Double Arch – Qbajjar – Gozo
3rd October 2010
A good dive site plus a good weather forecast, ensured a super full Atlantis II – so full that it listed to one side (probably because all the twin cylinders were stowed there). After a smooth 45 minute run along Gozo’s Eastern and Northern coasts we got to the Double Arch dive site.
Here we were in the hands of our able boatman Joseph to put us straight onto the arch – it happened twice to myself at this site to miss the arches, so there was a bit of pressure on the skipper to make no mistakes. After taking bearings and alignments on secret landmarks, the anchor rattled down – right next to the Double Arch – I do not think that the fact that the site was already in the GPS memory had anything to do with it…
This spectacular rock formation lends itself very well for some good photography, and this time there were cameras in all shapes and sizes in the water. We descended along the anchor chain, and then shifted over and continued descending along the reef’s wall, keeping it on our left hand side. We recognised the rock feature – we were on the small peninsula beyond the arch, so by keeping the reef on the left, we would arrive to the Double Arch from the seaward side – and some two to three minutes later, we came to the Arches.
Spectacular is really the word for it, I do not know why, but this formation is so surreal, that it seems to me like some scenery out of the Lord of the Rings, but back to the real world – the depth at the base of the lower arch is close to 38m, and if one proceeds along the reef, one can easily hit 60m – so another attraction of this site is that one can make this dive as deep as one wants starting from the reef top at about 17m.
Sealife – this time we were so taken up taking pictures of the rock formations, that we missed a good sized school of barracudas, hovering on the landward side of the reef. Too bad about that – but actually this site is renowned for barracuda sightings. Also I remember that on my first visit to this site, we saw two very large metre plus groupers swimming calmly very close to the Arches.
Soon the divers started to re-group on the reef top, gradually ascending to the ideal depth to decompress beneath the mother ship – and soon it was time to go. A most enjoyable dive in very fine weather and clear blue water.
Dive location: Double Arch – Qbajjar – Gozo
Dive type: Boat dive
Bearings: Compass bearings on the shore recommended, as is memorising
features close to the anchor point since the reef top is at about