Wied iz-Zurrieq

The dive

Your entry point will be from the valley by means of a giant stride entry. Here the seabed consists of rocks. Now you can either choose to take a route to the left or to the right. To the right there are caves and the wreck of the Umm el Faroud and to the left it is a wall dive.

The wall dive (6020)

The reef dive to the left is characterised  by big boulders, one has to look in between these boulders for large fish like Grouper, Bream and Brown Meagers. Swimming on the shelf which is about 9 metres deep one has to keep an eye out for Octopus and small, but very brightly coloured, fish. The reef can take you up till Blue Grotto and can turn into an easy technical dive with depths reaching approximately 45 meters. For such a dive you will definitely need twin 12ltr cylinders and a good supply of nitrox for your decompression on your way back. On a particular sunny winter day (February 2011) we dived towards Blue Grotto. Myself and my buddy encountered a huge amount of species including Pipe Fish, Moray eel, Dentex, Groupers, Slipper Lobster, Flying Gurnards, Marbled Electric Ray & uncommon Jelly Fish. The dive lasted 95 min incurring 45 min of decompression.

Atlam’s Statue in commemoration of their 50 years established as a diving club. (DSE_1941)

The dive towards the right hand side features a bottom of fine sand, but the wall itself is abundantly covered in flora and fauna. A very cute small cavern, in which you can spend a bit of time looking in its crevices where usually Damsel fish and Cardinal fish are usually very plentiful. When you have finished exploring this cave keep following the wall always keeping the wall on your right-hand side, until you come across a hole in the wall at the very bottom. If you look upwards you will find another hole into a dome-shaped cave. If you enter the cave making sure you do not kick up the silt at the bottom and look out at the same hole you came from, you will notice that this cave has three entrances to it. If you keep going into the cave until you cannot go further, look in the little crevices with the light of your torch to see a lot of colourful small shrimps. According to one’s air consumption one can proceed keeping the reed on the right or else or else start your return journey, keeping a good lookout for Octopus on the way.

The Ladder in Zurrieq (3068)

One can exit the water by using the ladder which is usually on the right hand side of the bay. One word of warning – check whether the ladder is there, before entering the water, because this ladder is liable to come off in bad weather. If the ladder is not there, you will have to allow a bit of air so that you can make it to the slipway (which is located further in the valley)  and exit from there. Beware of heavy boat traffic on the surface.

Historical data & info compiled from: www.csacmalta.org, www.visitmalta.com

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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.
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By Matthew Farrugia | April, 6, 2012 | 0 comments

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