This was the fourth dive in a row held along Gozo’s inaccessible North coast. The weather has been kind, since this stretch of coastline is quite exposed to a wide range of wind directions: from the prevalent North West wind right up to the North Easterly. If there is a ‘North’ in the wind, then there will be no shelter here. On this day however, shelter there was – the wind turned a mild SW – and the fully laden Atlantis II had a smooth trip all the way from Marfa. We got at Pinu Point about an hour later. This time we were also glad to have Peter Lemon joining us.
This dive basically started where the previous dive ended. Pinu Point is the next headland going Eastwards from Hekka Point, and it is similar to it. This coast is all of a majestic cliff punctuated with sea caves. This time our group decided to limit our maximum depth so that more time could be allocated to exploring these impressive caves… and some of these caves are impressive! This time we entered three caves, as it was, all of them had their ceilings above the surface.
The entrance to the first cave was typical of the others which we had encountered during the previous dives in this area. Moving along the sheer cliff face, one starts to see a dark area ahead, which then materialises into a cave entrance. Typically, at the entrance one finds large boulders which have fallen from the ceiling, through years of wave action no doubt. Then inside, there was a large mostly circular chamber, and here comes in the previously mentioned word impressive. This chamber was massive, making the divers look insignificant, so some divers decided to become significant, and inadvertently stirred up the sand and silt on the bottom. No danger from silt out here because the entrance is enormous, but it certainly spoiled the photography! Perhaps the committee might consider a course in finning techniques? Not a bad idea, I would subscribe…
The second cave was similar to the previous, but smaller and the entrance much narrower. As often encountered in the semi-dark area, typically close to the entrances, one may come across groups of the orange, goldfish like cardinal fish ( sultan ic-cawl).
The third cave was a bonus. Situated exactly at Wied il-Mielah, this cave (well not just this cave actually, but probably the whole dive) would not have been possible to explore since at this site there was a notorious sewage outfall. Ever since it has been stopped, not more than a year ago, the sea recovery has been in my opinion so good that unless one did not know the whole sorry story, it would not even be suspected.
The cave is in shallow water and goes in through a wide brightly lit corridor with sandy floor shaped by wave action. The cave is brightly lit, but what struck me was an area to the right hand of the entrance where one could surface into what looked like an air lock. Unfortunately, I was at the last of my air, but another occasion will come…
And so with the scenic Wied il-Mielah window behind us, the Calypso left for home.