Friday, 15 July 2011

Diving HMS Maori

HMS Maori is probably Malta’s most famous wreck, although she is far from the best dive in Malta, a visit to this ship is a significant brush with the island’s history.

HMS Maori

Launched in 1937, HMS Maori saw action in the Mediterranean, Norwegian campaign, Atlantic convoys and North Sea duties prior to returning back to the Mediterranean in order to attack and Rommel’s supply lines and assist in the defence of Malta. In fact it was the HMS Maori that established radar contact with the Bismarck and brought about the ultimate destruction of that ship in early 1941.

On the morning of February 12th at 02:00AM when she was moored at the entrance to the dockyard Creek she received a direct hit as a bomb exploded in her engine room.

From the exit point we head out across rock strewn seabed for approximately 120 metres until we come across a very small drop off down to a sandy seabed at 9 metres, almost immediately we notice that the entire port side has been engulfed by a sandy slope and is, therefore lost to view. What remains of the bows and part of the starboard side are, however, available for close inspection.

We then discover what is left of the windlass and a certain amount of anchor chain. Astern of this, at deck level, are twin bollards, on both side of the vessel, and then some form of splash guard stretches right across the deck. Close to this is a hatch and the framework on which the forward gun was mounted.
The sides of the wreck are well rusted through enabling us to swim in and out. For more info click here

Very nice dive but as I was used to diving in the tropics I was thinking that I could go with my shorts and usual rashvest but I was at times literally freezing my gonads off as the temperature went down to 24 degrees Celsius from the ambient surface temperature of 35. There was not much life in the wreck and no corals either and as you can see from the pics above the visibility was not great as well.

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