WHO SAYS BOOKS CAN’T keep up the pace in this digital age? I was impressed by the readiness of Dived Up, the publisher of this new guide to Gozo (and a number of other good dive-books and logs), to stay ahead of the game.
The book was published in April, just a month after the famous Azure Window natural arch collapsed. Yet right there on page 122 we find the following: “The column which once supported the arch fell mostly to the south and east, creating a new shallow playground for novices. Going deeper, you will find the largest parts between the 12m shelf and the Chimney – three huge boulders, one of which rises from the depths all the way up to 7m…”
And it goes on, so all credit to a publisher willing to grab a book back from the printers and change seven pages in the interests of topicality.
This is a very good guide, and those alterations underline the fact.
Gozo gave me my first experience of diving abroad, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Richard Salter is a dive-instructor who lives on the site-packed Maltese island, and he proves to be a sound guide, providing all the information needed to make his book a must-have for visiting divers.
One of the joys of diving in Gozo, and which justifies the use of the term “underwater playground” in the title, is that it is one of those rare places where divers can pack a 4x4 or van with kit, tanks and friends and take off for whichever sites take their fancy.
They also need a reliable guide-book, of course, and while there are a several good candidates for that job covering Malta as well as the other islands – particularly Peter G Lemon’s – this new one deserves its place in the glovebox too.
It covers 57 dives on Gozo and 14 on little Comino, mainly shore but with boat-dives too. Homespun in style yet clear and remarkably detailed, Salter’s site-sketches should endear the book to divers, but the photography is also very good (underwater and topside, including some useful transits), as are the pages of helpful ancillary information.
All put together in a well-designed package that looks suitably robust for life in the field (only time will tell), Diving Gozo & Comino is well worth checking out.
Steve Weinman

Dived Up
ISBN: 9781909455160
Softback, 176 pages, £16.95