Sailing into Valetta is an experience not to be missed, the cities history is undoubtedly based around the sea and the comings and goings of many great cultures over the centuries. The following week was spent letting Audrey & Bertie have time to play with their new found friends, Noah & Gael, seeing the sights of Valetta, and making good use of the excellent chandlery facilities to be found in the city.
On the weekend we decided to head out of town and head up the north west coast to see what the islands of Comino & Gozo had to offer. A blowey night anchored in Mellieha bay, gave way to an amazing day anchored in a tiny sheltered bay just off it & a chance to enjoy our first beach BBQ, fire and a little live music, thanks to Dinis guitar & my harps, excellent stuff. The next day we sailed round to the west of Comino to the blue lagoon, which is indeed very very blue. Sunday, however, is the not the day to visit. Over run with tourist boats, we moved a little further round to another very picturesque bay and anchored in 3 metres of crystal clear waters, and soaked up the sunny afternoon swimming & enjoying time away from everything, total bliss...
As our friends had to return to work in Valetta, we decided to take a cruise around Gozo for a few days, before deciding our next move. The coast off Gozo is stunning and a sailing delight. The stunning sheer cliffs & second cleanest waters in Europe after Cyprus, making for some sublime sailing & anchoring. I'd never been to a place where you can watch the anchor drop down seven metres, and see it bottom the way you can here, very rare indeed! For our final sail down to Valetta again we were blessed with a beautiful westerly breeze on which to sail all the way back down.
With Marina fees jumping from €25 a night to €50 a night in May, we decided to ancor in St.Juliens bay with is just north of Grand Harbour & Msida creek. We have now re christened it Rolly Bay for obvious reasons. That aside, the parks, beach & general facilities on offer here are excellent. And a short tender ride, and we have bars & restaurants on our door step. Audrey also had a touch of conjunctivitis, which we managed to get seen too by a local doctor & drops from the chemist. She's very much on the mend now.
After a few days of rolling around in Rolly Bay we decided we needed a little break so head back down to a small anchorage just inside Grand Harbour to do a little more adventuring with the tender. Dockyard creek is fabulous, on the left you have Billionares row of mega yachts & on the right an array of stunning Venitian style gondolas made of wood & varnished to the max. We visited here on Maltese Mother's Day and all the families were out in force, sitting at the restaurants which line the dock side. In the late afternoon we made our way across to Valetta to have a fair well drink with the crew of Happy Dancer, alas as we came along side the quay a wave washed us against the wall and large metal spike which sliced a 3 inch gash into our little rubber ducky, disaster! I left Nicky & the Audrey & Bertie to meet our friends, while a speedily turned the boat around and head back to Maya in the tender with only the port side inner tube of the Tinker keeping me & the valuable outboard engine from going under. Luckily I just made it, as the outer tube was now taking in a lot of water.
Nicky was able to call one of the beautiful Venitian style gondolas, which works as a water taxi, to give her & the two munchkins a ride back to Maya. My envy on their arrival must have been noticeable!
So we've had a beautiful stay in magical Malta, perhaps we shall come back next year on our way back out of the Med, but for now we are looking to leave on Wednesday, as a fair wild blows from the west, and takes on to Greece.