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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.

I do not sleep well the first few nights, when I am back on a boat. We were on anchor as well, so the boat was moving with the tide and the wind, although our anchor was holding really well. However the scenery around us and the fact that we were completely on our own was truly amazing. I love this feeling of almost profound isolation, when you are left to your own devices, knowing there is no one around to disturb you. What a treat, especially when you can watch the sun rising while preparing for the morning swim!

We liked the place so much that we have anchored there twice, enjoying the scenery, the weather and the swim each time. In a way it was as well a perfect goodbye we had to say to Malta and Gozo, after sailing around for two weeks. I know that we will be back there soon, this time on our own boat and we will stop by for the night again, as this anchorage bay was really comfortable, even though as we discovered during our second time, the place was swarming with mosquitoes! Luckily for us they politely stayed in the second bay.

When we arrived there for our second night I wanted to explore the other bay – Il-Hofra Z-Zghira. I have decided to swim there and asked Marcin to come by on a dingy, so he could bring one of our phones to take some pictures. Swimming from our boat sitting comfortable in the middle of the bay took me about 30 minutes. I am not a great swimmer, I am rather a slow one and someone more skilled could get there much much quicker.

When you look at the pictures on the internet, you can see beautiful places, magically enhanced not only by the skills of the photographer or a computer program, but by the fact that the shots are taken from a distance. However very often, when you do get closer, you discover that the place you thought is pure and amazing is full of nasty surprises. And sadly that was the case here too.

The water around the boat in the bay looked pure and crystal clear and swimming in the middle of the bay was a pleasure. When I got to the piece of land which was dividing the two bays, the quality of water was still quite pleasant, but the smell coming from the land was a little less enjoyable. Still, I was nicely surprised, as my experience was preparing me for something much much worse. Of course, the further we got towards the window, the stronger the smell was. But that was ok, still, we could manage.

Until we got on the other side of the window and we were attacked by a huge swarm of mosquitoes! We should have guessed, that they have a perfect breading conditions over there! Marcin’s back looked absolutely horrible and after the quickest we could manage photo session we were running towards our dingy, trying to salvage the reminders of our blood. Amazingly the mosquitoes left us alone at the verge of the rock and they did not want to go with us to the water. We have been saved!

When we anchored there for the first night, we did not visit the second bay and were not aware of the annoying mosquitoes. Both times our boat was sitting in the middle of the bigger bay and none of the blood-suckers visited us during the night. I still think this place is a great anchorage, but just in case, if you chose to stay in Il-Hofra Z-Zghira instead of Il-Hofra L-Kibra – have something against the mosquitoes, as they might decide to visit you at night.

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