L-Ghar ta’ Wied Bassasa
If there is one sure-fire dive site, which does not need any additional advertising by our hard-working dive master Guzi, it is surely this one, and therefore it was a full-house Atlantis II that left the quay at Marsaxlokk heading for the coast beneath Bassasa Valley. During the half hour trip, a stiff Westerly was ruffling up the surface, but once at the site, the skipper manouvered close to the coast, and from then on it was a smooth operation.
The highlight of this dive surely must be the cave – the play of sunlight and the colours of the sponges and other marine growth which cover its walls are simply incredible.
The cave is easily located, because the entrance actually goes above the surface, so that it is possible to start the dive, just from within the cave. Well this is more of a tunnel cave which goes through a small head-land. We started the dive a small distance away from the entrance, and entered the first section of the cave, which reminds me of a sort of hallway, at the end of which, the diver is confronted with two routes, and therefore the question: the left or the right corridor?
Actually it does not matter which is chosen, but once a few metres inside the left hand one, sunlight can immediately be seen. Automatically most divers (especially if it is the first time at Bassasa) go for the comfort of something familiar when in mysterious surroundings! So like moths attracted towards the light, the left hand corridor it was.
In fact both of these corridors lead to the same place – a very large open ended room with the ceiling far above, almost lost in the darkness, and an immense arch looking out into an electric deep blue, which no words can really describe properly. This must be one of the gifts that are given to those who have chosen to dive! A small hole in the ceiling completes the picture.
The arch looks out over a cliff side, and we decided to descend and find a bit of depth – and there is depth here – the sand must start off at around 60m. Once out of the arch way, I had a look back at it, and noticed that at the edge of the cave floor, there are what seemed to me channels, that could be consistent with the passage of water – and I got this impression that this could have been the site of an ancient waterfall.. But back to the present – We stopped at about 42m, and lingered just enough to photo a slipper lobster we found on a boulder underside, because we wanted to leave the air for the cave. Once back in the vast hall we went right up to the ceiling, and noticed how small the other divers looked beneath us – the deepest point of the cave is on the edge of the hall, and this is at about 25m, its roof is at 15m.
We returned via the other corridor back towards our original entry point. Photography wise it was a field day – there are so many features that one really cannot go wrong..
Ending with a warning – time zooms away in the cave – I could have sworn that at one we were just ten minutes into the dive, but when I checked, it was thirty!
Watch out for the next Bassasa.