Showing posts from September, 2009

Ferry across the strait to Courtenay

Sorry, no pictures, I'm on a public computer. How lovely to be in Courtenay, the drive up was gorgeous, a balmy Indian summer in British Columbia. Green, crisp, sunny and clean.
I picked up my son, Johnny at the new Richmond skytrian station - strategically place beside the River Rock gambling casino - do you think they helped pay for it, and we got on the 10.15am ferry to Nanaimo. The ferry ride over was such a treat. Even though it was blowing about 25-30 I couldn't care less - it wasn't my responsibility and the great big ferry didn't seem to mind a bit. Would have gone to Victoria to pick up youngest daughter Josie and brought her up to Courtenay but she had school commitments. We came to Courtenay to see my other daughter Mary, who has moved here with her partner, Elias. They've found themselves a restaurant music venue called Joe's Garage to help manage, Elias is a very good Chef and Mary works the front. Its actually a great place right down by the …

Moondancer's on the hard and we are in Canada

Does this feel strange - or what?
The last month has definitely been a departure from the routine we have been living to for the last year. Once we had arrived in Malta our time there was split between putting a great deal of effort into finding moorage for the winter and seeing as much as possible of my brothers and wives.
The moorage situation was a bit of an eye-opener and something we hadn't really anticipated. We had heard from other yachties on the way that its difficult to find moorage and we should probably book into somewhere before arriving. Had we done that we would not have arrived in Malta at all as we would have been told the situation. We've learned that its usually best just to show up somewhere and they'll try to fit you in. But the main marina in Malta is government run, is in the throes of privatization, some of the employees are a bit ticked off with their lot, and it took more than merely asking for a splot to get one. We do think that our time on the wa…
So the family are almost all gone to their respective homes, Michael and Anne back to Dartford, Lucy and Ross back to Dartford, Ronnie and Sherida back to France, Peter and Sue will go back to Dartford on Monday. And today we left the wall. We'll haul the boat out tomorrow morning with a view to doing some regular maintainance and bottom paint.
We've had a lovely time with my brothers, sisters in law and neice and nephew.
Tony has been thoroughly welcomed into the fold and we really feel that the 13000 mile effort was worth it. We haven't done much sight seeing yet, but we certainly do love Valletta and the fantastic churches. They are not only in Valletta, they are everywhere. This is a Catholic country and the people put a great deal of their money and their souls into their Churches. A non-Catholic could easily see this as unfair as the churches seem so wealthy and some of the people seem poor. But its not a tax, people give what they can, and its pretty obvious that …

What comes next?????????????????????

Aunt Mary and Sisters in Law, Sue, Anne and Sherida
We've been in Malta almost 2 weeks now and we are still toughing it out 'on the wall' at Sliema. This is actually a mooring and we do have access to water and electricity but it is very exposed to north easterly winds, and as usual it is not the wind really that is the problem, but the seas created by the wind. The surge through the harbour entrance builds up big swells that hit the boat sideways on which is very uncomfortable when the winds are up to 15 - 20 knots, which we have had for a couple of days. The latest forecast for the next few days shows a change in wind direction and though its still a bit bumpy it is certainly tolerable. The night before last we actually left Moondancer tied up safely off the wall about half a boat length and slept on shore at my brother Peter's house. That night there was quite a storm, but we were completely oblivious to anything as it was the first night we enjoyed undisturbed slee…

On the Wall - Sliema - Malta

Brother Peter's Boat - after meeting up in St. Pauls Bay

Well today is the first day that we fully realise why the marina manager did not suggest that we tie up to the wall. We've woken up to a north easterly which is blowing hard enough (not very hard) to bring in a swell that is really tossing us about on the wall. We do not yet have the equipment needed to decrease the force of the tug when we reach the end of docking line. So before we do much else today we'll have to do something to improve the situation.
Other than that we actually really like this spot.
Sliema is a pretty upbeat part of Valletta; technically it is not part of Valletta but it is pretty close. Unlike Valletta which is a very old city Sliema has hundreds of modern apartment buildings, shops such as Armani, Versace, Marks and Spencer etc. Its close to bus stops and we can get a ferry across Marsamxett harbour into Valletta at a cost of 85Euros, and sometimes we can get internet on the boat. So we quite li…

Valletta Malta

We are now tied up to a wall in Sliema which is close to downtown Valletta. We are trying to figure out this blog thing. For some reason it is not posting our new updates unless you click search blog. This is a test, so please stand by for further updates!