Dawra tas-Sanap – Gozo – Location and General Information
Dawra tas-Sanap is the first sheltered inlet to the south of Xlendi, a short boat ride from the bay. This dive site can be enjoyed by divers of all levels. It is one of Gozo’s best dives for underwater photography due to the clear blue sea and the variety of colourful sponges and coralites in the shallow arch, on the walls and in a small cavern.
Dawra tas-Sanap – Gozo – Location
This dive site is accessible only by boat, a 5 minute boat ride southbound on our boat Divemania from Xlendi, past the Xlendi tower and along the cliffs beneath the village of Munxar. The boat anchors in the Dawra tas-Sanap inlet and divers dive round the headland towards Xlendi and through a natural arch.
Dawra tas-Sanap – Gozo – Dive
The boat anchors in the North West corner inside the inlet and divers start the dive by descending gradually to 15 or 18 metres on the vertical wall. They dive through a corridor between a house sized boulder and the cliff face, taking their time to savour the colourful sponges, anemones and coralites on either side while looking for the occasional spiny lobster or nudibranch. They then turn left into a spectacular pass-through beneath the same boulder before going right to explore a beautiful cavern with a large semi-circular entrance. Divers explore rocks on the cavern floor and the many cracks on the colourful cavern walls. Beautiful anemones can be seen on an internal sandy floor.
Divers exit the cavern and head west over some large boulders towards the drop off looking out for Flabellina or Spotted Doris nudibranchs which are sometimes found feeding on the sponges and algae here.
Those wanting to drop deeper can descend to explore the boulders below where Dentex are often spotted hunting. Divers then start a slow ascent up the steep boulder laden slope towards the arch where shoals of Saddled Bream (Oblada melanura) and Salema (Sarpa salpa) are common.
The Dawra tas-Sanap arch becomes visible on reaching a depth of about 15 metres. The arch is the highlight of this dive. The rocks on the arch floor at 10 metres and the walls on either side are literally covered in fantastic colourful sponges and coralites. With the deep blue sea as a backdrop, the photo opportunities are endless. More experienced divers can also choose to dive through a short passage beneath the rocks on the arch floor.
Keeping the wall on their left hand side, divers start their ascent while following each other towards the boat in the Dawra tas-Sanap inlet. During this 10 minute swim they divide their attention between the marine growth in the cracks on the wall on their left hand side and the Amberjack that often hunt up and down the wall in the blue to their right.