Valletta, Comino, and Syracuse

Bodrum, Turkey to Bridgetown, Barbados

4,679 nautical miles to Barbados

August 11, 2013

Syracuse, Sicily

From Valletta we motored NW to the little island of Comino. The Blue Lagoon was packed with day tripper boats which were entertaining for an hour, then we moved to Santa Marija Bay where we could get ashore to run the rocky Comino circuit to the ancient tower at the south-west corner.

Syracuse Town Quay

Syracuse Town Quay

After a night passage where the forecast westerly failed to materialize, but were replaced by a welcome southerly, we Med-moored to the town quay in Syracuse. The old town of Ortigia includes the very beautiful Duomo Church. There was a wedding taking place – the father of the bride dismissed the driver with a perfectly arrogant mafioso gesture – we are in Sicily!

I am surprised at how much I am enjoying the feeling of Syracuse – the start of a month in Italy, with the time split between Sicily and Sardinia. Maybe the bar behind the boat with free wifi has something to do with it, but I think it is more to do with being somewhere new for the next month. Mary, I did not learn a single word of Greek or Maltese but I think Italian will be different. I want to learn to talk with my hands.


10 km run from the amphitheatre around Ortigia – acqua – Birra Moretti – G & T – antipasto – vino – perfect spaghetti Carbonera – vino – gelatto ice cream – live 60s rock music on the quay – 8 year olds dancing- Birra Moretti – girls in high heels promenading at midnight – 70s rock music – babies in strollers at 0100 – perfect temperature – perfect everything – Sirens of Odysseus – if we do not leave tomorrow we may never leave …


Letters from Malta

Dick, Dean, and Marie arrived safely in Malta. They planned on a short stop, so Dick did not bother with an Internet connection. He continued to send Marian updates via the shortwave radio.

Date: 6 August, 2013 10:22:00 AM PDT

We had a nice day walking through the city of Valetta looking across the Grand Harbour at the forts that are the subject of the Great Seige of 1565. Masses of tourists from the cruise ship Aurora that we heard on the vhf at the same time we were checking in.

We had a long walk – almost a trek – through Valetta to look across the Grand Harbour at the forts that are the subject of the great seige of 1565. I found a book on Malta’s history and bought it.

After 10 beers at the local watering hole we all agreed that the beer is no good and we are leaving! We will head north just 12 miles to an anchorage and windguru shows sort of favourable winds for Syracuse after that.

Love my HF radio. Installed the new compass today.


Date: 8 August, 2013 9:38:00 AM PDT

Yes, it seems quick to leave Malta, but it is just a burnt rock. We had a nice time at the Island of Comino. Ran around it twice.

We have looked ahead on the schedule and there are things we can do on the way. Mount Etna and the island of Vulcano. And if we are early getting to Sardinia we can go up the east side and visit Corsica before crossing to Menorca.

Also, windfinder showed the only westerly for a while to get us across the Malta Channel and on up to Siracuse before the northerlies start again. It is a night passage to take advantage of the wind. We are 15 miles into the 85 mile passage at 1835.

I have followers – how bizzare!