarged antennae, which project forward from the head as wide plates. They have six segments in their heads and eight segments in the thorax, which are collectively covered in a thick carapace. The six segments of the abdomen each bear a pair of pleopods, while the thoracic appendages are either walking legs or maxillipeds. The head segments bear various mouthparts and two pairs of antennae. The first antennae, or antennules, are held on a long flexible stalk, and are used for sensing the environment. The second antennae are the slipper lobsters’ most conspicuous feature, as they are expanded and flattened into large plates that extend horizontally forward from the animal’s head. There is considerable variation in size among species of slipper lobsters.
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This album is a visual log of my encounters during my dives around the Maltese Islands. Comments are very welcome. All images appearing in this website are the exclusive property of Matthew Farrugia and are protected under the International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Matthew Farrugia. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike both printed & online) is a violation of the International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted.