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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


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.


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 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.

Starfish is under way


The rebuild of Starfish is now under way. All electronics have been removed, the engine has been disconnected and all controls have also been removed. The only thing that still worked, was the electric bilge pump, everything else will need replacing.

14937193_1798688283734237_3695910735119994110_n 14980781_1798688493734216_3940901704695504130_nThe images are of the boat partially stripped.

It has since had the controls, oil tank and fuel accessories removed. All engine connections have been disconnected too.  Once everything has been stripped, the boat will go for the tubes to be serviced and the trailer will go for a recoat.

Falmouth Live Wind Forecast




Snorkelling is a widely underestimated pastime. Using snorkelling as a tool for searching can be very useful, especially in the shallows or in hard to reach places. Around the coastline of the UK there are many secluded beaches, some not reachable by land that can be reached by snorkelling.

Using the right equipment and training, you can access places you never dreamed were possible without a boat.

At Atlantic Scuba, we not only teach the basics of snorkel equipment use, we also teach good finning techniques as well as some basic breathing up skills, to help with breath holding.

Diving from Dartmouth with the Maritime Archaeology Trust


We were invited to a days diving out of Dartmouth, with the Maritime Archaeology Trust (MAT). It was part of their diving schedule for their Forgotten Wrecks project. The idea was to gain as much information about WWI wrecks as they could. There would be a commercial dive team taking measurements etc. but we were there to fill the boat.

read more →

Maritime Archaeological Trust artefact recording day


The Maritime Archaeological Trust came to our shop to do an artefact recording day. Julie arrived to find five people waiting to start. Various artefacts from local and distant WWI wrecks had been dropped in for the day, as well as some of our finds.

Julie showed us how to record the information for their Forgotten wrecks of WWI project. Dimensions, material, weight, dimensions, a sketch and even a series of photographs were recorded. Items from the sv Andromeda, ss Ponus, ss Lydie, NG Petersen, ss Volnay as well as some U-Boat parts were all in the items studied.

The following day, we escorted them to snorkel on the ss Ponus on Gyllyngvase Beach, followed by showing them where the U-Boat remains were.

Wednesday 22nd we will go to see a talk by the Maritime Archaeological Trust, at the Watersports centre in Falmouth, regarding their project.

TV again


Over the years we have appeared on several tv programs. Our next project started today, can’t say much about it just yet but it may be  a 20 minute Inside Out special, in may be an hour long BBC2 documentary. Today we were filmed talking about the project and then individually interviewed.
It’s all starting again.

WW1 wrecks around Falmouth


100 years ago we were in the middle of the great war (WWI), it is quite topical at the moment. There are a lot of projects around regarding WWI wrecks, Falmouth has it’s share. For anyone interested in this subject, this might be of help.

sv Andromeda – Feb 13, 1915, Porthmellin Head

ss Ponus – Nov 3, 1916, Gyllyngvase Beach

NG Petersen – Mar 13, 1918, Falmouth Bay

ss Epsilon – Jan 21, 1917, Falmouth Bay

Tulip 2 – Aug 23, 1918, Bizzies Reef – Not Found

HMS St Ives – Dec 21, 1916 – Not Found

ss Volnay – Dec 14, 1817, Porthallow

Eric Calvert – Apr 22, 1918, Falmouth Bay

ss Spital – Jan 15, 1918, Falmouth Bay

Juno – Jul 03, 1915, Manacles

La Marne – Nov 20, 1917, Manacles

Krosfond – Nov 22, 1917, near Manacles

Cape Finisterre – Nov 02, 1917, near Manacles

Scuba diving cylinder coating


When we test cylinders, we are always on the lookout for cylinders that do not have the recommended coatings thickness. We see cylinders that are painted every year, it doesn’t take long for the manufacturers stamps to be filled with paint and disappear. The cylinders stamps are important, they show the serial number as well as working pressure, manufacturing date plus loads of other info. The paint has to be ground away until the stamped information is revealed. read more →

The Trouble with Tanks pt 5 – other materials and summary

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Others Cylinder compounds

Cylinders can also be made out of a composite construction, usually aluminium lined and carbon fibre wrapped. These are very light with thin walls and would require a lot of weight to sink them if used for scuba diving. They usually have a short specified life span. read more →