“Not really a cruising ground but useful as a wintering stop” is how the cruising guide described Malta.
Yet if you stop and speak to any of the thousands of Maltese sailors and boater they will wistfully tell you about several of their beautiful bays and beaches.
Nott wanting to go too far afield until we got back into the swing of cruising life and got to know the boat we decided to make a plan to cruise around Malta.
In truth the time on the hard had gone incredibly quickly. We started with a very long job list in a dusty boatyard in the midst of the oppressive July heat. I would like to say everything on the list got done, but we barely made a good start on the top third and then when our Australian registration arrived we had reached the point where I declared enough and abruptly put her into the water.
While launching the boat we were fortunate that my cousin Joanne and her family had decided to spend their summer holidays in Malta with us so that we had a great group of us to ‘christen’ Blue Dancer with a bit of champagne! It was also great to catchup, use the pool in their apartment complex to cool off and to have some great dinners together.
While its a it is true that Malta is a fairly small archpilegeo, there are actually several beautiful bays and anchorages with everything from (relative) wilderness with amazing clear blue water to stunning spots to anchor in the middle of the city of Valletta.
We spent a wistful week just in San Niklaw Bay anchored off the Comino Hotel swimming, cooking and enjoying a drink sat on the hotel deck in what can only be described as a quintessential Mediterranean postcard.
It was here however that we had our first hiccup with a faulty starter motor as well as a few electrical issues. As we decided we were ready to sail for Sicily, instead it was back to Roland Marina in Malta for a replacement!
While frustrated by the timing and delay, it turned out it was also a good opportunity to finish a few other jobs and to play tourist for a few days. Special mention goes to two new friends, Jacques from JDV Boat Services and Petar from Medcomm for going over and above in helping us getting moving again. Sometimes a chance meeting in an unforeseen circumstance is what makes cruising fun and oh so different from package holidays!
Eventually after much longer in Malta than we ever intended, ‘cruising’ in an area one is not mean’t to cruise……..we headed over to Gozo and then finally onward to Sicily!