IS THAT THE TIME? Here comes the fourth edition of Peter Lemon’s well-respected guide to diving the Maltese islands, and if it seems no more than four years since the third edition turned up, that’s because it was.
Over its 15 years of existence, this large-format self-published book has gone through quite a few transitions, but it does always seem to get a conscientious makeover rather than a token facelift.
I know that nowadays divers are likely to avoid carrying weighty dive-guides in their airline baggage, but Malta is traditionally shore-dived by groups of divers in hired 4x4s, so one useful volume between them won’t break the bank. And the divers may well buy the latest volume at the dive-centre along with their air-fills.
Peter Lemon is a prime source of information on Maltese-island diving, having carried out some 2000 dives there over 30 years. So what’s been happening since 2012, I asked him, primarily to save having to go through the entire book again to find out.
“There are two fantastic new dive-sites,” he said. “The first is Tugboat 2 at a depth of 22m off Exiles, Sliema, Malta, scuttled in June 2013 as an artificial reef/diver-attraction.
“The second is Ras il Hobz (Middle Finger) on Gozo, a pinnacle reef only 20m from the shore. The pinnacle is just 9m below the surface with drop-offs of 35m on the shore side and on the opposite side of 60m-plus.”
A lot of the photography is new too – this book is packed with aerial shots of dive-sites, which is useful for visualisation, and there are new ones, such as those of Cirkewwa. The book has always contained a lot of photos, but their positioning now seems to match the text better than before.
Extra information including entry-points and place names has been added to the photos too, and where possible even more pictures have been inserted.
The main text has been updated quite extensively to reflect the latest information, especially on the state of wrecks such as HMS Maori, the Margit and the X127 water lighter.
And all the data about travel, dive-centres, local maps, underwater plans, boat-diving and places to visit has been brought up to date.
If you’re planning a trip to Malta, you’ll find pretty much everything you’ll need to know, whether for shore- or boat-diving trips or a bit of both, contained in this big, bright, appealing package that does its job.
Steve Weinman

Peter G Lemon
ISBN: 9780954178932
Softback, 224pp, £19.99