Scuba Diving Expedition to Malta 2023

Blowing Bubbles

Mr J. P. Hickman

A report on the Blue Coat scuba diving expedition to Malta in April 2023.

Video by George M (Year 12) Here

It was a great honour to resurrect the annual Blue Coat scuba diving expedition. Over the Easter holiday, 13 boys from Years 9, 10 and 12 spent a week on a scuba diving expedition in Malta.

We left Blue Coat early on the second Saturday of the holiday and made it to Heathrow with ample time. The rest of the first day was spent settling into our hotel in Paradise Bay. We awoke with excitement to start diving, and after sorting out our equipment, we were ready.

The group with the Paradise Diving staff

After finishing their pool training in the UK, those students that had never dived before spent the first two days finishing off their PADI Open Water qualification, enabling them to dive to 18m and explore Malta’s wrecks and reefs. Those students were: Matthew A; Alex B; Zac G; Kruthik G; Mehul G; Milo H; Zeph K; Benjy L; Thomas S and George W.

Divers ready to go

Milo enjoying his dive


George W thought, “The Malta trip was a truly amazing experience for me and everyone who attended. Every dive we did felt so surreal. The water was crystal clear, and we saw wildlife in all shapes and sizes. The trip taught the newcomers what diving is really like, as we had only done training dives in the school pool. I would return in a heartbeat if I was given the opportunity to do it again”.

Those divers already qualified progressed their training and gained their PADI Advanced Open Water during the week, conducting adventurous diving on reefs and wrecks down to 30m. They were: George M; Kailan P and Mark S.

Kailan and George prepare to dive

Kailan P said of the experience, “The Malta diving trip felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity; it was truly stunning. The crystal blue waters were filled with an abundance of wildlife such as octopus, barracuda, cuttlefish, and many more. The underwater landscapes were from another world, varying from shipwrecks to caves. I would love for there to be another trip like this, hopefully next year!”.

Flying gurnard

The diving was exceptional, with underwater visibility up to 30m. The first day was spent around Ċirkewwa’s reefs and underwater caves. Here there were shoals of various fish species such as barracuda and angelfish, jellyfish and octopus.

Mr Lamacraft explores a reef wall

A reef wall at Ċirkewwa

Divers swim through an underwater arch at Ċirkewwa

A reef at Ċirkewwa

On the second day, the group dived a WWII wreck; the X127, sunk in the Port of Valetta in 1942.

Zeph returns from diving the X127

Due to the windy weather, on the third day, the group took a ferry to the island of Gozo to Mgarr ix-Xini, looking for seahorses in the sandy bay. Here there were various flatfish, dreamfish and goatfish. With the bad weather abated, the group got to dive HMS Māori just outside Grand Harbour. This was another opportunity to dive a WWII wreck covered in marine life such as a shoal of bib, moray eels, nudibranchs and cuttlefish.

Getting ready to jump in outside Grand Harbour

A diver explores the gun mount on HMS Māori

A walkway on the deck of HMS Māori

Divers explore HMS Māori

Divers explore a shallow reef in Gozo


The final day was spent back in Ċirkewwa with the Advanced Open Water trainees conducting two deep dives to 30m on the wrecks of the MV Rozi (a tugboat) and the P29 (a Maltese patrol vessel). Both of these wrecks were purposefully sunk to attract marine life, which they certainly delivered, with grouper, jackfish, moray eels and pipefish all congregating in and around the wreck. At the end of the dive, one group were lucky enough to see a cuttlefish changing colour as it navigated the reef’s terrain.

Exploring the MV Rozi

Mark on the MV Rozi

Machine gun on the P29

Divers on the P29


On the final day, the group took an open-topped bus tour of the island and got to see some of its historic buildings dating back to the 16th Century when the Knights of St John occupied Malta. We returned home safely and are now looking forward to next year’s expedition.

The team!

Mr Hickman would like to thank Mr Lamacraft for his help running this trip, and all the boys on it, who were complimented for their excellent conduct by the dive centre staff.


Visiting the School Apply Online Keep exploring