About two years ago we went to Poland to sail together for the first time. I knew nothing about sailing and this first week was rather tough on me, since I could not feel the wind and could not understand how the stupid sails work! Frustration was growing in me, since Marcin sailed before and still remembered a little. I was completely new to the whole ordeal and stressed enormously. The boat we stayed on was small and I could hardly sleep, surrounded by different and unusual sounds of the marina. At that time I thought that this is not fun at all and I could not really understand the fascination. Little did I know after this first week!
We have arrived to Mgarr marina in the early evening. Docking was straight forward and we were quickly sorted with the water and electricity and asked to come by the next day to pay for our stay. As none of us was in the mood for cooking, we have decided to have a bite in one of the restaurants nearby. By the time we sorted ourselves the hiding sun started to colour the water and the town in soft pink. Slowly everything was losing its sharpness and the lights in the marina restaurant, based on the island build in the water, started to coming up.
The sun was slowly rising and unveiling the clear blue sky. The world was calling for a morning swim, but first I have decided to have a cup of coffee. We have anchored for the night in one of the two circular bays on the east coast of Malta, leaving behind the bay near Marsaskala. The two bays were divided by a piece of land, with a naturally created window and we have decided to stay in a bigger bay – Il-Hofra L-Kibra. Amazingly for us we were left completely alone for the night, even though when we arrived a few boats were comfortably anchoring near by.
The contrast of the golden sand and the turquoise water was mesmerizing. I was so happy to enjoy the swim and a lazy afternoon we have decided to leave noisy Malta behind and head straight to Gozo. None of us knew that by a pure chance we will be stopping by one of the best and most wonderful pieces of paradise on Earth – Ir-Ramla il-Hamra in Xaghra.
No wind was leading us towards Syracuse almost all day. Standing at the helm was getting pretty boring and I was hoping that with this lovely weather we have a chance to see few dolphins, but it was not on the cards for today. We were aiming for Saint Lucia Porto Picolo, which was very close by to the city center we wanted to explore. Besides this time we have managed to take only few clothes, so the laundry was very much due.
The weather was not the usual sunny Meds. Somehow by leaving Malta we left the sun and the clear blue sky behind. The colour of the sea was dirty grey, the waives were short and stroppy and the wind could not decide which direction to hold on to.
Sleeping in a bow cabin during our night passage from Gozo to Sicily was a sheer nightmare. The sea was restless and the boat was going up and down strongly and rapidly. To my great surprise I did not feel seasick at all. It looked like the precautions I took before our sailing trip… worked? I did feel some nausea at the start of our trip, when the sea was as calm as a lake, but not now, when I was bashed around in my bed.
The sun was slowly getting ready to lift the night and it woke us up rather early. Even at 5 in the morning the day seems hot and there was no cloud on a blue clear sky. I did not sleep well. We have managed to get to the Msida Marina at 2 o’clock and went to beds at about 3, listening to the sounds of St Joseph’s church bells, which chime every 15 minutes. Guessing however the time using the bells would be a tricky thing to do. The strikes did not make much sense…
On the map of Gozo, Mgarr ix-Xini Bay does not look appealing at all. A small and very narrow bay, south-west of Mgarr, with high rocks surrounding azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, might be tricky to navigate if your boat is bigger than 13 meters. Yet to hid there and anchor to spend the day on enjoying swimming and diving is as tempting as trying fresh mussels in the cafe next to the small beach.