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.
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