Mar 182013
 
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 Um el Faroud and to the left it is a wall dive. 

Location of Site:
Off the ferry slip way were one can find many boat trips for the Blue Grotto

Type of Dive: From the shore

Condition: Sheltered from the northeast winds and care should be taken when swimming in the valley because of the number of tourist boats that ply the area taking tourists to visit the Blur Grotto.

Average Depth: 9 metres
Maximum Depth: 30 metres

Certification Required: BSAC Sports Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent

Left Hand Side – Park the care as far down the hill as possible. Where the boats leave to the Blue Grotto, just to your left hand side you will find a sort of park with benches. From this park there is a path to the sea. If you jump into the water there, you will find 35 metres of water straight away and if you go to your left for a short while, you will see a cliff wall full of colourful sponges. Do a U-turn and start following the wall back to the bay, where the boats leave from. Here you will come across a lot of big boulders. Look in between these boulders for large fish like Grouper, Bream and Brown Meagers. You can go on the shelf which is about 9 metres deep and keep an eye out for Octopus and small, but very brightly coloured, fish. You can exit the water at the ladder which is usually at the right hand side of the bay. On 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 and exit from there. Beware of heavy traffic on the surface.

Right Hand Side – Park as far down the hill as is possible. Kit up over there and walk down fully equipped down the steps to the jetty. Enter the water there, and you will find yourself in a valley about 14 metres deep in the middle. Swim underwater to the other side of this valley, and keep following the wall, keeping the wall on your right hand side. The bottom is fine sand, but the wall itself is covered in flora and fauna. You will come first to a very cute small cavern, in which you can spend a bit of time looking in its crevices. Damsel fish and Cardinal fish are usually very plentiful here. 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 in the bottom and look out at the same hole you cam 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 and in the light of your torch to see a lot of colourful small shrimps. Come back out of the cave and check your air. If you have plenty left you will see a rock right in front of the cave. Have a good look around and underneath it. Again to see a Grouper here is not uncommon. You can now go to the top of the ledge over the cave and start your return journey, keeping a good lookout for Octopus on the way. The exit for this dive is the same as for the previous one.