Cominotto Reef (Anchor Reef)

This dive site is located on the west side of the small island of Cominotto, to the east of which is the Blue Lagoon.

Cominotto (alternatively Cominetto), in Maltese Kemunett, means “Little Comino” and the diving here is just as dramatic as on its big brother. This site is exposed to the north-westerlies, but should you still want to dive here you can anchor just around the southern tip of Cominotto at “Cominotto Corner”, where you can see what looks like a dark arch on the rockface on your trip towards it. This allows you to dive the beginning of the reef, and at depths shallower than 30m, but it is unlikely that you will have time to reach the eponymous anchor and return back while still exploring at a leisurely pace.

Normally the start of this dive is where you see a large V-shaped cutout in the coast. To the southeast the coast drops almost sheer underwater giving a wall all the way to Cominotto Corner, depths are between 15m and 25m, with lots of interesting overhangs and ledges. Take a torch to explore the reef and you will find lots of colourful marine growth, along with plenty of invertebrates such as tube worms, hermit crabs and octopus. There are a couple of swim-throughs at 5m, one on the corner itself and another in a gravel gully to the southeast of the anchorage.

To the northwest of the V is a large plateau with a drop off on its south side. Most experienced divers will want to find this drop off and then turn right for a deep and exciting wall dive, with depths up to 50m. Under the boat you should notice two large horseshoe-shaped bays in the reef top, depth around 10m. At the opening of these bays there is a wall dropping to 25m. Keep the wall on your right and notice the base of the wall rises then descends gradually to around 38m. There are small boulders dotted around, and one of these contains a relic from Malta’s maritime history: a World War II anchor, completely encrusted in sponges and soft corals. It is four-pronged grapple, now missing one prong and lying at 35m.

After the anchor you can continue deeper – the sand to your left reaches 50m – or you can continue along the wall, ascending gradually as the reef develops a series of terraces and ledges. Keep your eyes on the blue as well, since here you can often see barracuda, amberjacks or small tuna darting in to feed on the reef fish. As the wall starts to turn into a few gullies, look to your left at 19m and you should find a very narrow swim-through. If it looks too narrow, don’t worry – there are another two larger entrances behind. On your return you can explore the reef top – the depth near the drop off ranges from 15m to 8m. Keep looking in all directions as I have seen rays here before now.

Occasionally there are strong currents, and since this side of Cominotto attracts a lot of boat traffic heading to the Blue Lagoon in summer, you should make sure you have a DSMB in case you cannot quite make it back to the boat.