We have spent the last few days getting Nimmie ready for winter. She is being lifted out on October 1st and will be ashore on the hard at Manoel Island until May 2016. In order to get her ready, there was a long list of jobs that needed to be completed over and above what we would normally do when we leave her.
These included removing the sails and storing them below. Washing all the running rigging (ropes) and mooring lines. Flushing the outboard motor (for the dinghy) with fresh water so that salt residue doesn’t clog it up. Checking the calorifier (hot water tank) for leaks. This is buried deep in the cockpit locker so we had to get everything out first. For those of you who haven’t been on Nimmie, the locker is 6 feet deep so that’s a lot of stuff! We also noticed that the mains electrical cabling was showing a reverse polarity, which is quite common in the Med, so we rewired the socket by swapping round the blue and brown cables. It was lucky that we did this as we also noticed that the earth cable had come loose so the boat wasn’t earthed when plugged into the mains!
We had been trying, in vain I might add, to get our local chandlers to splice some rope on a length of chain so that we can use it when on a mooring buoy and not worry about the rope being chafed by a rusty ring. We finally gave up after months of reminders and bought the component parts. Liz then spent several hours splicing the rope onto the chain ready for next season.
We did manage to get out on the dinghy yesterday (Sat Sept 26th) for a motor around the harbour. Great fun to see it from a different angle and also to look at how other boats protect their bows from the sharp, pointy bits of their anchors. Our anchor, a Manson Supreme, is fantastic but it has a very sharp point that can take nicks out of the gelcoat as it’s lifted out of the water. We will have a stainless steel strip put on over the winter. Needless to say, we saw every type you can think of so not really that helpful to aid our decision.
The evenings have been spent relaxing and mixing eating on the boat and in local restaurants. With a broken fridge, we weren’t keen to have too much food on board although a local mobile cafe does sell ice so at least the G&Ts were cold. Saturday evening we ventured further afield to St Julian’s Bay for a drink and meal. As ever, the chores took longer than expected so we didn’t leave the marina until 7.30pm. Walking to the bus stop we saw a lot of people with picnic chairs and bbqs on the rocks looking over to Valletta – ready for a lovely evening with friends and families. There are also a number of lockups built into the arches under a raised road nearby. Again, people had these open with table and chairs ready to have dinner. A version of the beach huts at Southwold but considerably cheaper, beautiful vista and much better weather!
As always, we are very sad to be leaving Nimmie after a wonderful two weeks on her. Sometimes it seems a lot of effort to get her ready and then ‘put her away’ again for what has only been 4.5 weeks of sailing this year. However, we love Malta and having her out in the Med and hopefully, it won’t be too long before we are on her for extended periods.