Maximum depth: 15m
HMS MAORI was one of the 16 “Tribal”-class destroyers of the Royal Navy built between 1936 and 1939. She took part in the action against the Bismarck and later helped sink two Italian cruisers in December 1941.
During a German air attack on Malta’s Grand Harbor at Valletta on 12 February 1942 she received a direct hit aft from a Stuka, caught fire and partially blew up.
Maximum depth: 36m
The ROZI was sunk in 1992 for the diving purposes and she sits perfectly upright on a sandy bottom within a rocky amphitheatre of Marfa Reef. Environmentally cleared before she was sunk, ROZI is slowly being colonized by all the marine organisms that are usually seen on Mediterranean wrecks.
Maximum depth: 25m
Starting from the shallow “lagoon” locally known as “the beginners valley”, next to the large overhanging shelf, the reef drops down to about 18 meters. Not far, to the right from the mouth of the “lagoon” is a small cavern with the statue of the Madonna placed here by a local diving club.
Maximum depth: 12m
In Maltese language “ghar” means “cave” and actually a cavern system is what divers can expect to see as the highlight of the dive. Starting from the well-sheltered bay, dive leads around the big rock and some large boulders out to the sandy patch. The area between the sand and the reef is covered with Posidonia grass and a variety of algae, grazed on by wrasse, salema and bream. Swimming to the north along the reef at approximate depth of 6m, divers can see four entrances to the cavern system the northernmost being the largest. Not far from the largest entrance and a bit shallower is another cave where divers can see the translucent shrimps.
Maximum depth: 36m
Sunk in September 1998, the ill-fated UM EL FAROUD had previously lain in the harbour at Valletta for three years following a terrible explosion on board that killed nine Maltese dockyard workers. Now, with the memorial brass plaque in place, above the front windows of the helm, the ship sits upright on the sandy seabed, the latest addition to Malta’s artificial reef programme. At 10000 tons and 115m long the UM EL FAROUD is an impressive sight.
Maximum depth: 42m
The wreck of this forgotten aircraft was located by Sport Diving Ltd and now features on the diving “must-see” list.
It is not known whether this World War II bomber was shot down or whether the three-man crew had to ditch the aeroplane because of the engine failure. The engines and wings are intact, but the foresection of the fuselage has been smashed off and now lies several meters in front of the main part of the wreckage.
Maximum depth: 21m
These two wrecks, both tugboats built in 1944, were scuttled in 1998 after having been given a full environmental clean-up. The ST MICHAEL is of Tanac type, 20m long and built in Canada, while the NUMBER 10 is 16m in length and of Melita type.
Maximum depth: 40m
The Blue Hole is a natural rock formation carved out over the centuries by wind and wave power. The site offers sheltered entry into the hole after which diver descends down to the bottom of the Blue Hole at 17m, out through the huge archway and on the wall that cascades down to the depth of 50 meters. The impressive archway starts at 8m and has a flat top, almost square in shape, and covered in golden cup corals.
Maximum depth: 40
When conditions are perfect this is a fantastic dive along a narrow canyon that stretches 80m through the headland to the open water beyond. In the high season, tourist boats constantly whizz overhead, but the wall is deep enough, vertical and underhanging for the most part that there is no danger of collision other than at the beginning of the dive and at the end, assuming that the entry and exit point is the same.
Maximum depth: 30m
The entrance is at 28m and comes to 14m from the surface. The cave has very little natural light penetration and a dip in the middle further cuts off the daylight.
The sides of the tunnel are pitted and eroded by the pounding sea and covered in multitude of differently coloured sponges. There are two chambers, both very large, and in the inner one is an air pocket although the air is foul.
Maximum depth: 40m+
This is a spectacular dive down a shallow rocky shelf at 6m, where the boat usually anchors. The start of the dive is above the entrance to a “chimney”, near vertical tunnel, which drops down and through the limestone plateau and exits at 16m. The tunnel is wide enough for divers to manoeuvre without touching the sides on which the white-tufted fireworms abound.
Maximum depth: 20m
The dive starts in the sheltered inlet where the boat usually anchors right above the interesting underwater arch next to which is a large sandy patch, perfect for skill practice with trainees or for the last checkup before proceeding with the dive.
Santa Marija is also popular site for fish feeding and divers can expect huge number of saddled bream, two-banded bream and damselfish waiting for a handout. Fish encounters at Santa Marija are consistent year round and this is the reason why this site is also popular with underwater photographers.