This was the fourth week in a row that the Atlantis II headed for yet another dive along the fantastic North facing westernmost coast of Gozo beneath the formidable lower coralline limestone (zonqor) cliffs.
The plan was to resume where we left the previous week – and this merits further description. This was the infamous site where the raw untreated sewage used to flow into the sea, with all the easily imaginable consequences of water and air pollution – but that is all in the past now! The water is crystal clear, and I found it surprising, that in such a short time that the sewage has been stopped, it seemed to me that nature has completely recovered from this wound.
Weather wise, there was a freshening Easterly blowing, casting doubts as to whether there would be trouble at the site, but this proved to be wrong, since conditions were excellent. We started the dive right in front of the Wied il-Mielah window, and then proceeded with the wall on the right towards the Margun Cave. So we descended freefall style at the base of the cliff to a depth of about 17m and then in a couple of ‘bounces’ we stabilised at about 45m proceeding along the wall.
Soon we started our gradual ascent along the steep wall – here Joe Formosa spotted a medium sized spiny lobster. At this place, the sea bed really goes down – in fact this area is called Il-Fonda tal-Margun (Margun Depths?) – this name must have been given by impressions obtained from the surface – from beneath the waves, this becomes very apparent!
Then when at about 20m the wall ahead started darkenening – a cave ahead (after four weeks we are becoming accustomed!) – and judging by the size, it could only be the entrance to the Margun Cave.. so torches on , and a stabbing finger of light shows the way forward, although in this case, there really is entrance is so large that there is enough light to pick your way, but the torch helps to explore inside the crevices and recesses of the cave. The entrance is littered with enormous boulders which have fallen from the roof. The cave goes in for quite a long distance, because I previously had an occasion to enter this cave on the surface by snorkel for quite a long distance but this time we chose to only penetrate up to the end of this boulder mass.
Air was getting a bit low, so by the time we got to the next cave, I decided to surface, but the temptation was too strong, so I snorkelled inside this cave and then on the left hand side, the cave branched off into another corridor. It became apparent that this corridor went in for a long way, so I did not have the time to enter any further for this time.
Sea life was on the low side, but the place is really spectacular, with lots of recesses, and caves. Now let us hope for more fine weather.