We left the comfort of our winter home base of the Porto Turistico di Marina di Ragusa, sad to say goodbye but pleased to be off adventuring once again.
I can now vouch for the fact that setting sail after a big night out is not the best preparation for a wallowy crossing from Sicily to Malta.
Mind you, we had had the best time! Thanks to Jacqueline and Peter on Dolce Farr Niente for great chat, nosh and ‘Farr’ too much wine, and to Gwen and Glen on Pardella for a tremendous sing-a-long! Ian, although tempted to try his own ‘party piece’ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, settled for the no less dramatic and perplexing ditty (for the foreigners in the party) of Ilkley Moor Bah T’at! It was stunning! You can see how the evening had progressed! Such fun!
We completed the last minute jobs of charging all electrical items, filling up with water, raising the dinghy on to the davits and changing the lines to slips. By 0900h we were ready to depart. We glided out of the Marina just as the daily Marina Radio Net was in full swing and waved to the few of our friends who were up out of their duvets at that time.
We look forward to drinking, chatting and singing with them all again in future.
We had a fairly uneventful crossing although, of course, we did manage to break something. The block attaching the main sheet from boom to deck came asunder so a quick fix had to be arranged. It’s only been on for six months so there will be investigations in order.
Later, we were met by a pod of five common dolphins as we approached Gozo.
We decided that the southern anchorages would be best so we headed for Mgarr and anchored off the breakwater. It was a bit rolly in there but we were fine. We were able to leave the boat the next day and go off to Vittoria the capital town on Gozo and see a little more of the island.
The views from the citadel were incredible and the town was bursting with cultural possibilities. The most intriguing of which (for me) was the showing of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society film.
There had been performances of Jesus Christ Superstar earlier in the month a show produced by Hugh Wooldridge, the very same man who produced the Night of 1000 Voices at the Royal Albert Hall, which I was lucky enough to be involved with in 1997. Small world! On Malta itself this week there is a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin concerto and a recital by a brilliant pianist.
Life is busy on Malta.
We spent a nice couple of days in anchorages on Comino Island and had a lovely time exploring the caves and arches nearby.
We even had our first barbecue.
We said a quick ‘Hello’ to friends from MDR, Karen, Patrick, AJ and Esme on Laurin and gave a jaunty wave to Lynita and family on Dizzie. I am sure that we will meet up with more of our fellow live-aboards as the season continues.
So, we are heading into the marina near Valetta, Msida Marina, for a few nights so that we can pick up crew (David Heane and Chris Plumb) and get organised for a long crossing to Cephalonia. This is likely to take place on Monday as that seems to be when there is the best weather window.