Anchored Valletta West Harbor
(Click on photo to see the Piper)
Malta has been a great experience this past week. We have been able to take care of many boat projects and even allowed for some exploring of the island.
Upon arrival we had no idea where we would anchor as this is our first country where we haven’t had any sort of nautical guide book. We found a spot and have been quite pleased with it this past week. Once we got the dingy inflated, we set out to find customs and immigration for a check in. It just so happens that we picked the perfect anchorage because their offices are directly across from us, making it the easiest and cheapest (free!) check in of all time.
Across the street from customs is White Sails Nautical Supplies and they have been great to us all week. We have had outboard engine issues and finally gave up and took it in. Within the day had it back with a new spark plug wire. We also purchased flags for our upcoming stops, a new hose for the water pump, carburetor cleaner, and we got the low down of how everything works on the island (i.e. laundry, buses, tours). With all the bashings we have been taking we needed to replace some webbing on the mainsail. So we were directed to Inside Out Boat Furnishings who hooked us up with UV webbing, and they also stitched up our American flag. Everyone here in Malta is super friendly and helpful. It is a welcome relief. It sure makes doing boat errands much more enjoyable.
With a few projects out of the way we jumped into full tourist mode and took a half day’s trip around the island on a double decker bus. There is quite a bit of history to Malta, and it is surprisingly a very metropolitan island. So they have the best of both worlds here. Just a few of the sights we saw on our tour include; the walled city of Valletta, Fort St. Elmo, Fort St. Angelo, Grand Harbor, Blue Grotto, and a Maltese Falcon sanctuary.
Upon inspection of the local grocery stores we were pleasantly surprised at all the great food (black beans and tortillas) and good prices. So we did a huge provision, spending so much money the store gave us two bottles of wine as a thank you. This was the most I have ever spent on groceries in three years.
It was also nice to have laundry done. The last load in a washing machine was done at my mom’s house over a month ago.
Being so close to Italy, the food has a strong Italian influence, and we have had some of the best meals in a long time. We treated ourselves to a nice meal out in the city of Valletta. The home-made ravioli and asparagus risotto were to die for.
Today we pulled into the marina for a water fill up and then to the fuel dock (1.30 euro/liter - a little over USD$7 per gallon) for a topper. We plan to leave tomorrow for Spain, or wherever the wind takes us. As of now it looks like the weather should be ok for the next week. If it cooperates then we will do a posting from sea.
Amy and Tom
One quick note for all the Popeye fans out there. Popeye the movie was filmed here.
27 September 2008
Anchored Valletta West Harbor