Divewise Merch

For those of you who don’t know, and for those of you who do…..we have lots of cool merchandise available!

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From mugs, to log books to cool customised T-shirts, for the diving enthusiast who’s been to our centre and dived with us…..we think these are the perfect gift! (Or maybe you want one all to yourself)…..Either way, have a look!

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T-shirts range from sizes between Small and Extra Large to accomodate everyone.  Here are the prices for some of the Items:

  • Mugs – €10.00
  • Logbooks – €20.00 (these are handmade!)
  • Beaufighter/Rozi tshirts – €15.00 (Special Offer) and €2 will be donated to Project Aware
  • Surface to Beyond T-Shirts – €25.00
  • Eat, Sleep, Dive T-Shirts – €15
  • Torches vary from €69 – €10915311631_10154758401535879_790667898_o
  • Most of the other T-shirts are also €25.00 – contact us for more information on any items.
  • We also offer a Malta – Gozo – Comino Book which is €30.00. It has beautiful dive scenes from all over the islands with awesome and intersting information regarding each site, and other useful information detailing wrecks, marine life, history and much more.
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We hope you like our stuff as much as we enjoy using them! Please speak to us if you are interested in ordering any of the items, so we can check if there is still stock left.

Email us at: info@divewise.com.mt. Otherwise, if you’re in Malta, don’t be shy to come say hello!  We’d love to help you pick the perfect merch for you!

Divewise Team

A year working with Divewise – Alana

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My name is Alana Mifsud, and I am originally from Gozo (Malta’s sister Island).

It’s already been a year since I’ve started working with Divewise, and all I can say is….I’ve never been happier! I came across working with Alan and Viv through some connections, and boy am I happy I was approached with that opportunity.

I am the Marketing and Social Media executive to Divewise, which has so many perks! I was never in the diving scene before this job and I will admit to you, dear readers that I have not yet been diving ever! (Shameful, I know) However, you can be rest assured that I have been asked by almost all staff including Alan and Viv on when I will do my first Open Water Course, or at least a Shallow Dive. I will do it soon, I promise!

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post about my time at Divewise so far, and introduce myself properly to our devoted clients and newcomers as well, after hiding in the shadows for a whole year! Working for Divewise is definitely more than a handful, however, I do mean that in the best way possible….I have learnt so much on the whole about the diving community in general and have made a few friends along the way.  Including non-human friends like; Marble our newest addition to the cat family that Viv and Sarah care for at the centre and how could anyone ever forget our beloved Jacques, the mascot of the whole business!

I must say, I do respect my bosses very much and they are the sweetest people I’ve ever met, which is definitely a bonus and one of the biggest reasons why a workplace strives; keeping staff happy; I can see is the case with all other staff members in the centre. Hey, even the animals are happy! They are such dedicated people and are amazing at showing their clients they are important. Apart from being friendly, respectful and caring towards everyone’s needs. It’s like having one huge family, which is not actually your family, but you know what I mean. 😉 Even though I am not at the centre as much as the other staff, I still feel that sense of belonging, which is very rare, in a sense.

I’ve discovered, read and learnt so much just by taking care of most of the social media pages and blogs related to the business. I hope in a way these articles and content have served their purpose and were meaningful to most of our readers who might find that they entail great tips for beginner divers (believe me I was learning with you) or maybe a refresher for those who have been diving longer.

I would like to put out there, that if you have a certain topic which you would like us to cover in our blog, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us directly and hopefully we can provide enough information for a sufficient and informative blog post for everyone’s benefit.

I would absolutely love to hear from you and maybe meet you in person someday when you are out at the centre.

Cheers!

Alana

The MV Rozi Wreck

_mg_3275The MV Rozi was a tugboat originally called Rossmore. She was built in Bristol in 1958 by Charles Hill & Sons. She was later re-named Rossgarth after she was sold to a different company; Rea Towing _mg_3259in 1969. The Mifsud Brothers Ltd then bought the tug (still named Rossgarth at this time) in 1972. She worked for the Malta Ship Towage Ltd when she left Liverpool and started her occupation in Malta.

She was then sold to Tug Malta to operate at the Grand Harbour in 1981. After several long years working within the Grand Harbour, she was decommissioned and sold to Captain Morgan Cruises who deliberately sunk the vessel. The tugboat was placed just off Cirkewwa in September 1992 for Captain Morgan’s Underwater Safari Tours. However these tours no longer exist today which left the site open to become one of the most popular dive sites, attracting many divers from around the world.

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_mg_3280The wreck is easily reachable from shore at Cirkewwa and simple to find as it is marked by a buoy. To get to the MV _mg_3267Rozi, one must pass over one of the most beautiful reefs Malta has to offer. Fortunately, the MV Rozi is one of the wrecks which can be entered safely, namely the engine room and the wheel house which have been emptied for this purpose. However, the rest of the wreck is also fairly accessible to explore.

Marine life you would expect to see are the Cardinal Fish, Rainbow Wrasse, not to mention Scorpion Fish and a lot of Sea Bream. To dive this wreck one needs to have an Advanced Open Water Qualification. It is a dive of 36 metres deep.

Want to dive this wreck? Get in touch with us and we’ll offer you a package you can’t resist.

For more info on other wrecks, head to our other article with a list of wrecks you can choose from should you wish to dive our lovely waters. _mg_3263

P29 Wreck

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Previously named Boltenhagen (GS09) by its constructors in East Germany, the Kondor-Class minesweeper was separated from the Volksmarine (Naval Forces of Germany) just before the reconsolidation of Germany. She was later bought off by Malta in 1997, who renamed the vessel P29 and used it as a patrol boat, just like the P31.

She was launched in 1970 and was commissioned in that same year in the month of September. The P29 was the 18th vessel manufactured under the Kondor-Class. Like the P31, she was used to patrol river banks between East and West Germany, apart from acting as a minesweeper.p29

Before being sold off to the Armed forces of Malta, the P29 served in the German Federal Coast Guard. They kept her German name up to this point but changed her pennant number to BG31. Moreover, while under the German Federal Coast Guard, she was given a new refurbishment; her guns were disassembled, the equipment and radio inside the vessel were updated and changed, also her whole body was repainted. The BG31 was the last Kondor-1 and was later inactive in 1996.

General Characteristics:

  • Weight: 361 tons
  • Length: 52m
  • Beam: 7m
  • Draft: 2.5m
  • Propulsion: MD 40 Deisel Engines
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Armament: 1 quad 14.5mm_mg_3387

On another note, this is where Malta decided to purchase this vessel, who, along with her sister ships the P31 and the P30 were also bought by Malta in 1992. It became a patrol boat under the Armed Forces of Malta, and was upgraded with some weaponry for protection. However, this previous minesweeper, now turned patrol boat aided the Maltese with securing the Maltese coast against smugglers and border control operations.
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Quite like her sister ship the P31, she was decommissioned in 2004 and scuttled off the port of Cirkewwa in 2007, where she lies 150 metres from the coast which is easily accessible from the shore, for divers and underwater species to visit her, acting as an artificial reef and also as a spectacle for divers to enjoy.

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You can find a video of a dive on both the P29 and the Rozi here an its location coordinates here.

This article caught your eye? Check out all the other wrecks found on the Maltese Islands in our other blog posts.

 

 

 

Meet the Dive Team – Marko Knezevic

untitledMarko…..where do we start! 

Originally from Serbia, Marko started his Divemaster Internship with us and is still a valuable member of the team today. Lovable character, and never stops smiling; he is great fun to dive with! We are convinced he runs on duracell batteries, as he is always on the go, we don’t know where he gets his energy from, and by the end of the season he never seems to get tired! Nothing is ever too much trouble for him an is marvelous with children and great with groups.

 

It’s time for some grilling! 

 

Who are you? What do you do?

Helloooo I’m Marko. I actually studied to be a PE Teacher! However diving got the better of me and am now an instructor for Divewise. Hehe

When did you start diving?

Waaaay back in 2010 

What made you start diving? 

The idea of breathing underwater was just baffling to me, I am not one to chicken out so I gave it a go and been hooked ever since!

How long have you been working with Divewise? 

This would be my 3rd Year…

Where and when was your last logged dive/dive related experience?

Today! Out on the house reef 🙂

Dive goals and What’s the next course you want to do & why?

Sidemount, because it gives you a sense of freedom from having cylinders attached to you. Basically you can take the cylinders off and can maneuver through wherever you want 🙂

What keep you diving and how do you keep the passion?

Apart from the fact that diving to me is more than just my job…….hmmm….I would say FOOD keeps me striving to keep diving, Haha. I love myself a good meal!

Favourite Dive Site? 

Oh definitely the House Reef at our Centre.

Whats your favourite Wreck in Malta? 

The Um El Faroud….Hands down!

Favourite piece of dive equipment and why? 

Cylinders of course, otherwise how am I supposed to breath under water? 

Favourite Course to teach?

Advanced Wreck Specialty

What superhero would you be? 

Spiderman

If you could have any one super power, which would you choose? 

Invisibility!

Closing short paragraph / sentence about you and diving

Like a fish in the water….or…maybe a frog?

The Um El Faroud Wreck

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The Um El Faroud was a single screw motor tanker owned by Libya. It weighed a whopping 10,000 tons! Built in 1969 in England, she was owned by the General National Maratime Transport Company called Tripoli. She served a good 26 years, operating between Italy and Libya carrying refined fuel. In 1995, during maintenance work on the vessel that had been carried out in Malta’s docks, specifically Dock no.3, a gas explosion erupted within the dock where 9 workers had tragically lost their lives that day.

The Um El Faroud structure after the blast was so deformed that upon inspection and survey, it was unusable. The vessel then occupied that dock for the better part of 3 years before opting to utilize what is left of its deteriorating value to be scuttled as an artificial reef in the year 1998.

Characteristics:

  • Type: Motor Tanker
  • Tonnage: 10,000 tons
  • Length: 115m
  • Beam: 15.5m

The Um El Faroud Wreck sits upright on a sandy seabed very close to Wied iz-Zurrieq approximately 200 metres from the shore.  this wreck will be reached after a gentle 8-10 minutes swim across the reefs. Flying Gurnards, Torpedoe Rays and free swimming Moraya Helena can be encountered along the way.

The different depths include, 18 metres from the top bridge, 25 metres to the main deck and 36 metres to the bottom where it rests. Most often whilst diving, you can encounter a squid here and a barracuda there, while near the stern. The vessel can be entered quite easily since it is such a large ship. However, entering the Um El Faroud should only be restricted to divers who have the advanced wreck diving training.

In 2005/6, Malta endured a bad storm, which consequently left the ship broken into two. The break is still fairly new however has already been teaming with aquatic life such as the likes of; Tuna, Jacks and Barracudas.

UmelFaroud_Barracuda Click -> Um El Faroud to watch a video of the wreck.

For more info about other wrecks, check out this blog post right here.

 

The HMS Maori Wreck

The HMS Maori, a Tribal-Class Destroyer, served under the Mediterranean Fleet. It was called the HMS Maori after the indigenous Maori People of New Zealand.

Delving more into the history of this ship; it was built by a Scottish company called Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd on 6th June 1936. However it was then launched on 2nd September of the next year (1937) and commissioned on 2nd January 1939.  It was accompanied with other destroyer vessels doing convoy escort duties before returning to Britain in October. After that, she scouting the North Sea until April of 1940 and in June headed off to Iceland to patrol for German Warships.

In 1941 she aided in extinguishing an enemy German Battleship. Moreover, HMS Maori also served the Battle of Cape Bon in December 1941. She was tragically bombed by a German plane while in Malta in the year 1942 causing her to sink while she still served under the Mediterranean Fleet; one crew member was lost. The destroyer was later moved just outside the Grand Harbour off Fort St Elmo on 15th July 1945 and has since then became a dive site, (for all us divers to enjoy J).

Some general characteristics of the vessel are:

  • Length: 115m
  • Beam: 11.13m
  • Draught: 3.43m
  • Propulsion: x2 shafts, x2 geared steam turbines
  • x4 MK XII guns
  • x1 anti-aircraft guns
  • x2 KK III anti-aircraft machine guns
  • x1 torpedo tubes
  • x20 depth charges
  • x1 rack
  • x2 throwers

Now a very popular dive site in the Maltese Islands, the HMS Maori is situated a few hundred meters from the shore from Valletta. The bow of the ship rests beneath the white at a depth of 14 metres. The rear part of the ship was left neglected in deep waters since the towing of the vessel. However, most of the front end of the vessel is still present. This includes as well the two front gun bases.

This amazing wreck is blossoming with marine life of all shapes and sizes for all divers to behold. And for all the underwater photographers out there, make sure to visit this one! It’s a spectacle!

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Imp Tips:

  • Found in the Grand Harbour of Valletta
  • Depth: 14m
  • Dive Difficulty rating (in stars) ***
  • Qualification to DiveOpen Water Course

Have you ever dived the HMS Maori? Tell us your experience in the comments!

Feeling adventurous and want to try other wreck sites? Head to our other blog and check out all the wrecks Malta, Gozo and Comino have to offer here.

Meet the Team – Sarah Shaw

Sarah is a Master Instructor who joined us in June 2008. She created our Sea Slug Speciality Course, some  which we now offer at Divewise, and is our resident expert on marine-life. A valuable all-rounder, Sarah particularly enjoys teaching DPV and photography. She also is our technician for regs/bcds & cylinders.

Lets ask Sarah some questions….Shall we? 

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Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Sarah Shaw and I do everything!

When did you start diving?

Back in 2002

What made you start diving? 

Oh, that was Alan’s doing!

Where and when was your last logged dive / dive related experience? 

This morning was my last logged dive….with regards to diving experience, I am a Master Instructor and have logged a good 3500 + dives!

Let’s talk about dive goals……and what’s the next course you want to do and why? 

My dive goal would definitely be to dive as long as I possibly can. The Rebreather Instructor Course is the next step for me.

What keeps you diving and how do you keep the passion? 

Well, apart from the fact that I love the underwater world and all that’s in it…I love to see the joy on people’s faces, be it the first time they entered the water or experienced divers on an adventure, even those who are upgrading their skills to a new course certificate. Also, I love teaching.

What’s your favorite dive site? 

I’d have to say Cirkewwa.

What’s your favourite Wreck in Malta?

Depending on the Time of Year, I’d choose between these 3 wrecks; The Maori, 2 Tugs, and the Rozi.

Favourite piece of Dive equipment and why? 

Wing Trim for Comfort

Give us a closing short paragraph or sentence about you and diving….

I am so very passionate about sea slugs and love critter hunting.

Here are some awesome pictures she took while out exploring!

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Have you ever been out diving with Sarah? Don’t be shy to share with us any stories or images of your dive with Sarah…..If you want to know more about some of the little critters that Sarah is an expert at finding we have other blog posts to keep you entertained! 🙂

 

The P31 Wreck

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Built in East Germany, the P31 was a Kondor I-class minesweeper. She was named Pasewalk (GS05) by the Germans. However she was then give its name as P31 when sold to Malta in the year 1992. She was then used as a patrol Boat. The P31 served a 12 years under the Maratime Squadron of the Armed forces of Malta, patrolling Maltese coasts until it was decommissioned in 2004 and officially scuttled as an artificial dive site in 2009.

The ship was bought unarmed, so after she was bought by the Maltese, she was armed with some munition for protection by the Armed Forces of Malta. The most notable rescue which was documented by the P31 was when she was used to acquire and shield 251 illegal immigrants from a 20 metre long boat which was battling force 6 winds. The ship was sinking about 71km to the South of the Maltese Islands.

By 2004, it was no longer under the Armed forces of Malta after being decommissioned. Moreover, she was then bought by the Malta Tourism Authority who cleaned and scuttled the vessel. The P31 now lies on white sand off the island of Comino in a depth of 18 metres, where it serves as a beautiful and recent dive site for recreational divers and also acts as an artificial reef.

General Characteristics:

  • Weight: 360 tons
  • Dimensions: 52m long x 7m width
  • Draught: 3.5m
  • Propulsion: MD 40 Diesel engines
  • Armament: X1 quad 14.5mm gun

The depth of this wreck is accessible to divers of all abilities; the wreck is magnificent for Divers who are completing their open water course and also great for advanced divers, however, even snorkelers can enjoy the view of this magnificent wreck from the surface!

Location can be found here.

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Here’s a video from our talented instructor Michael J Tandy for your amusement 🙂 Enjoy!

 

 

10 Tips for Better Buoyancy Control

In diving buoyancy control is one of the most important skills a diver can master and also one of the most difficult one. Not being able to maintain you buoyancy during a dive can be very frustrating and of course it takes all the fun away! It’s bad for you and even worse for the reef!

Before we get to know how to gain better buoyancy control, let’s first look at the benefits of controlling our  buoyancy while scuba diving:

1) It makes diving more fun;

2) extended bottom time through reduced air consumption;

3) having more opportunities for positive interactions with aquatic life;

4) Helping preserve fragile underwater environments (see Project A.W.A.R.E Environmental Specialty Course here.)

5) Prolonging the life of your dive equipment.

Here are 10 tips for improving your Buoyancy Control when you Scuba Dive:

1) Performe a Buoyancy Check at the beginning and at the end of the dive. Wearing the right amount of   weights is crucial to achieving the right buoyancy.

2) Proper weight position and distribution gives you more control while underwater. Get into a horizontal position, this minimizes water resistance.

3) Remember your scuba tank will become lighter at the end of the dive.

4) Use your BCD for buoyancy adjustment.

5) Depth: you have to be alert to buoyancy changes whenever you change depth, and especially when you ascend.

6) Fine-tuning your buoyancy using breathe control.Your lungs are a natural buoyancy compensator, trying to breath deeply and slowly.

7) Exposure suit: your wet suit can have an effect on your buoyancy.

8) Be as streamlining as you can while maintaining an efficient kicking style.

9) Relax and stay physically fit. It takes practice but it will become easier with time!

10) Start a Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course and learn about that while you have fun underwater

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