Wednesday, September 8, 2010

San Dimitri and the earthquake legend

If you were to ask people about their experiences of diving in Gozo, they will probably tell you what a fantastic dive they had in Dwejra or Crocodile Rock or the Blue Hole.
These are all fantastic dives, but let’s face it; when you are faced with the diving riches in Gozo, you might as well go full whack. Last time I went, we dived the Billinghurst Cave and Reqqa Point and after a quick lunch, we decided to go to San Dimitri – behind Gharb. Legend has it that there was an earthquake many hundreds of years ago, which led to a chapel, which was built on the Cliffside, to fall into the sea in one piece. Apparently, the bell still chimes on religious feast days. It is not difficult to understand where the legend sprung from and I will explain later.
But first, a bit of excitement. As a guy, it’s always a rush to be on something fast and powerful, which is exactly what we needed to get us to the dive entry point. San Dimitri is a beautiful dive, but can only be reached by boat. We chartered a rhib from Dwejra for the afternoon and powered out of the inland sea, crashing along the waves for about 15 minutes in full kit. We felt like Navy Seals about to embark on a mission.
One we arrive at the spot, and after an OK, it was a summersault back entry… oh and what a view. Visibility was easily 50 metres and we slowly descended to about 20. The underwater topography is phenomenal. It literally looks like an earthquake had shattered the coastline and sent it tumbling into the sea.

I had a bit of trouble with ear lock on the dive, but I was able to hang around above the rest of the party at about 18 metres or so, and in a sense, the view was even more impressive. The amount of marine life which congregates and proliferates in this spot is simply beyond belief. In fact, we saw a massive shoal of striped barracuda and proceeded to herd them into a ball. Two went left, two went right, one went above and one went below and before we knew it, we had herded a whole shoal of the fish. We could go right up to them and they would not break – it was a truly amazing experience.
We also saw plenty of groupers and various other small fish, which were actually not that small by Malta standards and these included parrot fish, cawl and myriad others. After about 40 minutes of enjoying such beautiful surroundings, it was back onto the boat and we powered to shore. Needless to say, after two such dives we were knackered and nearly falling asleep on the ferry back to Malta. What a wonderful dive !

Videos Jason Fabri

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to dive this site!



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