Could the ancient fishing village of Marsaxlokk be our favorite anchorage? Possibly
Rinella Creek must have a load of rubbish on the seabed as it took 15 minutes or so of gentle pulling in all directions before the anchor freed itself. It was probably held fast on some old rusty cable. The water was murky here with all the vessel movements so we didn't dive in to check.
The NW prevailing wind meant that we could now continue south east, to the small fishing village of Marsaxlokk (which means southeasterly harbour). Despite the forecast there just wasn't enough wind for us to sail, in fact we seem to be motoring everywhere despite our best attempts to follow the wind!
With only 12 nautical miles to the next anchorage we decided to put the watermaker on for an hour or so to top up water supplies as it was unlikely that we would be running it whilst at anchor. Marsaxlokk is a busy commercial harbour and the entrance isn't exactly pleasing to the eye as it's blighted by rows of haulage cranes and hundreds of storage containers and huge ships. Our chosen anchorage passed beyond all the industry and was located just off the little fishing village of Marsaxlokk. The anchorage is pretty shallow and it would have been very easy to accidentally ground so we crawled around the surrounding area with a watchfull eye on the depth sounder before finding a suitable spot to anchor. With the anchor down and for peace of mind we "went back to basics" and motored around in the dinghy, armed with a plumb bob set at just 3m just to make sure that Flirtie had sufficient water all around her (a circle of nearly 40m diameter).
Marsaxlokk is famous for its Sunday fish market, for its fleet of brightly coloured traditional Maltese fishing boats (luzzuz) and renowned for its seafood restaurants that line the waterfront offering great value lunchtime set meals from €10 per person - including a glass of vino. That suited our budget down to the ground and was a great way to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
traditional fishing boats, the 'luzzuz'. Painted in neon green, blue, red, yellow and decorated with Baroque design, the bow carved with 'eye of Osiris', reportedly to ward off evil, bad omens and bad luck while the fishermen are at sea.
The Sunday market didn't disappoint with many stalls selling freshly caught fish, fresh fruit and vegetables all at reasonable prices in amongst stalls selling a variety of island souvenirs from Maltese crosses, to statues of Knights, knock-off handbags to more tasteful and very pretty lace, table cloths, tote bags and traditional foods of honey, nougat and cakes... loads of cake.
In addition to the Sunday Market which attracts the locals and tourists alike, there is also a Spar supermarket, an Ironmongers, a butcher, RITA'S fish shop, a fishing tackle shop and buses to Valletta and the airport. We really loved it here.
The anchorage is safe from all but a southerly wind direction.
Total distance this season: 110.88 nautical miles