Showing posts from 2010

For the past couple of days Tony has been back in Canada and I have been working on a new project . is a new blogsite which I'm using as a vehicle to help promote myself as a Charter Skipper for 'Women Only' sailing charters initially here in Malta and then who knows - if it becomes successful perhaps I'll charter boats in other locations and move around from location to location according to time of year. This is the start. I am happy with the company I have chosen to charter the boats from - Nautica, they have an excellent fleet and good reputation.
The focus of these charters is 'Cruise and Learn' at whatever level those women who come aboard want to participate.
I'm adding Saillikeagirl as a link to this website. Spread the word - the season kicks off here April or so and I'm looking forward to doing alot of sailing in 2011.
Also - any feedback on the site will be welcome and anything that I haven't covered let me know…

Breakwater Party - Nov 2010

The following pictures were taken last evening - a few of us got together and shared our meal under a bright full moon. The 'cobs' which are those 'flying saucer' type barbeques on the ground are a great cooking device and our neighbours from Czech Republic, Bo and Rada cooked stuffed squid on theirs and Liz and John, alias Zee Zee John (can you guess which one he is) cooked sausages and we fired up our barbeque on the boat and added chicken and potato wedges.As you can see we had quite a complement of furry guests too. These cats all live amongst the large rocks which make up the breakwater - the sad looking ginger/white tom cat is the daddy of many of the others. I would love to take him and look after him - he looks so sad. Unfortunately I don't think we would do very well travelling with him aboard - he's never been tame, chances are he'd rip our faces off if we tried to catch him. We are enjoying incredible weather at present - truly and Indian Sum…

Breakwater Party 2010


Breatwater Party - Nov 2010


Breakwater Party - Nov 2010


Breakwater Party - Nov 2010


Video taken in Istanbul

Just getting around to organising pictures and videos taken when I was in Istanbul. I wish that the uploading didn't take so long - then I would put loads more images on the blog. It now seems like such a long time ago that I was there. While I was staying in the basement of the Dong Yang Hostel I found a couple of books. One of them is called The Historian and its all about Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula being buried in Istanbul, not Transylvania. Thank God it took me a couple of weeks to get to that part of the book otherwise I'd have had to sleep in a bed of garlic surrounded by crucifixes, sharpened wooden stake and hammer at the ready.

Random Pictures Taken in Istanbul

A few pictures I took while in Istanbul. I've got loads more aswell as videos. Just trying to figure out how to get them directly from the Picasa files where I can do wonderful things to improve the pictures to the blogsite. This may take awhile but I think I prefer Picasa over Webshots.

Istanbul - Talk about Culture Shock

Though this isn't Moondancer's adventure its the best place to post my latest journey and as I'm languishing in Sultanahmet, Istanbul with weary legs from walking a few miles before noon today I've decided to take this time to post a blog. Wish I had the log for the 12 day voyage to help jog the memory.
This was a delivery aboard a 57' Jeanneau - very roomy, brand new on its way from one boat show to another and then on to its new owner. This boat had 3 cabins, and as there were 2 females aboard we shared a room with 2 beds. Had to build a heavy duty bolster down the middle to keep us from rolling onto the floor depending on the heel. Actually the heel was mostly in my room-mate's favour, not mine so the bolster was an urgently needed device, after the first 2 nights of me sleeping around trying to find somewhere to sleep - sleeeeeeeep; a most precious skill which I seem to lack in almost all circumstances unfortunately.
The trip started at the Genova boat show, …

MoondancerX Anchored in Dwerja, Gozo

I've just posted 20 odd pictures on Webshots, the link at the side - go to Malta album and scroll through.

One year later - still in Malta

Moondancer is all better now. The Manoel Island Yacht Yard did a good job of putting her back together properly - not just with spit and sawdust. She looks like she did before and so far everything seems to work ok. We've just taken her up to Gozo for a few days of 'sailing' - we actually did get a couple of hours sailing in - but mostly we were motoring. Our goal was to go diving in a place called the Blue Hole near Dwerja in Gozo. Dwerja is a small - almost totally enclosed bay guarded by Fungus Rock. We had a pretty dramatic storm on the way up to Gozo - very loud thunder and forked lightning - a 'twister' over Melieha bay and torrential rain all within about an hour. It was quite remarkable really - that we should have a few days off and head out of Marsamxett harbour in relative sunshine and head up the coast into every darkening skies. Then thunder almost as loud as the maltese fireworks, lightning which was easily better than the maltese fireworks and amazin…

Nancy's at 'home' with family and Tony's still in Malta

Main reason for this post is so that Tony can see his parents on video saying hello. The file was too big to send via e-mail.
Being back in Canada in the summer is such a treat. Not just to be with my family and friends, which is truly what I badly needed to do at this time on our journey, but also to look at how beautiful it is here and how 'temperate' everything is. And how nice Canadians are. When talking to other Canadian travellers who have returned home we all agree that its almost impossible to 'beat' British Columbia. How fortunate those of us who can call this place home are.
And its pretty evident that most of the rest of the world knows it too - we usually enjoy very good feed-back in the countries we visit when they know we are Canadian, though in Malta not many people know British Columbia - more familiar with Toronto and its suburbs. So I'll soak it all up, replenish my store of 'green', which is sorely missed in sun-burned Malta and when I ge…

MoondancerX gets Clobbered by Sandstorm

Quite the wake up call this morning - first alot of shouting, very close to us and the sound of a very large engine, very close to us - that got my heart pumping a little faster and Tony went to the companionway to see what was happening. Then the noise receded and I thought all was ok. Not so - the boat came back at us again and hit us very hard ripping off the back railing of the boat, the gunnel around the back, most of Mr. Chubbs is gone - and now we wait for a surveyor to tell us how bad it all is.
Sandstorm is about a 70' trawler style yacht, when it hit us I jumped out of bed so fast as I thought something was coming through the stern, and then the pasarrel (boarding ladder) hooked on and ripped through everything in its way as the driver was trying to pull away from us. There was alot of shouting and screaming cracking wood and tearing metal - and Tony standing, calmly watching until all was safe - then there was alot of swearing.
The skipper of Sandstorm took his boat …

Eulogy to Grey Cat

Grey Cat was the youngest and oldest member of my immediate family. He was born to Fluffy, Josie's 3rd birthday present when Fluffy was about 8 months old. He was a very strange looking kitten - his head was a funny shape and I thought it best the children did not grow too fond of him as I thought he would die. So we didn't give him a proper name. How wrong was I? Grey Cat survived chickens, ducks, dogs, my marriage, Siggy the Llama. He survived a mortal mauling by racoons or coyotes in his fighting youth, and he survived several near drownings in his later years living aboard MoondancerX with us. He survived living with Johnny in an all young men's apartment and a short time with Josie living in an all young women's shared home, and he spent his last days in the peaceful family home of Mary and Elias, Mission and Mole, their new kitten, who probably helped Grey Cat remember that he was young once.
He lived 18 years - so many memories of our lives include him. I…


I can't believe that I did not know it was Canada Day yesterday. This morning when I opened up Yahoo I realised that I had let the day go by with our big Canadian flag furled up - to protect it from wind damage - we do have a smaller one up high on one of our shrouds, slightly lower of course than the Maltese courtesy flag. I'm sure if Tony had been here we would have remembered.
Last Canada Day 2009 we were on the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Azores; we happened to 'bump into' - not literally - an English boat we had met in Bermuda and as they knew it was Canada Day - they hailed us and wished us Happy Canada Day and held up their Canadian flag for our benefit. Funny huh!
Tony's been away all week on a charter around Malta and Gozo so I have had a fairly quiet time working on the boat, swimming when I got hot, lying in the sun to dry off (something I almost never do), lugging v…

Our new neighbourhood - Lazaretto Creek

But not very far - just out of the marina. BUT - just out of the marina is so very nice. Now we have a little breeze blowing through the boat, the water is clean enough to swim in, not as clean as a bit further out into Marsamxett Harbour, but really doable. We have come around the corner of Msida Creek into Lazaretto Creek, as you see from the pictures we are in pretty good company. We are flanked by Ta'Xbiex 'wall' where there are many very large expensive yachts, and Manoel Island where again the super yachts tie to the wall of Manoel Island. We are on a mooring which we are told is available until September.
Who knows - we could just as easily be moved off here tomorrow. As I've said before there is a real problem with moorage availability in Malta. Its a very small country and everybody wants to pass through, which means the marinas have to keep some guest moorage available. That is where we have been for the past couple of months - on the guest moorage doc…

A Day Charter to Comino

Comino is a very small island between Malta and Gozo. As these pictures show it is beautiful all the way around, but the most popular anchorage, which I did not photograph, is called Blue Lagoon. Though the Blue Lagoon is a very beautiful place it has become the destination of hundreds of tour boats daily. So on that day we did take the charter clients into Blue Lagoon to show them what it was like, and as we suspected after they saw some of the more secluded places they preferred not to join the throngs in the lagoon.
When Tony and I first arrived in Malta we were very fortunate to anchor in the lagoon before the hoards arrived and it is absolutely gorgeous. The water is crystal clear and bright torquoise. Torquoise Lagoon would be a more accurate description. But once the visitors started to arrive we moved out.
So we are gradually finding our way around Malta and for all of her faults she definitely qualifies as a jewel in the middle of the Mediterranean.