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Scuba Diving in Malta, Europe
Dive Site: P29
Description: Condor Class Patrol Boat
Length: 51 metres (167 feet)
Depth: 33 metres (108 feet)
Visibility: 25 - 30 metres (80 - 100 feet)
This newly scuttled wreck at Marfa Point had been down for less than two weeks when we dived her in September of 2007 so she was very clean, still painted and had almost no flora to speak of though fauna in the form of fish have started to move in already. It is very easy to find despite what certain dive schools may tell you to the contrary in order to extract money by acting as your escort - yes guys you know who you are! Enter the water immediately to the left of the lighthouse steps at the end of Marfa Point dead opposite the ferry terminal. Swim down the gulley from the so called "training pool" area behind the sea wall then drop over the edge and turn right towards the Madonna statue in her little cave at 17 metres or so. Immediately forward of the Madonna's cave and slightly deeper there is a somewhat pyramid shaped rock on the seabed with sand and weed just beyond it. Swim out with the rock to your right onto the sand and head off at 270 degrees on your compass passing over the memorial plaque placed there in memory of a British diver. If there is any current running you MUST use objects at the extreme of your vision to ensure you are not drifting off course to the left or right of your bearing though we did not experience a current on either of our two dives. She is sitting stern towards shore and after no more than a four or five minute swim you will hit the wreck in 33 metres though the top of her mast is very, very shallow indeed. There are some awesome swim through possibilities and the Maltese have sanitised the wreck so that she is relatively benign though if you are not experienced in penetration I would not recommend the tighter areas of the wreck inside the con or crew quarters. In the engine room and electrical area there are gauges and instruments in situ and the topside of the bridge still has the "stay clear" windows intact though the glass is badly crazed from the sinking. There are a host of knobs and levers for inveterate twiddlers to enjoy and due to the lack of corrosion at the time we dived her almost everything could be twiddled and prodded in a suitably satisfying manner! The back of the bridge has an awesome painting of the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes! It's just a shame though that they didn't clean the toilet pan before they pulled out the plugs to let the sea in! All in all this new wreck is great fun though do watch out for broken glass around the bridge.
Martin Frankcom BSAC AI 370 | 01/10/2007
In October 2006 I spent more time than I had planned diving the P29 due to the prevailing weather conditions. If the visibility is good this is an easy wreck to find. Leaving from Suzie's Pool go over the drop off and keep to a bearing of 260 at ten to fifteen metres. There's a concrete block which you pass over and within about two minutes you'll see a huge scour mark running from right to left. As you cross this the back end of the wreck should come into sight. You can aim for the square hole on the rear deck and go straight into the engine(less) room.
You can get right down to the keel on the inside. Next item is the deck housing which has various openings plenty of light and next to no silt. It's possible to go all the way to the bow but more interesting to move up the superstructure and onto the mast for some gentle decompression heading back over the stern towards the reef. I have filmed several dives of this wreck which are posted on Facebook.
Jef Proudfoot | 03/05/2009
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