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Tech Diving in Malta and Gozo

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Tech diving; it conjures up images of extreme depth, no colours, torches the size of light houses and quite simply, bugger all to see!!!

Well, I’m a tech instructor and proud of it (I am by the way also a RAID Recreational Instructor Trainer and I love teaching recreational too)!

Yes, we are the equivalent of train spotters in the dive industry; however, we rock!!!

We go deeper, get wetter for longer and let’s face it, it’s not really that difficult. And my God it’s so much fun.

I have been cave diving in Mexico, rebreather diving in the Maldives and deep diving in the Red Sea. However, what I want to tell you about in this article is the tech diving I’ve done in Malta and Gozo.

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Only three hours away, with flights from just about every major city in England including Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted, not only is it easy to get to, but the Maltese Government and their own airline, Air Malta, realise how important divers are to their economy; wait for this… you get an extra 15 to 20 kilos for dive kit. Now that is awesome if you happen to be diving with 2 regulators on your back, 2 Oxygen regulators attached to your stage cylinders, a wing BCD and steel back plate, two surface marker buoys, two reels, two computers, two slates, lights, suit, boots, fins…oh, and two masks for good luck.

So enough about all that, let’s get down to the diving.

The first site we dived, called Inland Sea, was a perfect Decompression (45 metre max) stroke Extended Range (55 metre max) dive. The entry here is relatively easy for divers wearing twin sets as there is a slipway into the water where the stages can be left so they can be donned easily once you’re in the water.

It’s a beautiful site; the descent is made into a huge tunnel through a mountain connecting the inland sea to the real (!) sea. Once under the water you are met with the most wonderful view of a huge cavern; the rock structures make you feel like you are in a cave, when actually it’s totally open above your head. The viz here is awesome.

In terms of doing a full blown tech dive it has it all – the bottom phase of the dive is done hovering over huge boulders and you can easily get 55 metres here. The decompression phase is really great as you can re-enter the entrance to the tunnel and decompress while observing the rock formations silhouetted against the light filtering through this huge cavern.

The second site was the Blue Hole. Accessing the Blue Hole itself is really quite challenging – there is quite a walk down a steep rocky incline and you really have to work as a team so as not to get into any bother. I have done this dive a few times now and I can tell you this makes you realise how unfit you actually are. Adam, one of my team, managed to perspire an entire can of Lynx here!!!

Toomer 2Once you are in the water though, you realise why you went to all the bother. There are two ways to do this dive. One is to go through Coral Garden, which is stunning; shelves of rocks and overhangs everywhere and unbelievably for the Med, masses of fish. Again the bottom phase is all rock structures but the deco phase is bloody fantastic. Certain stops can be done in some of the caverns that abound on the Maltese Islands and then the final deco phase can be done in the blue hole itself, which is awe inspiring. It is reasonably small as far as Blue Holes go but it’s visually stimulating, and gazing up at the surface and seeing other divers in all their tech gear hovering in the water silhouetted against the outline of the hole is breathtaking. The other way to do this dive is to enter through the Blue Hole and make your way round to the entrance to the Inland Sea and deco in there as per the previous dive.

There are many other incredible dives on Gozo in this depth range but these two were my favourites.

After doing some really cool deep air dives, we decided to move over to the main Island (Malta) and do some seriously deep stuff.

We started with the beautiful Southwold wreck, which is at 72 metres.

Toomer 6Now we have all been on wrecks – they have either been flattened by rough seas or pillaged for their artefacts. In Malta, if you remove anything from a wreck you can end up in jail, and the skipper and the dive centre that organised your trip could lose their licence. The site is then pretty much closed forever.

So in Malta, no one takes anything, so the Southwold totally blew our minds. All the sea dives here are down a shot line so it’s incredibly exciting when you see the wreck appear beneath you. In fact with viz around the thirty metre mark in Malta, you get to see the wreck really quickly.

And what a sight!!! The wreck sits perfectly upright on the bottom and still has two great anti-aircraft guns on her stern pointing to the sky. The ocean floor is littered with unexploded shells and other debris left when she sank. Ascending over her deck you cruise over the guns and across the crew’s quarters. Through the broken and smashed walls you can see the bathrooms and toilets, incredible. The ascent is a blue one and I have never seen such incredible azures. Our time hanging around the shot just melted away into the blue.

Toomer 3We then decided to do a new Unknown wreck, which was incredible for us as we were among very few divers to have ever dived the site. We reached the Unknown’s deck at 100 metres and thought we were all narced off our heads. It seems that the boat was made of stone; as it turns out, this is a rubble dumping ground from the main land. The sand and stone gave her a ghostly white appearance and as soon as our ten minutes were up we knew we had to come back again and try and find her name. The following day we dropped to 115 metres and attempted to see if we could get her name from the bow. In true tech fashion though we were having so much fun hovering in her upright shadow staring at all the green coral growing from her sides that we never made it there.

Toomer 5So once again we ascended into the blue to do our decompression schedule. Wet notes were exchanged and it was decided that we had to get back here as soon as possible.

Malta is littered with wonderful sites, from rock structures to caves to wrecks. There is something for everyone there, recreational or technical. And if you are lucky enough o be working with a dive centre as good as Gozo Aqua Sports then you are in for the dives of your life. So get your ass out there, I promise you will not regret it.

Paul is the Director of Training at RAID. To find out more about the courses that RAID offers, visit www.diveraid.com.

After living in South Africa for 23 years, Paul moved to the UK, where he discovered diving. Within months of learning to dive he had his own centre in London and rapidly progressed to Course Director before finding his passion for technical diving. Paul is an avid wreck, cave and rebreather diver, and has worked as an Instructor and Instructor Trainer for PADI, IANTD, and TDI. Paul recently held the position of Director of Technical Training for SSI, but moved on when he was offered the chance to co-own and run his own training agency. Paul now holds the role of Director of Diver Training at RAID International.

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Join Pharaoh Dive Club for Red Sea Splash Family Summer Camp in August 2024

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family summer camp

3rd AUGUST 2024  – 1 or 2 WEEK PROGRAMMES

Daily water programme with Snorkelling & Scuba Diving.

Beginners or qualified, something for all.

Leave the kids with the Splash Team for days of Excitement, Fun & Adventure!

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BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

There are various options for accommodation with options for 2, 3, 4 or 5 guests.

Eco Huts provide accommodation for families of up to 4. The best option to enhance the adventure and closest to camping with basic facilities. For August we will provide central air cooling for all the Eco Huts.

family summer camp

Deluxe Chalets are only suitable for 2 guests. Fully air conditioned rooms with private bathroom and other facilities.

family summer camp

Boutique Rooms are available for families of up to 5.
Individual bespoke rooms fully air conditioned with private bathroom and other facilities.

Eco Huts: £675 per adult / £425 per child / Under 8 FREE of charge
Deluxe Chalet: £830 per adult / £505 per child / Under 8 FREE of charge
Boutique Room: £925 per adult / £550 per child / Under 8 FREE of charge

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

This is a truly unique opportunity to have a Family Desert Adventure totally away from it all! You will be based at the remote Roots Red Sea on the coast of the Egyptian Eastern Desert, 140km south of Hurghada city.

family summer camp

Red Sea Splash main focus is Snorkelling & Scuba Diving but that’s not all, we provide a rounded week of activities in support.

Pool& Field Games – Arts & Crafts
Marine Biology Workshops
Cultural Activities – Orienteering Adventures

Roots Red Sea have established strong links with the local communities of Hamerwain  & El Quseir affording our guests to have a true taste of the local culture, SPLASH CAMP embraces this opportunity and bring in the local children to join in the fun with our adventure seekers.

family summer camp

During the day, families are welcome to take part in all activities together or the kids can be left with the SPLASH CAMP team while the parents enjoy the facilities or go diving themselves!

family summer camp

At the end of the day, its family time while the SPLASH CAMP team take a break. For those with the energy, there are family evening activities planned a few evenings.

Open Air Movie Night – Desert Star Gazing Walk & Talk
El Quseir Evening City Tour

The second week is very special, we head off on the Big Blue for a liveaboard safari around Fury Shoals.

family summer camp

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

U-8 Splash Club

Sadly we can’t offer Scuba Diving to the Splash Club but we can have lots of fun Snorkelling & Free Diving!

Splash Club includes:

Certified Snorkel Course – Marine ID Games – Intro to Free Diving
Arts & Craft Sessions – Adventure trails – Cultural Playtime – Pool Games

family summer camp

U-12 Explorer Club

In addition to an exciting snorkelling and Free Diving Programme in the Splash Club we can take you under the water on SCUBA to a whole new world of fun and wonder. If you are under 10 your first breath under water will be as a Bubblemaker and continue with daily Seal Team Missions. From 10 we will complete a Discover Scuba Diving experience in the amazing Red Sea. Alternatively we offer a full junior certification programme to become an international qualified Scuba Diver.

family summer camp

U-16 Adventurer Club

For qualified Scuba Divers regardless of age it’s the Adventurer Club and exploration of the local reefs and marine life. There will be 2 dives every day with the Open Ocean marine field station team who will introduce you to Red Sea marine life and workshops on marine research. Alternatively there are opportunities to continue your scuba diving certifications with our instructional team.

family summer camp

Parents are welcome to join the club activities and join the courses.

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

Big Blue might seem like the new kid on the block, but the team behind the highly acclaimed liveaboard is far from that. They have been running Red Sea safaris since the late 1980’s and were in fact part of the early pioneers who ventured out to the unknown on vessels that in today’s world, really shouldn’t have left the harbour! It’s that experience and the years of operating the award-winning Roots Red Sea resort which truly set Big Blue apart from the crowd!

family summer camp

Large lounge area, spacious sun deck and terrace deck.

family summer camp

Airy restaurant with five tables with up to six chairs per table, serving a varied and delicious menu with special dietary requirements catered for.

family summer camp

The spacious cabins have side by side beds and a large walk in wet bathroom.

family summer camp

Ample dive deck for divers & snorkelers.

family summer camp

Safety is everyone’s priority, whether you are relaxing on board, swimming, snorkelling  or diving.

On board Big Blue is fitted with smoke alarms, emergency lighting and a fire alarm system. The lower corridor has a full-size door fire exit at the bow and open stairs to the stern. There are evacuation plans in each room along with life jackets, glass breaker tool and a fire extinguisher.

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

Red Sea Splash at Fury Shoals is a very rare opportunity to get involved with marine biology expedition for children and adults. Open Ocean biologists are on board to provide fascinating and entertaining facts about the marine life you will see. The team will provide workshops on marine life identification and survey methods both of which, should you wish, you will have the chance to put into practice during your safari.

family summer camp

The week is open to snorkelers, scuba divers and non divers too!

Fury shoals is perfect for first time mariners as it offers plenty of protection from the weather.

We board at Port Ghaleb on Saturday evening and prepare to set sail early on Sunday morning.

family summer camp

Heading south, our first day will be diving the reefs of Abu Dabbab before sailing overnight to reach our ultimate destination the Fury Shoals.

Here we will spend four days swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving amazing reefs. This includes guaranteed DOLPHIN encounters at Sataya Reef!  After the last dive we haul anchor and head back to Abu Dabbab for our final two dives before disembarking our boat BIG BLUE.

family summer camp

Camp Extension Cost*
Adult £650 per adult
Under 16 £350 per child

BOOK NOW: INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM / TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

FURTHER INFORMATION – INFO@PHARAOHDIVECLUB.COM

TEL: +44 7598 329059 or +20 100 6822000

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Meet Pure Dive Resort: Your Gateway to Unforgettable Diving in Bali, Indonesia

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If you’re passionate about the underwater world, listen up! We’ve got an incredible opportunity for you to experience the vibrant reefs and majestic marine life of Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia.

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info@purediveresort.com / +62 811 3999852 / www.purediveresort.com

Pure Dive Resort isn’t just another dive centre; it’s a team of experts dedicated to providing world-class scuba diving and freediving adventures around Nusa Penida, Lembongan, Ceningan, and even Bali.

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info@purediveresort.com / +62 811 3999852 / www.purediveresort.com

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or completely new to the sport, Pure Dive Resort has something for you:

For certified Divers: Discover stunning dive sites, encounter manta rays, seasonal mola-mola (sunfish), and a dazzling array of marine life.

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For beginners: Embark on your scuba journey with beginner programs like Try Scuba and Basic Diver, Open Water and Advanced certifications.

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Freedivers: Explore the depths on a single breath with guided freediving experiences and courses.

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Exclusive Scubaverse Offer: Save on Your Next Adventure

As a valued Scubaverse follower, you get an exclusive 10% discount on any Dive & Stay or Learn & Stay package booked at Pure Dive Resort for 2024. Dive into the crystal-clear waters, explore breath-taking reefs, and create unforgettable memories in this diver’s paradise.

Visit https://www.purediveresort.com/package-offers/ to explore amazing packages and claim your discount with the code: SCUBAVERSE10

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info@purediveresort.com / +62 811 3999852 / www.purediveresort.com

Ready to make a splash?

See you in Nusa Penida!

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

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