The flight in from Luton was only 30 mins late, courtesy of the French Air Traffic Comtrollers, so with the summer schedule this meant that we were at the boat just before midnight and asleep about 15 mins later!
The last two days have all been about getting the boat ready to go. Lots of little things that all add up. Shopping takes a good couple of hours as it’s a 20 minute walk. The chandlery is 15 mins in the opposite direction, of course! We do now have a working fridge so very happy as we now have cold beer and wine. Friday flew by and before we knew it, it was getting dark and we hadn’t really stopped all day. As I said, lots of little jobs that took longer than they should – as always on a boat. After showering in the nice marina shower block, we went to eat at the Waterpolo Club that’s about a 5 min walk away and has lovely views across the harbour towards Valletta. We had a fabulous meal of barracuda and steak. Wandered back to catch the last part of the Euros game (football for our non sporty friends) before collapsing. The temperature had got up to 34 degrees during the day and still 25 at night so we tried the air con unit Liz had bought recently. It’s quite small and needs mains power. It’s ok but not brilliant although it does cool the air down and circulate it but you still need hatches open otherwise you would stifle. Bit better than a fan and ten times the price! Talking of cooling air, we now have a new sprayhood that has a zipped section in the middle so that you can open that up so you get a through breeze but still have shade. Very pleased and template is courtesy of Lionel, a dear friend on Arabesque, who sent us the necessary pictures.
Saturday was the day to get the rest of the jobs done, which included 2 hours washing the boat down as she was filthy from all the sand, putting the Genoa sheets (ropes) on and realising that the new secondhand sail we are trying this year is far bigger so takes up more furling line to undo and furl up again. Another extra job we hadn’t expected. After that and having put all the safety gear back on, mend the headlining that had come away due to the heat and other bits and bobs, it was 8pm again. So quick shower and then G&T in the, now very clean, cockpit before we went off to Mamma Mia’s, another local favourite that doesn’t take bookings on a Saturday night and is always packed. Even at 9.15pm there was a 20 minute wait but with a beer we didn’t mind. Ate far too much and fell into bed about midnight.
We were planning to go to the Egadi Islands on the west coast of Sicily today (Sunday), but the wind is forecast to pick up and be coming from the very direction we want to go – of course! So, we made our way round to the SE corner of Malta to Il-Hofra z-Zgira bay (no idea how to pronounce it) to anchor for the night before making our way tomorrow towards Sicily. It’s the most wonderful bay with only two small motor boats and a handful of people on the beach. I was hoping that we would be on our own tonight to sit out the blow but have been joined by two other boats. Ah well, still pretty secluded.