|Installing new bimini and clear side panels|
while at boatyard pontoon
BeBe was lowered back into the water late Monday afternoon, 11 May 2015. It was very windy and late in the day so we opted to move to the boatyard pontoon and dock, thinking we would depart the following morning after the surveyor delivered his hard copy of the survey report. Ah...but then we decided to make good use of this full-service boatyard.
|Just part of the stuff we removed from ONE-HALF of|
the cockpit lazarette. It is huge!
|Removed that stuff to get to these.|
Expired flares to dispose of at
the Maltese MMA
|All that stuff (plus more stacked on the mizzen deck)|
came out of that section of the lazarette. It goes all the
way to the hull. I love the storage capacity on this boat.
A couple more boats that had been docked over winter at Marina di Ragusa arrived in the following days and hauled out. All 3 boats were some of the nice people who had wintered in MdR (not the 2 unpleasant people I hope never to see again) and it was a pleasure meeting up with them again. Hope their experiences with this boatyard are as good as we have enjoyed.
Doesn't this look safe!
Reattaching the SSB
antenna after haulout.
|Anne and Keith of S/V Guma and Bill at Royal|
Maltese Yacht Club with Old Valletta in background
|We walked from the yacht club back to the boatyard and|
passed several of these. Old cannons placed in
concrete and used as bollards today.
|Yep. Get fatter every year.|
|Another view of part of Valletta|
|View of Valletta as we motored out|
|Kids learning how to sail and getting in the way as|
Airstream attempted to anchor. Winds were ~18 kts
and these kids handled those tiny boats quite well
|Happy to see them again!!|
Bill at the helm and Janet setting the anchor.
We were making only 2.5 to 3 knots boat speed motoring at 2,000 rpm into the choppy waves and 20-knot winds right on the bow. Water splashing all over the boat. So much for having a clean boat fresh from that haulout. Things were tossed all over the inside of the boat because it was so rough. Things that have never moved before when sailing. It was not pleasant. After nearly an hour of motoring out of the bay we were able to turn and put out the sails. We sailed close-hauled and double reefed at over 7 knots boat speed, much more comfortable than motoring straight into it. The narrow entry next to the old walled city of Valletta was quite rolly but once inside that cut conditions smoothed out to flat seas and light winds. We docked and will remain berthed here until our granddaughter arrives next week. We are near the end of G dock so are berthed as far as one can possibly be from the marina office. The office is a long walk completely around the bay from here. But the MMA office to clear out of Malta is only a few hundred meters from us and there is a bus stop right at the end of our dock, very convenient.
|New wooden piece on straightened frame.|
Makes for a nice passarelle.
Bill discovered a brace in the engine room that had broken loose and needs to be welded. He removed it and was off first thing this morning taking it to the boatyard to have the welding repaired. All fixed (at no charge!) and soon we will wash all the salt crystals off this boat and then figure out what sightseeing there is to occupy our days for the next week or so. This evening we will meet up once again with Bill and Janet on Airstream for drinks at the Royal Maltese Yacht Club. Guests at Msida Creek Marina are given a card (for 20 euro deposit) for admittance to the club.
Regardless of what the sailing guide books or pilot books state about anchoring here, Malta does not have any bays or coves that offer any protection from the winds and seas. It is not just what is happening AT Malta that affects Malta. Since this is a small archipelago situated in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, anything that happens anywhere in the Med affects local conditions here in Malta. Winds here might be only 10 knots but the seas would be rolling in large waves because of stronger winds a few hundred miles from here in any direction. And the land shapes provide no real protection from either wind or sea conditions. So, if you plan to sail to Malta, also plan to spend the vast majority of your time in a marina. And remember that any calm day in any anchorage here can rather quickly turn into untenable conditions that will force you to flee that anchorage seeking the safety and shelter of a marina.
Cost be damned.
In the marina now and darned glad to be here!