Every month we are looking at a FAQ & today’s question is;
Is it too cold to dive in Malta during February?
Malta is known for its sunshine and blue skies with a reported 3000+ average hours of sunshine per year and an average annual temperature of 23 °C (73 °F) during the day and 16 °C (61 °F) at night.
Winters however see temperatures drop, wind speeds increase and rain levels rise. These elements affect divers and dive conditions, so how can you still enjoy your time underwater?
- Temperature. Currently the water temperature is 14°C (57°F). Cold for anyone who’s going for a dip in swimwear, but as divers, we are wearing exposure protection. At ABC Diving we give our guests Aqualung 5.5mm high-density neoprene full suits with an Aqualung 5.5mm step-in jacket with integrated hood. This totals 11mm of neoprene on the torso, upper arms and upper legs. We provide 3mm flexible Mares gloves and comfy 5mm Scubapro Delta boots. These items combined do a great job keeping divers warm and comfortable.
- Wind. The biggest problem with wind is the waves it creates. Waves can make entering and exiting the water difficult and dangerous. The island of Malta is relatively small and we dive the leeward (sheltered from prevailing winds) side where dive sites have calmer waters. The location of ABC Diving means we are no more than a 35 minute drive to any of the dive sites in Malta which we visit.
- Rain. Diving in light to moderate rain isn’t an issue in Malta. The problems we face are shortly after heavy downpours. These downpours wash coastal sediment into the water which in turn can greatly reduce visibility. This issue is more prone at dive sites such as Anchor Bay which has a lot of calcisol soil (soil with a substantial secondary accumulation of lime) close to the shoreline. Thankfully, dive sites such as Cirkewwa and the Um El Faroud have a more rocky coastline meaning much less sediment runs into the water and we can still dive comfortably.
The short answer to this particular FAQ: No. It is not too cold to dive in Malta during February. It can actually be very pleasant. Compared to summer time, dive sites are much quieter, traffic is less, and you aren’t as hot getting geared up!