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Ix-Xatt l-Ahmar


On the Rabat-Mgarr road, parallel to the towering bell-tower of the parish church, a secondary road on the left least down to a secluded bay known as ix-Xatt l-Ahmar, literally, the Red Bay. Red because of the reddish brown colour of the soil of the terraced fields falling towards the bay. Although secluded, ix-Xatt l-Ahmar lies within the sights of the Guardiola (guard post) of Fort Chambray and is accessible through a narrow road winding from the village of Ghajnsielem.


 

The building in the middle of the bay is a former Marine Police station built in 1886. It had fallen in disuse by 1923, when rooms of the station were rented to individuals.

The bay has several beautiful swimming spots off the rocks. It is also a good diving spot with the several gentle slopes to accommodate an easy entry and exit into and from the water. It is especially popular when the north and north east wind render most other spots unsuitable. A diving attraction was added on 12th November 1999 when the former Gozo-Malta ferry MV Xlendi was scuttled off the bay. Though the Xlendi has not settled in an optimum position, as it rests on a side, it has most of the fittings intact. It is today sitting upside down in 28m visibility. Inexperienced divers, however, should not try to explore the wreck as it is hazardous for anyone to enter the engine room where machinery and fittings dangle dangerously in every corner.

Map of Xatt L'Ahmar Bay
A typical Diver's Map

Two more vessels the MV Karwela and the MV Cominoland were sunk on Saturday 12th August 2006. These wrecks have already attracted an exciting number of fish and other marine creatures for the visitors delights in and photograph.
 

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