The joys of reef freediving
The Blue Hole in Dahab has a stunning reef with vibrant colours. There is nothing better than after a tough training session on the buoy & line than enjoying the natural beauty of the reef with the freedom and simplicity without the wetsuit and feeling the water on your skin.
Freediving Comino Wreck: P-31
By David Watson, AIDA & PADI Master Freediver Instructor and Owner & Founder at One Breath Freediving, based in Malta
Freediving in the Maltese Islands has lots of wonderful features that make it spectacular; the stunning underwater visibility of up to 40m, the cliffs and caves that are prevalent across the islands, the deep blue colour of the water that is unique to the Mediterranean Sea. But one thing that really draws freedivers to Malta is the chance to dive on ship wrecks. Malta has a LOT of wrecks, some sunk by nature (storms), by humans (wars), or on purpose to create artificial reefs. The P-31 wreck falls into the latter category.
P-31 History & Key Information:
Since being purchased by the Maltese Tourism Authority and sank as an artificial reef attraction for divers, the P-31 now sits upright on the sandy seabed West of Comino( just South of Blue Lagoon and just West of Crystal Lagoon), approximately 200m from shore. The depth on the bottom here is 20m and the top of the wreck is at just 10m deep. In fact the P-31 sits so shallow that it was necessary to cut off the mast of the ship before sinking her so as not to obstruct boat traffic. The wreck can often be seen clearly from the surface when you arrive by boat and I have even seen it occasionally from out of the airplane window when arriving or leaving Malta on certain days! In the summer months you will see a yellow ‘X’ marker buoy above to indicate the wrecks position.
Since her sinking, the P-31 has had to weather some rough storms as the prevailing winds on the islands are from a NW direction and sitting this shallow in the water means that waves and swell have had an impact, but considering that she has been underwater for 10 years already the wreck is still in very good condition. Before sinking she was thoroughly cleaned and made safe for divers. This means doors and hatches were removed and obstructions such fixtures, wires and cables were cleared out. There are a number of levels to explore and for a freediver it is normally clear and obvious which direction it is possible and safe to go in.
Specific Tips for Freediving The P-31 wreck:
5 Essential Tips for Wreck Freediving:
Lastly, please remember, freediving, and especially wreck freediving, can be DANGEROUS. Always freedive with a buddy, never push your limits or enter enclosed spaces with no clear or obvious exit. Please take a freediving course for your own safety and that of your buddy.
Interested in wreck freediving? Then subscribe to One Breath Freediving and follow our ‘Wrecks of Malta’ video series! Speak to David about freediving courses and wreck exploration possibilities.
Video: Cirkewwa Fun Dive
Back to the Sea
After over a week out of the water with an inflammation of the middle ear, Lyndsay, and me also, are really looking forward to getting back into the sea today! The conditions are a bit more windy than the previous few days, but a relaxing snorkel along Eel Garden Reef will be a great way to get back into it, and give us chance to play around with our cameras again.
Find out what the One Breath Freediving team is up to with the latest posts on this blog page.