Monday, May 23, 2011

Exploring Gozo & Valetta

Sunday 8th of May like many people in Malta we used for a sailing trip round Gozo, visiting Ix-Xini, Xiendi, Fungus Rock, Marsalforn, ir_Ramla Bay with orange sand and finally throwing anchor in the famous Blue Lagoon west of Comino, where we roasted our leg of lamb from Chania with vegetables and potatoes and spent a quiet night.

Monday 9th of May we motored to Valetta for a harbor-cruise, filling up diesel at the tanking ship and mooring for a hike round Valetta in Msida Marina for 6 hours. In the afternoon we visited Grand Harbour and then sailed back for Gozo, where we finally had our last dinner in Mgarr at Porto Vecchio restaurant, which was extraordinary good.

Tuesday morning we cleaned the boat and at noon took the ferry to Cirkewwa, where we boarded an anchient bus with open doors and enjoyed an adventurous trip first to Valetta and then to the airport at Luka.

In these 2 days we logged 70sm. You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps.

Comfortable Crossing to Malta

In Chania our last crew member Karl Hitschmann came on board and Klaus Darilion left us for some relaxing days in Crete. After an outstanding dinner at "The Well of the Turk"  we had a long sleep in the busy harbor in Chania. In the morning of Tuesday, 3rd of May after a nice breakfast we bought a leg of lamb, some nice fish and some cheese in Chania's famous market hall and finally declared exit with the obliging officers of the Greek coastguard.

At 11:30 local time we set the second reef for our 500 miles crossing to Malta. For the first 12 hours a nice force 6 south westerly wind gave us a cosy lift on our planned course on 280 degrees. But during the night the wind turned west - forcing us to a rather north-westerly course right to Ns. Sapientza on the westerly tip of Peloponnisos. But soon the wind turned farther nord - so we could tack and continue on our old course right in the direction of Malta. From now on it was a comfortable crossing with steady winds.

We sailed through day and night without any change of sails, meeting only few ships and accomplished about 140sm per nautical day. Soon our watch schedule became routine with a daily changing combination  of two crew resting and two crew keeping lookout for three hours at night and four hours during daylight.

In the night of Friday 6th of May we sailed near fields of anchoring tankers ablaze with light west of Malta when the wind decreased and we had to start the motor for the last few miles. Finally we reached the harbor of Gozo, Malta's nothern island and moored our boat in Mgarr Marina after 3.5 days of contemplative sailing.

Declaring entry was extremly easy with a friendly coustoms officer right in the marina. After getting some sleep we explored the island and had a very fine dinner at Tmun restaurant in the harbor of Mgarr.

We logged 540sm sailing 3 days and 20 hours. You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps.

Ardous sailing to Chania

On Saturday, April 30th my crew arrived from Vienna via Heraklion: Albert Burgstaller, Klaus Darilion and Aaron Kaplan.

Sunday morning 1st of May we set sail for Chania with a good but incorrect weather forcast. Instead of sunny and south 5 bft wind weather soon became bad and we had thunderstorms and gusty winds up to 40 knots first from south, but in the evening turning westerly.

So we had to beat all night and finally arrived tired after 130sm in Chania 10:30 in the morning local time.

You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps.

Easter Works in Agios Nikolaos

Late for the beginning of the season we started the usual maintenance works on April, Monday 18th. Sea of Joy was lifted out of the water by the travellift in Ag. Nikolaos marina. With the help of the competent team of Oh-Kay Service led by Udo Oesch new antifouling, fitting of new anodes, propeller cleaning and greasing was finished in 3 days and a new anchor winch with remote chain counter was installed - the old one had a crack right through the steel housing.

All works completed we enjoyed a nice easter week on land with roundtrips and hiking all over Crete after enjoying a remarkable easter night in Ag. Nikolaos:

The famous burning of Judas in the city lake accompanied by impressive fireworks.