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Showing posts from January, 2010

About that Mason's Robbie Burns Night

Unlike the famous Edith Piaf who had No Regrets, I have many, and to add to the list is that I did not take my camera to the Robbie Burns celebration at the Scottish Masonic Hall in Paola last night. This is a fairly small chapter of the Masons who share their venue with the Irish and the english Chapter. There are actually about 7 separate chapters of Masons in Malta all with about 30 members. One does wonder why they don't pool their membership into fewer venues, but they seem to like it the way it is. We actually had a really nice evening.
We were invited by Sean who is a partner in a little neighbourhood bar called Ta Linda. Linda is the other partner. Ta means 'of' in Maltese. So the bar is of Linda. We have got to know a group of people who frequent this bar, and we found out last night that most of them are also Masons in the Scottish/Irish/English chapter, which makes perfect sense as that is where these people are all from.
We were made to feel very welcome…

January 23rd, and auspicious day for those of us born this day

I haven't really got much to say at all, except that today is my birthday, and I thought I should post something. Its a gorgeous morning, have lazed around in bed reading while Tony made coffee, have tinkered around on the computer and am thinking about going out into the sunshine. Tonight we are going to a Mason's function to celebrate Robbie Burns night which I'm looking forward to. Except for the diminished dress-up wardrobe. And as we are not sure how long we'll be here I'm not inclined to do much about that.
Yesterday I had my unruly hair cut off. I'm now sporting a fairly short, curly haircut which seems to be more attractive, and if its not, it'll grow pretty quick.

I feel like I should say something profound about being this age - I can't. All I can say is that I wish I were younger.

Hope I never have to get in a liferaft

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As we plod through the RYA Yachtmaster syllabus we are also ticking off the other requisites for a commercial endorsement to the RYA Offshore Certificate. For this endorsement we have had a medical stating that we are capable of being the skipper/mate/deckhand of a vessel up to 200 tons (200 tons, jeezz). We have been attending a St. John's Ambulance First Aid course at the main hospital here. The course material and the diligence with which the instructor works through it (all for 33 Euros per head) makes the course that I did before leaving Canada for $80 look very weak. Yesterday Tony and I went to Melieha Bay to do an RYA sanctioned Sea Survival Course. Basically other than watching a few videos which covered the use of various radio and automatic safety responders we experienced trying, and succeeding to get in a liferaft which is in the water. This was very difficult to do, many of us struggled very much to get in. If I've learned anything from that experience its - STA…

Windy Malta

Just had to share this video with you all. Mostly our mooring is protected from the majority of the winds we get in Msida, even the North Easters which happen more often in the winter than summer. But, though we are pretty sure we're safe it certainly has not been comfortable on the boat for the past couple of days. Sleeping (or more accurately, not sleeping) with 40 knot wind howling around us outside, and because we are at the end of our dock we really do move around alot.

The mediterranean mooring method of bow or stern into the pontoon works well to protect the boats that are on the inside,(they just get jostled from side to side a bit, being well fendered against each other), but the boats at the end get to move around alot,sometimes we are swung out at about 45 degrees to the pontoon. As the mouth to the harbour is open to the North East, the swells also make their way into the marina, but as I say, we do not feel that we are not safe, but yesterday we had to get off the boa…
Almost a month later - its amazing how time has flown by. And we still have not really done much sight seeing in Malta. Our Christmas was really nice - some of it spent with my Maltese family, some with our Msida Liveaboard friends, and Christmas Day alone just as we wanted it. Opening presents which we pretended to be surprised at (though mostly we bought things for each other that we jointly need). I cooked a traditional Christmas dinner of Turkey, stuffing etc. etc., we ate whatever we wanted all day, chocolates and cookies, etc. etc. etc. A group of our Msida Liveaboard friends (who from now on will be referred to as MLF's) crashed our cosy little nest at about 8.00pm, just when I was trying to get through to my children on skype, which was neat. Johnny and Josie got to see some of them, and hear our raucous carol singing. Attached is a bit of video showing us trying to sing along with Abba. Our friends Phil and Wendy took us in their car to Gozo to a village whose name I can&…