I can’t believe that it’s already Weds and I haven’t written a blog for four days! At least one of our followers has already berated us so apologies 😉.
Liz duly arrived around 1am on Sat eve/Sunday morning and again after unpacking etc, it was nearly 2am before we got to bed. We tried to sleep in and managed until 8.30am but then decided we had too much to do! As it was a bank holiday weekend, not a lot was open either Sunday or Monday so we spend the day on Sunday doing chores on the boat that needed two of us. However, first of all, we went for a run. This was supposed to be a 5km run at most as Jo hadn’t run for a couple of weeks and Liz had run that distance on Saturday morning before she flew out. However, by the time we had got distracted with fishing, sightseeing and gangplanks (more about that later), we ended running well over 6km and for far longer than we had intended. We did get to see Manoel Island in more detail with some splendid vistas across the harbour. Manoel Island has been used as a quarantine centre, a hospital and also a fort. By the time we got back and had breakfast or brunch, suddenly it was the afternoon.
Monday morning was spent trying to work out how we are going to affix our new gangplank. For those of you who have visited us, you will know that our gangplank was purloined from a building site in Gibraltar in 2012 and then promptly split in two after the first month. So, you could say that we have had good use out of it! We did decide, though, that the time had come to replace it with a somewhat sturdier version. You’ll have to wait and see how much sturdier and safer this one is. In the afternoon, Jo went diving as part of her Advanced PADI to a reef in the harbour where she saw a seahorse in its natural habitat. Unfortunately, she didn’t take her camera with her so is dependent on the dive school to share the photos. She also dived onto the wreck of HMS Maori, which saw action in the sinking of the Bismark as well as protecting the Med Fleet during WWII. It once again brings home how much the war impacted Malta. So much so, that the HQ of the Med Fleet was in a house just opposite the marina.
Tuesday was an early start for Jo as she was going to the neighbouring island of Gozo for the final two dives of her course. One was a ‘Deep Dive’ down to 30m and the other one a ‘Naturalist Dive’ that was about identifying various forms of aquatic life. It was amazing to be that far down into the ocean.
After coming back from Gozo, Liz joined Jo for a celebratory drink with Leo, our lovely Open Water Padi instructor. We then couldn’t be bothered to cook so went to our favourite local restaurant, Mamma Mia for a late meal. Great value for less than €40.
Weds has definitely been an expensive day. We decided that after 20 years we should replace the anchor chain. Some bits had rusted and it had lost all of its galvanisation so we bit the bullet and order 70m of new chain. Luckily, they gave us 10% discount so it ended up costing around €380, which isn’t bad at all, and we can rest easy that between the anchor and the new chain we will be able to anchor a lot over the next six months.
Jo – you were so lucky to see a Sea Horse – it’s definitely on my list of things to find when Diving. I’ve done over 50 dives and not managed it yet! Thanks for sharing your news – happy sailing and anchoring 🙂
Great to catch up with your news – living vacariously through your adventures is great and saves me the seasickness! Have fun. Fiona