The start of the season was a little bit later than normal. When we got down to Malta we had two days to get the boat ready for the launch.
On Tuesday she went in the water at the Manoel Island Boat yard on Malta.
We motored over to Msida marina and tied up at the guest slips on the inside of the breakwater. It was a long list of things to do and we had no problem filling the week.
Just across the street we did find a little chandlery, White Sails. On the wall they had a Yanmar sign. I asked them if they had time to change the hoses and the antifreeze?
Next day Daniel shoved up and did the work. Daniel is one of those guys who you can trust. He managed to change all the hoses and the antifreeze without creating a mess in the engine room.
Next door to White Sails we did find Yacht Café. Yacht Cafe is open between 9-3 and serve breakfast and lunches. Maria and Sergio are the owners and they will make you feel at home. The food is inspired by the middle east cusine. Wonderful meals we had there. Do not miss to visit Yacht Cafe if you are in Malta.
We experienced a rare occurrence. It started early morning when we noticed the gangway was first hitting the concrete pier and then a minute later it would be 1.0 meters above the pier. The water level changed 0.5 to 1 meters for at least an hour. A very strong current carried garbage in and out. The road at the end of the bay was under water for a short time. Vickie referred to this as the “Malta Tsunami”. Local reports say this was caused by waves and currents that hit Sicily and bounced back to Malta which has a shallower seabed than Sicily.
We could get no further information on this technically other than the old timers say there are many atmospheric changes that has caused this several times over the many years. It is a fact that Malta has had some very unusual weather the last 3 weeks, not typical for this time period.
At the end of the week Anton Cachia from Action Sails came with our sails. He had done service on all our sails. Anton is one of those rare types that actually shows up on time and has done exactly what you agreed on. If you have any sail or canvas work we can highly recommend Anton.
Sails are up and we are ready to go cruising!
Today we got an invitation to sail on Jan & Scotts new boat in Pacific Northwest.
Mount Rainer was covered in snow and sunshine. We had a very light breeze and had a fantastic day on the water.
Hans & Iris when Bella Luna was visiting Gotland 2008
Hans Törnskog has been a faithful friend and repeat crew on Bella Luna. It feels empty now that Hans has passed.
He was a early riser, opposite to me, and when I woke up I would smell fresh brewed coffee and upon entering the salon was always greeted with “Good Morning Captain”. Together we have sailed to many fine places in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Shetlands, Germany, Polen, Lithuania, Spain, Malta, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
The last 5 years Hans has battled cancer. In the beginning we all believed that he would beat and overcome, but as time passed we understood how tough his fight was. However this did not stop Hans. His positive attitude and determination lead him to continue with all his interests. In addition to sailing; hunting, fishing, and picking Lingonberries. He also fulfilled his dream of a African Hunting Safari this year.
Now has the storm abated. Hans has peace and sails calmly to bigger oceans.
Captain, Vickie, Iris and friends wish you Bon Voyage and fair winds.
Free SMS messages to satellite phones has been available for many years. Unfortunately it has not been that well known or easy.
Satway is an APP for sending free SMS messages to an Iridium, Inmarsat or Thurya phone. This APP is available both for IOS or Android phones, and makes it easy for everyone to stay in contact.
Make sure your love ones download the APP before you leave!
Returning to Malta feels like our third home. Everything is familiar offering a lot of variety in the grocery stores, restaurants, marine chandlery and hardware stores galore!
First on the agenda was the celebration of our friend Seiji’s 81st birthday and three nights of dining is some fabulous restaurants. The second night there were 12 of us seated a rooftop terrace in the ancient city of Mdina enjoying Arabic cuisine as the Super Moon rose above the walls of the citadel. A truly magical evening!
Birthday party at Royal Malta Yacht Club
Our good friends, John and Amanda, left Seattle in March 2015 and sailed down the west coast of the USA, through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, across the Atlantic to the Azores, up to Scotland and finally crossing to Sweden in late September on their Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare.
John & Amanda
They decided to take a flight from Sweden to Malta for a visit and to see
a small part of the Mediterranean. In-between sight seeing, sailing, swimming, bicycling, hiking, and jogging they helped me with varnish. Amanda gave Roland some pointers on going up the mast, which is a task he never looks forward to. So while he is inspecting the first spreader, he hears a noise and looks around to see Amanda sitting on the opposite spreader. She had just free climbed up the stays as John was making monkey noises from the cockpit. It was a busy week and so wonderful to spend time with them.
Roland & Amanda
The next day Bella Luna came out of the water at 0730 at Manoel Island Yacht Yard.
Art and Karen arrived from Fort Lauderdale. They use to own a Hallberg-Rassy 46 and later a HR54 and had spent a lot of time in Malta so came for a short visit and to spend time in one of their favorite places.
Bella Luna now has her winter cover on which ends our cruising for this season. Our return to Sweden was chilly at 5c.
Bella ready for the winter