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Malta deep tech trip

John and Alistair went to Malta for a week to join Dennis Wigg's deep tech trip. The targets for the diving included SS Polynesian, HMS Stubborn, the Schnellboot and the HMS Southwold. While on the trip John intended to qualify for his MOD2 whereas Alistair was just diving and taking photos.

Travel to Malta was with Air Malta to take advantage of the extra baggage deal because travelling with dry suit, rebreather and full diving kit is a very heavy process. The JBOD party was completed by Helen, Mandy and Mark who were along for the sun and shopping. Andrew, Andy, John K and Dangerous Dave completed the diving team.

The shakedown dive on Saturday was the P29 an old patrol vessel deliberately sunk for tourism. Alistair dived with Dangerous Dave and everything went well. John didn't manage to get in for a dive due to issues with his rebreather.

Sunday was the first boat dive on HMS Stubborn a scuttled submarine. Alistair dived with Dave again who was proving anything other than dangerous. The water was crystal clear and very blue. Back on the surface it was reasonably choppy so much so that Mark lost his breakfast and spent the trip asleep.

On Monday it was too stormy to use the boat so the team went to Gozo to dive the ferry wrecks, the Xlendi, Karwela and Cominoland. Being shore diving it was very hot work carrying kit down to the water and even hotter and harder on the way up. Alistair dived with John K after a last minute malfunction with Dave's rebreather and they managed all three wrecks in one dive. Helen, Mandy and Mark took a bus trip to Valletta.

Tuesday everyone was back on the boat other than Mark who sunbathed with Mandy and Helen rather than risk more seasickness. The target was the Polynesian which was in quite a current so there was lots of hanging on the shotline for decompression. Alistair saw a sunfish but didn't manage to get a picture and the unfortunate Dave had more issues with his rebreather.

Wednesday was the last day of boat diving and for the JBOD contingent. Dave again had issues with his rebreather so Alistair dived with Andrew. John was leading Dennis around for his final dive of his course. The target was the schnellboot, a German mine laying torpedo boat sunk in the way after it hit its own mine. As the sea was calm Mark rejoined the boat. Many thanks to Dennis for organising the trip and inviting us along. we will certainly be back for more diving in Malta.

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