Region: Southern Dives
Dive Site: Ta Cenc
Rating: Easy but strenuous
Entry / Exit
Access to this site is at the discretion of the owner of the Ta Cenc Hotel which is usually not an issue prior to or after the main tourist season, but the entry point is a private swim area for the hotel. Ta Cenc is a more pleasant dive in the cooler “shoulder” months anyway.
After climbing down 90+ stairs, you come to a concreted platform at the waters edge. (You have to have some sympathy for the guys who had to build it!)
Entry is by a giant stride into 8m − 12m depending on your choice of rocky platform, and exit is either over a shallow rock gully out of season or up the ladder installed from late spring to late autumn. If exiting over the gully with camera gear, it is best to let one diver exit first and hand the gear up to them. You will need both hands free to get out.
The normal dive is across the wee bay and along the far cliff out around the point and back again. You can choose your depth from the surface down to 40 metres and more as the vertical cliff carries on underwater. Further along the cliff face you will come to a large indentation and just beyond the far edge, the rock buttress hides a small cavern at around 7m. A narrow hole of 1.5m leads into an expanding cavern which gently slopes up to the rear. Turning around, you will see your entry point below and a more vertical exit above it too the left hand side. Two cavern mouth shots for the price of one!
Coming back into the bay there is a large boulder field from about 23m up to the surface at the head of the bay. At the head of the small bay there is a very shallow 2m – 3m rock cavern structure with great lighting effects later in the afternoon. Very atmospheric.
This is diving spot is also an alternative entry for the end of Mgarr ix-Xini which is around the headland to the left of the entry point. In early or late season when not being used by the hotel this is a nice second dive if you have two tanks, as the platform makes a great lunch area between dives.
Underwater Photography ideas:
Ta Cenc can be a very rewarding dive for both macro and wide angle photography, but be prepared for some strenuous walking down and up the stairs. At the base of the bay as it meets the sand, look out for John Dory in the spring and Sea Horses in the eelgrass throughout the summer. Please don’t harang the sea horses they do get stressed very easily.
The cliffs support the usual invertebrate subjects but large slipper lobster are not uncommon even during the day.