Ras Il-Hobz, Gozo
(aka Middle Finger)
17th April 2011
written be Edward Vella for Bubbles Dive Magazine
As most divers are surely aware, the prevalent wind that blows over the Maltese Islands, is the North West wind. Isay divers know, because it so happens that most of the best dive sites, both from shore and more so from boats, are affected whenever the NW or Majjistral picks up.
The chosen dive site for the boat dive was the Crocodile Rock at Dwejra Gozo – but this site is at the Majjistral’s mercy – and this weekend, conditions were certainly not suitable for the Croc – in fact it was a bit of an unusual situation. Swell from the NW, with the wind blowing initially from the NE and then shifting towards N, caused the Atlantis II to shift uneasily at the berth which made the divers watch their step while boarding loaded with a cylinder/s on their back.
Anyway, the only logical thing to do was to find shelter along Gozo’s Southern coast, and since Ta’ Cenc was dived during the previous weekend, it was either Fessej, Ras il-Hobz or the Wrecks. There was no doubt about it, everybody agreed that it should be Ras il- Hobz. This site has a lot going for it. First of all, it is a relaxed dive, there is no need for constant fast finning, etc. The main item on the show here is the pinnacle which rises like an ancient tower from the sea bed – and we got there after about 10 to 12 minutes into the dive.
The Atlantis II had anchored as usual in this site on the top of the reef in about 6 metres. The reeftop is covered in golden brown grasses which contrasts with the deep blue beyond the drop off. We went over the edge and descended slowly onto a boulder strewn slope which then gives way to a sandy slope. The sand here is at about 50m I would estimate. We stopped our descent at about 43m, and held this depth for about seven minutes, after which we started a gradual ascent as we came to the base of the pinnacle.
The pinnacle is really ideal for exploration – full of holes and overhangs and dark recesses, which are covered in multi coloured sponges and calciferous growths, whose colours come to life under the light of the torch. Two slipper lobsters (ckal) were located, and on the way to the column, we saw a large moray eel outside of its den, a medium sized grouper. At greater depth President Nader said that he saw a large lobster. We spiralled slowly up to the top, as usual populated by a dense cloud of damsel fish (cawl) and bogue (vopi).
We then crossed over to the main reef and followed iton a Westerly heading back towards the waiting Atlantis II. Some forty minutes later we were unloading on the quay at Marfa – so another benefit for this site – you get back to your Sunday lunch on time.
Article by Edward Vella
Dive location: Ras il-Hobz – Gozo
Dive type: Boat dive
Bearings: For the described dive, no compass bearings are required since dive takes place along the shore line. However a bearing on the shore will not hurt!
Max depth: 43.3m
Dive time : 62 mins
Sea temp : 16 deg C
Visibility : Very Good – est 30m +
Attractions: Fantastic rock formations
Excellent for photography
A very depth flexible dive
*The summary refers to the information recorded during this particular dive only as described in the preceding write-up, and does not reflect the actual features of the dive site.