Gozo: Blue Hole and Inland Sea
Stunning adjacent west coast dive sites show the best of Gozo
I’m not sure what was rattling the most: our four sets of dive kit, the ancient salt water-abused jeep, or my teeth.
The sun had yet to achieve full warmth in the October sky, although by 9am the island would be beginning to bake.
Today’s dive guide Itzi talked incessantly all the way from Qala in the eastern side of Gozo to San Lawrenz in the west. Her cheery positivity never wavered except when referencing a mysterious ‘Crocodile Rock’. This is not some form of snappy musical jive but a lump of stone shaped like a large reptile. “If there are waves breaking over it, we cannot dive,” Itzi had warned.
there’s a gentle blue glow up ahead
The site hove into view and our jeep descended to the shoreline. Itzi clapped her hands in delight: “Look yes! The crocodile is fine!” We were on.
There are many Blue Holes in this world, the Red Sea and Belize being two of the better known. Gozo’s Blue Hole is formed of hollowed-out rock, overlooked by a towering rock gateway called the Azure Window. Entry is down a few steps, a shingle area and finally across a few rocks to the pool itself. Itzi’s cautiousness becomes clear as we realise the shape of the hole lends itself perfectly to a ‘washing machine’ action. If the sea were any rougher today, the dive would be off.
But conditions are right and in short shrift we are sat on the rock lip, fins go on, lean forward and we’re away.
There’s little life in the hole itself which drops down to about 15 metres and features a small overhanging cave at the rear. We spend a few moments shining torch beams around before pushing on. The way out is beneath a rock arch descending down to the seabed at around 30 metres. Our route takes us left along the wall to ‘the crack’ – a swim-through into an area known as the coral gardens. Don’t expect any real coral here, although there’s plenty of growth clinging to the walls either side, as well as the odd wrasse nosing about.
Looping back, on the return we stay low and look up, the silhouette of divers above one of the ‘must see’ views of the site.
Second dive of the day is down a track into an area called The Inland Sea, a small lagoon only accessible to the ocean via a small cliff-borne tunnel. Pleasure boats arrive and depart through the tunnel and Itzi warns us to keep close to the cliff wall on the left while the water is so shallow.
Descending, the surface quickly fades and eyes adjust to the near-black. Passing through a canyon with sheer walls either side at about 20 metres, there’s a gentle blue glow up ahead. Far above a boat engine provides a buzzing soundtrack. There’s no life down here, just a pure white stone bottom, vertical cliff walls and a lighting show. Four happy divers advance through this serene place.
As before, the way back involves a 180-degree about turn and retracing the route. It’s worth leaving torch lights off and just allowing eyes to adjust to the natural ambience, since the soft glow of the ocean is the star attraction. The seabed gradually shallows and brings divers back to the warm lagoon, carefully avoiding boats on the return.
Both sites are sheltered and seemingly straightforward, although weather can blow up and render both no-go areas… so check with locals before splashing in here. With plenty of cafes to chill for a surface interval in and close proximity to each other, The Blue Hole
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Dave and Lisa want to take you on a 21-day trip of a lifetime