Monday, May 23, 2011

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. Here is the GPS-track as a kmz-File, which you can download and play in Google Earth: 2011-05-03-07chania-mGarr.kmz

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