Intrepid Divemania Staff, Clive Simpson, Paul Bryant and Paul French eagerly awaited the arrival of the rest of the DM crew on Thursday evening, where else but the bar at Moby Dive’s, Xlendi Bay, Gozo, which was to be our base for the week-end.
Libby, Charlie, Kieran, Dan were the eager divers planning to undertake there Deep speciality, whilst Alan and David had come along for the fun of it all! David had even brought his wife Rene and Alice, his lovely daughter, who was to rise to the challenge of ice cream eating champion.
The fun really started on Friday when Paul French’s favourite jeeps were delivered to the dive centre and Paul took a shine to a nice grey one with the prophetic number plate KOK 007 – Oh dear!
The check out dive would be in Xlendi Bay with the nice tunnel swim through to the other side of the headland, The correct entrance missed this time, by our lead navigator however! Regardless it was a pleasant dive to start the week-end . Alan was having trouble with a bad knee during the dive so a medicinal rum in the evening led to him doing a very creditable Pirate impersonation!
Arggghh Jim Lad!
Next up was the Inland Sea which is a stunning location fun diving and the start of the Deep course.
The third and final dive of the day was from the blue hole again a stunning location but quite a walk with all one’s scuba kit and dry suits, all the group helped Alan and each other in various ways with his gear which was great to see. This turned into another good dive finishing in the cavern under the blue hole, and a safety stop in the Blue Hole itself. It has to be said that Gozo has some amazing natural features both above and below the waterline.
Saturday saw us heading off the a dive site known as “Middle Finger” via couple of detours trying to find the relevant dive site …… I blame Paul’s number plate! The dive went well with the Deep Spec student performing their tasks. Upon return we all de-kitted and put all the empty tanks in Paul F’s jeep and he headed off to re-fill the 10 cylinders ! Unfortunately being an accountant doesn’t necessarily mean the you are naturally good with numbers so 9 cylinders is almost 10! Well it is isn’t it? We always round up don’t we!
The rest of us organised an impromptu picnic at the Wreck’s dive site in prep for the next dive, suitably fed, watered and after an appropriate surface interval, we re-kitted with the arrival of the re-filled cylinders, Paul B, deciding to change from diving twin tanks to a single, can’t think why? Paul F practiced counting from 1 through to 10! The dive to the M.V. Koala went well and was enjoyed by all.
The third dive was to Billinghurst Cave on the North side of the Island again a massive natural feature discovered by Billinghurst BSAC dive club many years ago. This isn’t the easiest dive site to enter, so be prepared. This completed the Deep Spec so congrats all round to Libby, Charlie, Kieran and Dan, it was good to see their improvement as divers through the week-end, as their experience and confidence grew.
There had been a plan for a night dive but whilst the mind although willing the flesh was weak and we all retried to the bar to enjoy cold beer and rum for Al!
Sunday saw us up and out early to complete the last dive of the trip at Cathedral Cave, we were promised a considerably easier entry into the water than the one from last year so local knowledge was found and proved reliable and again a great dive with a surface inside the cave to observe a dome and natural cracks which let light and fresh air into the cave. Kieran passed his 50th dive and is therefore a Master Scuba Diver so congrats all round to him upon achieving this milestone in his diving career.
The return to Moby Dive’s to wash and clean the kit to leave for drying whilst we spent a fun day in the island sunshine.
A great week-end, thanks to all those that came along. Great to see and dive with you. No doubt this will become a regular in the Divemania calendar, so don’t miss out in future.