Just returned home from two weeks' amazing diving in Gozo so thought I'd update my review for Bubbles. My husband and I wouldn't dive with anyone else. The instructors and staff are friendly, well-trained and a pleasure to dive with. We love the small group sizes. Being picked up and dropped off meant that we didn't bother with hiring a car. We just took a bus or walked when we weren't diving.
As mentioned elsewhere, it is the staff at Bubbles that makes it exceptional. We enjoyed meeting new faces on the staff team and feel that we are among friends in their company. The customer night out at Francesco's was fun - the 'house' red wine is by no means the best that Gozo has to offer, but there is something to be said for sharing the giant bottle among staff and customers to create a bonding experience!
This time, I completed my Advanced Open Water. For the AOW, you have to do a deep dive and a navigation dive for that plus three others. I chose to do Peak Performance Buoyancy which I would highly recommend. This has enhanced my enjoyment of diving and I have enjoyed the 'tricks' that you can do when you are weightless in the water - somersaults, handstands etc. I use much less air now that I know how to be neutrally buoyant. I'm not working hard to stay level!
I have also long been curious about the different sorts of fish and opted for a Fish ID dive. I was delighted when a fish lingered close to me, seemingly wishing to be sketched on the slate! It turned out to be a female gold-blotched grouper. My other Advanced dive was a wreck dive. It was useful to learn about the risks of wreck diving and how to manage these. That was all the Advanced dives, but I did a lot more than that.
I have complete faith in Dave and his team... so when we began a dive during a lightning storm, I knew we wouldn't be doing it unless it was safe. He knew our abilities and the conditions. I was so glad that I did because I will never forget seeing the lightning underwater, glinting on the metallic barracuda near Double Arch. How many people can say they've seen that?
After you have seen what Gozo has to offer (and there is a great deal), I would recommend going out to the Santa Marija caves at Comino - there is so much to see there - though hang on tight in the speedboat!
It is the limestone topography that makes the sea around Gozo so interesting with caves and 'swim throughs' to enjoy, but the marine life is impressive, too. And now that I can identify fish, it helps me share what it is I've seen! This trip I have seen three seahorses, a juvenile stingray, rainbow wrasse, Turkish wrasse, parrotfish, cardinalfish, damselfish, scorpionfish, Pompano jack, amberjack, seabass, (...pause for breath...) white bream, saddle bream, lizardfish, goatfish, flounders, nudibranches, an octopus, prawns, a spider crab, moray eels and a conger eel.
Bubbles' commitment to the environment helps it to stay protected for everyone to enjoy, something I support and admire. I really had a great time and I'm grateful to Bubbles for such a brilliant experience.
Thanks to Chris for the PPB, Matt for tolerating me accidentally throwing a recovered can of Cisk at him (and for the pretty splashes of water in Cathedral Cave), Dave for the lightning dive and Graham for Comino Caves. And with much love to Donna, Nana, Ali and the gang.