The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

09 June 2019 | St Julian’s, Balluta Bay position: (35 53.678’N 14 31.530’E)
05 June 2019 | San Niklaw Bay (position: 36 01.101’N 14 19.790’E)
03 June 2019 | Il-Hofra-z-Zghira (anchorage), position (35 50.210'N, 14 33.726'E)
10 May 2019 | Malta, Manoel Island
19 December 2018 | Gloucestershire
25 January 2018 | Gloucestershire
19 December 2017 | Gloucestershire
30 September 2017 | Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.869’N 14 32.705’E)
30 September 2017 | Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.869’N 14 32.705’E)
22 September 2017 | Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.869’N 14 32.705’E)
20 September 2017 | Siracusa anchorage (position: 37 03.612'N 15 16.811'E)
13 September 2017 | Siracusa anchorage (position: 37 03.612'N 15 16.811'E)
12 September 2017 | Circolo Nautico, Catania (position: 37 30.017’N 15 05.893’E)
07 September 2017 | Catania, Circolo Nautico (position: 37 30.017’N 15 05.893’E)
06 September 2017 | Scilla (position: 38 15.344’N 15 43.073’E)
05 September 2017 | Porto di Tropea (position: 38 40.797'N 15 54.218'E)
05 September 2017 | Porto di Tropea (position: 38 40.797'N 15 54.218'E)
30 August 2017 | Marina Stella del Sud (position: 38 43.041'N 16 07.686'E)
28 August 2017 | Cetraro (position: 39 31.632'N 15 55.122'E)
27 August 2017 | Palinuro (position: 40 01.607'N 15 17.767'E)

Comino, San Niklaw Bay to Malta, St Julian’s

09 June 2019 | St Julian’s, Balluta Bay position: (35 53.678’N 14 31.530’E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
The plan was to use the predicted NW wind and head to the South East of Malta, to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. It would have been a lovely slow sail under the genoa only but unfortunately the wind didn't transpire and the seas were flat calm. We didn't wish to listen to the drone of the engine for three or four hours so decided to pull in to St Julian's that lies just north of Sliema and say hi to a fellow cruiser, Steve from "Scend Serendipity" who also wintered in Ragusa - on the same pontoon as us.

Admittedly, we wouldn't have stopped at St Julian's because we didn't warm to the write up in the pilot book. It described it as having the densest concentration of hotels and apartment complexes in Malta and a seafront promenade that is packed with shops, bars and restaurants with webcams - thank you to our stalker (you know who you are ;-) xx) for the snapshot of Flirtie at anchor. It's a good job we were decent at the time. Anyway, surprisingly for us after a few hours meandering along the promenade and the side streets we started to see another side, especially from a cruiser's point of view.


Maltese Balconies or 'gallarija'. Introduced to Valletta in the 17th Century and very popular around the island

Balluta Bay anchorage provided good holding and crystal clear seas for swimming (and finally the sea is warm). The bay is nice and wide so there's ample room for Flirtie to swing around and it's just a short dinghy trip over to Spinola Bay where we can safely leave the dinghy. Once ashore we had immediate access to public facilities, rubbish bins, buses to Valletta and access to one of the best supermarkets, Park Towers that we've found on Malta and less than 100m up the hill. A 30 minute walk in the opposite direction over another hill is Sliema for yet another visit to one of the many chandleries.

As for the weather predictions, the forecast seems to change daily but we're finding www.maltaweather.com to be pretty accurate for wind direction but strength is variable. It also indicates the bays clear of Jellyfish. The island gets inundated with various species but there are plenty of notices providing advice on the different types expected and whether or not they sting or are poisonous.

Total distance this season: 100.07 nautical miles

Malta, Il-Hofra-z-Zghira to Comino, San Niklaw Bay and Blue Lagoon

05 June 2019 | San Niklaw Bay (position: 36 01.101’N 14 19.790’E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
San Niklaw Bay anchorage

With a light southerly wind forecast, the decision was made for us to head North to spend a few nights anchored off the island of Comino that lies mid-way between Malta and Gozo.

Comino is tiny, barely 2.5km long by 1.5km wide. It's a small and barren chunk of limestone with very few buildings - a tower, a hotel, a couple of bungalows and a disused hospital. Historically, the island was once the hideout for pirates and smugglers and its remoteness saw it being used as a place of isolation for plague victims with a small hospital that had all the medical facilities but now home to just a few residents.



The island is reported to be a nature reserve and bird sanctuary but is known mainly because of a 'Blue Lagoon', a sheltered cove located at the western end of the island. Hundreds of people descend daily on the island to enjoy the white sand and crystal clear waters and for a few days we increased that count by 2!

We knew that Blue Lagoon would be heaving with day boats, ferries and tourist boats because we saw the rafts of tourist boats lined up at the ferry point in Sliema whilst we were at Manoel Island Yacht Yard. With this in mind we chose to anchor in the crystal waters of San Niklaw Bay located just around the corner and reported to have good holding with a seabed of sand and weed. We must have been really unlucky because our Rocna on two occasions managed to hit rock and bounce along the seabed until the point either fell into a crevice or gripped onto the side of a boulder. It also has to be said that at this time of year the water was really chilly. We usually like to see our anchor dug in for a stress free night but dusk was approaching together with a raft of jellyfish. The resident diver was reluctant to go back in so after a brief weather check we felt relatively safe in the knowledge that we weren't going anywhere but set the anchor alarm as a precaution anyway.

As dusk arrived the light airs disappeared and the cursed swell took over, making us roll all night until dawn at which point we were more than ready to leave so anchor aweigh as we followed the coastline and did our own early morning guided tour of the Blue Lagoon and the surrounding caves before returning to Blue Lagoon to anchor and spend the day.

Blue Lagoon - it just had to be done but one day was enough and we wouldn't want to visit over a weekend or over bank holiday/calendar event. Visitors and locals arrived in droves... and it's not even summer yet.


Blue Lagoon


hidden bays and Blue Lagoon

There is no denying it is a very popular place but unexpectedly quiet between 6pm through to 10am. The off lying reefs that are marked either side of Blue Lagoon provided us with a swell-free night but should we visit again we'd spend a more relaxing day bobbing around in San Niklaw Bay and walk over the hill to visit Blue Lagoon just 15 minutes away. As for an overnight anchorage we'd make a last minute decision between Blue Lagoon and San Niklaw subject to the likelihood of swell.

Total distance this season: 86.36 nautical miles
Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
About:
Welcome to Sailing Yacht Flirtie's blog.

Our blog serves as a personal record of our adventures and experiences since leaving the UK in 2012 whilst allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with our whereabouts. [...]
Extra: email us: bandc.trott@gmail.com
skype us: distant.drummer797
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Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

Where are we now?