Non U.K. Dives

Malta Holiday October 2017

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After our very enjoyable October 2016 holiday to Malta, we have decided to do it again in 2017. Actual dates to be confirmed, for now, here are some of the details.
There are many dive centres on the island but the one we have chosen, was the one we dived with last year, Sea Shell. I hadn’t heard of them before but it was the proximity to our accommodation, plus the fact they were actually open, that made us choose them.
Sea Shell operate TWO large RHIBs from the front of their shop, on the waters edge at Mellieha. They also have plenty of transport for shore dives etc. The package we went with was the “Best of the Three Islands”, it can be adjusted to any level of experience and offers the perfect ratio between boat and shore diving,
as well as all the best dive spots around our islands. This package consists of 4 shore dives in Malta, 2 shore dives in Gozo & 4 boat dives around Malta and Comino @ €300.00 excluding equipment hire or €390.00 including equipment hire.
The indicated price includes: 6 guided shore dives and 4 guided boat dives, equipment (where applicable), Gozo ferry fee, boat dive supplements, transport from your accommodation (Mellieha, Xemxija, St. Paul’s Bay, Bugibba areas) – dive centre and back, land transport dive centre – dive site and back, cylinders and weights.
Additional shore dives are charged at €24.00 per person per dive (excluding equipment hire). Or, you can change a shore dive to a boat dive for an extra €10.00. Nitrox is available for €3.50 per tank.
They normally meet at 8.15 and go out for 2 dives. From most of the dive sites, you’ll be back by around 2pm.

WEB: www.seashellscuba.com

Accommodation

We stayed at the Luna holiday complex, which is a 5 minute walk to the dive centre. It was mid priced, comfortable, breakfasts were good and it has 2 swimming pools. There are plenty of hotels above and below this price, maybe not all as close as the Luna. We will probably stay at the Luna again.  Luna Hotel B&B for 10 days is £489.75, they have offered us a 10% discount as a group rate. Once we have an idea of numbers and official dates, they will confirm prices.
Other options available are self catering apartments. For a group of 6 or less, we can have a Hanover apartment @ €90.00/night. This is adjacent to the Luna and works out at only €15 per person for 6 sharing.

Location

Mellieha is close to the north of the island. It has the largest real beach on Malta, which is a long sandy mile long beach, with a rocky break in the middle. The beach has sun loungers to hire and several beach cafes. The water shelves slowly and is good for swimming. There are a few restaurants around the area near the dive centre, there are plenty more with shops in the town, up the hill.

For non divers and non diving days, there are plenty of attractions and things to do. Mdina is an amazing town to walk around, the Popeye (1980’s Robin Williams film set) village is also an interesting place to go, take a swimming costume and towel and spend the day there. The city of Valletta is steeped in history, as is much of the island, it also has many shops and  museums.

Everyone speaks English and they even use the same plugs as the U.K.

Flights

Flights options are:
Bristol to Malta with Ryanair return, direct flights – £151 plus luggage (£28 per bag each way, so another £56) 10 kg hand baggage.
Bristol to Malta with KLM, 1 stop – £126 inc. luggage 12 hand baggage.

Who is interested? Contact us for more details, dates to be advertised shortly. It will be early-mid October.

Lanzarote 2012

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We had been to Lanzarote a couple of times before and had enjoyed the island and the diving, it was time to return. Technically it is the same piece of water as at our home in Cornwall – UK, just a bit further south. The sea temperature would be around 22 at this time of year, nine degrees warmer than home, we still took our dry suits. read more →

Egyptian Live-aboard 2011

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We all met up at Gatwick, some we knew, some we didn’t, yet. The flight was delayed an hour late leaving Gatwick but the terminal was clear when we reached Hurghada, so no real delay. We jumped onto the coach and it to us, down some dodgy roads, to the harbour where our boat was berthed. We had a quick walk around the harbour and bars before heading back to the boat for an early night, we had started very early that morning from Cornwall. read more →

Brothers Wreck Special

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Twenty divers flew from the UK to Sharm on Sunday April the 25th for a weeks diving from a live-aboard. Derek had been organising the Brothers Wreck Special trip with his diving mates from ‘Up North’ and had asked Fletch if he wanted to go and if he knew anyone else who would be interested. We got a call and decided to join in, Ruth hadn’t done a week long live-aboard before but thought she’d have to try it. While we were anticipating the trip, the boat, Typhoon, burnt while being re-fitted. Or was it before it was re-fitted? read more →

Marsa Alam 2009

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After our recent trip to Sharm el Sheik we were wondering where to go in the summer, the choices were narrowed down to Malta or back to Egypt. Ruth wanted to go somewhere she didn’t have to wear a drysuit, she does feel the cold. Malta probably would be a little too cold for her so it was Egypt, but where? I didn’t want to go back to Sharm after just three months away and had heard some good things about Marsa Alam. So we searched the net and found a deal to fly to Marsa and stay at the Marina Lodge at Port Ghalib. Marsa Alam itself is a two hour drive from the airport but a long stretch of coast within easy reach of the airport is advertised as Marsa Alam.

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The Red Sea for the first time

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Booking

After many failed plans of going to Egypt and diving in the Red Sea I managed to get to Sharm El Sheik with Ruth for a week at the beginning of March 2009. We had booked the flights and accommodation on-line, there was a slight hiccup with the luggage. We had paid for the extra weight allowance but there was no mention of the fact we needed to pay for standard luggage as well! After a call, it was sorted. We had booked with an ATOL bonded company for financial protection just in case. read more →

A short break in Lanzarote

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Marathon and Dive

During the spring my running club had decided to run a race abroad, originally we thought of Benidorm in Spain and looked into the details. It is usually held during November but as we found out they had changed the month to February. We wanted to go in November so we started looking elsewhere, one of members recalled the Lanzarote race was in November and that ended up the new destination. Set on Saturday 29th of November there was a choice of 1/4, 1/2 and full marathons and the club kept it open to whoever wanted to go, members or not. read more →

Malta Part 3

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The next day for a change, we walked a couple of hundred metres down the road to a small quay, where we were collected by a converted painted Maltese fishing boat, a Luzzu, and taken to the island of Comino. The first dive was Lantern Point & The Chimney Cave, probably more of the boring brown weed. We headed down with the group following Alex, when all of a sudden he was signalling everyone to go up, we were at 44m and apart from a couple of us, no-one else was qualified or had ever been to that depth before. So they hurriedly made their way to shallower waters. The small chimney cave that came up under the boat was the only interesting bit, apart that is, from Alex’s face when he realised how deep we all were. I asked Alex if he ended up in deco, he said yes 8 minutes, I asked what computer he was using as I only had 3 minutes, he said he doesn’t use a computer and does it in his head.

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Malta Part 2

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Darren had arranged a standard 10 dive package with Strand dive centre, this involved picking us up from our hotel each day and taking us to the dive location, mainly shore dives. So the first day, as every day would be, we were collected by Alex from Strand in an old Transit van/minibus. The two doing courses were left with Lawrence, Strands owner. We went to the shop and sorted out our kit, then set off to our first dive site, the tug Rozi.  read more →

Malta Part 1

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After one of our usual Friday evening dives, we were sitting in the bar chatting about diving and diving related things. Darren had recently got back from Malta and Neil really liked the idea of going. A few others had expressed an interest in going too, I was interested but had already a lot of weekends booked away and would go if it didn’t clash. A few weeks later I saw a post on a diving forum with a list of names, after checking my diary I added mine. We all met up after another dive and paid for the flights and accommodation, the diving would be paid directly to the dive centre. read more →