The Mystery of Merkanti Reef

As we dive into this mystery we learn that there’s more to the story than meets the eye. The ocean is vast and it holds a number of secrets waiting to be discovered, we just have to take the time to find them. On and around a little island located in the heart of the Mediterranean called Malta we learn that the beautiful sea around this little island has a story to tell, and secrets waiting to be found. 

The Merkanti reef also known as Mercanti is a much underrated dive site in Malta, there are some secrets that this old beauty hosts that few people have heard of before. 

Mercanti also means Merchant in the Maltese language. The Dragonara was once a villa before it became the worldwide famous resort known to host luxury travellers and celebrities throughout the year. The palace is named after Dragonara Point, the peninsula on which it was built.  

According to local legends, a dragon lived in caves near the peninsula, but the roaring which was heard was probably the sound of the waves hitting the rocks or the howling of the wind. It is believed that the rumours of the dragon were spread by smugglers to discourage people from going to the area.  

A more valid theory is that its name has been given because of the camp of Turgot Reis (known as Dragut), which was in this area before the Great Siege battle on 1565, Dragut a  few years before the conquest of Gozo moved a contingency in the area. Dra gut died about 3 km away from this point.  

In nautical charters it is still known as Dragut Point but today it is commonly known as Tignè Point because of the freemason who occupied the area just after the siege. 

So when you look at the resort as it stands today would you know that these stories were unfolding in the background?, As far as we know Dragut, known as “The Drawn Sword of Islam”, was a Muslim Ottoman naval commander, governor, and noble, of Greek or Turkish descent.  And under his command, the Ottoman Empire’s maritime power was extended across North Africa. 

There’s some cook history behind most of our wrecks and reefs…if you don’t know what’s next for you as a course and are intrigued by our island’s historical events….try out these courses:

Open Water Course
Search and Recovery Specialty
Wreck Specialty



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