Sunday, 7 June 2015

Sailing (and motor!) Around Malta, Comino & Gozo, 3rd -7th June 2015.

Sailing Round Malta      Guy eventually located a salt water leak from the engine piping and engine seacock. Trying to repair it with a new seacock resulted in a total break as the fitting had obviously  corroded too far. So a quick visit to the Yanmar agent resulted in ordering a new piece that had to be flown in from Holland! A quick fix job of the broken piece was made that allowed us to depart on      our anchoring exploration despite a continued small leak. We departed Msina Creek and motored around into Grand Harbour to view Valletta and the Three Cities, (Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua) from the water. The harbour views are just fantastic with all the fortifications, churches and villas to admire, such a powerful history and amazing architecture. We then departed the harbour and set sail clockwise around Malta.
Departing Msida Creek and Marsamxett Harbour.
Entering Grand Harbour.
Sailing Around Grand Harbour
Gardjola Garden atop Senglea's Fortified Point.

Valletta's Waterfront and Cityscape from Vittoriosa.
Skipper Sailing Through Life!
Fort St Elmo In Reconstruction At Northern Point of Vittoriosa. 
     The coast was very rocky and generally barren with a few coves and hidden anchorages. We motored down to and around the southern end of the island looking in at Marsaxlokk Harbour passing the numerous commercial ships waiting to enter Malta's 'Freeport'.  There is a busy Fishing Harbour as well and scope for anchoring but rather busy. We managed a wonderful afternoons sail tacking around the various cliffs until we found a safe and quiet anchorage in one of three bays in Golden Bay or Gnejna Bay area! BBQ, cold beer and a wonderful sunset concluded our first real days sailing this summer!

Marsaxlokk Bay Looking Toward The Fishing Harbour.
Coastal Cliffs
Desert Scenes
First Sunset At Anchor 2015.
Sailing Around Comino And Gozo Islands        We arose early on Thursday 4th June and set off to sail up toward Comino Island then around to view the popular anchorages on the northern coast. Comino Island is between Malta and Gozo. We enjoyed a small amount of sailing and then entered the major tourist attraction of St Maria, San Nikalaw and finally Blue Harbour. They are stunning with Caribbean white sand and crystal clear bright blue water. The inlets have interesting anchorages but the number of Tourist Boats and screams put Guy off so we then set off to look at Mgarr Harbour on Gozo.
Sailing At Last.
St Maria.
Motoring Between Comino And Gozo.
Blue Lagoon Harbour On Comino.
Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon
Stunning Clear Water And Loud Tourist Boat!
      Mgarr Harbour is the main harbour on Gozo and has a small Marina. We entered briefly as a reconnaissance for the future then it was off again sailing round clockwise to a sheltered anchorage Guy rather fancied.

Mgarr Harbour.
 Dwerja Anchorage     We enjoyed another wonderful sail round the south of Gozo to Dwerja Anchorage. It is a fascinating circular bay with high rock cliffs, caves, 10m of clear water and Fungus Rock Island at its entrance to provide shelter. It must rate in the top 20 anchorages to stay overnight in every sailors bucket list? We loved it here and were only joined by 5 other yachts and no tourist boats. Long may it last!
Skippers New Diet!
Fungus Rock.

Ginny Rowing To The Caves.
Kisti Two And Fungus Rock Outside The Cave.
Ginny And  Dwerja Bay Anchorage.
Kisti Two Safe In  Dwerja Bay Anchorage.
Fungus Rock And Entrance To Dwerja Bay.      
Western Gozo Coastline From Dwerja Bay.
Dwerja Bay. (Gozo's Lulworth?)
Azure Window.      We enjoyed a short walk and came across the amazing rock formation known as Azure Window. Ginny can be seen doing some pilates on the rock!! Fascinating place and a great diving area for all those who enjoy the depths of the ocean.
Ginny Doing Pilates On Azure Window!

Azure Window.
Guy At Azure Window.
Swim, Beer, BBQ And Sunset!

Glorious Sunset At Dwerja Bay, Gozo.
Early Morning Sun On Fungus Rock.
Departing Dwerja Bay
You Can Just View Two Masts Hidden In The Bay!
Azure Rock From The Sea.

Back In Msida Creek     We headed back to Msida Creek on Friday as Guy was keen to collect the engine part which of course was not there. We did however meet up with the crew of Tumbleweed, John & Lynne and also White Rose, Bridget & Peter for a meal at, guessed it, Garam Masalaa again!!! We went out to explore Valletta at night on Saturday but it was a bit of a disappointment. We couldn't even gate crash the wedding in shorts and T shirt so headed back to Kisti Two. The whole of Malta seemed to be having fireworks and reliving the great siege and bombing of Malta all in one night. The cacophony of bangs and fireworks was amazing echoing through the ramparts until at least 0100 hrs. 
Manoel Island, Malta.
Royal Malta Yacht Club Yachts.
Valletta At Nigh

Guy Loves The Fishing Boat Eyes Of Malta.

Time To Go? Guy Enjoying Busy Bee Too Much!

Decks Re-Sealed. Time To Relax.
           Malta, Comino and Gozo have been great fun. We have stayed much longer than expected and are now considering a winter here as well. We love the Islands, the Marina staff have been excellent and very helpful. The people kind and considerate. The shops full of English things from clothes to food and the wifi outstanding!  We are now awaiting our spare engine piece and will then head off to Greece, hopefully Corfu via Siracusa on Sicily. Next blog will be from Greece so "Fair winds and glorious sunsets".