George leaves Malta

Written by David Townsend

31, May 2009

Position¬†36°38’623N 012°06’017E

Mediterranean Sea.

33Nm east of Tunisia

127Nm northwest of Malta


Hi dear friends, thank you for following my journey. Here is this week’s update.

George leaves Malta

Life Onboard:

George leaves Malta I hear you say, well, that’s a long story so I will just say that’s my given Maltese name.

The time onboard is 03:55hs (GMT) on Sunday, behind Pinta’s stern rays of golden light, the sun rising from beneath the ocean starts to warm the air. Dolphin after dolphin came by, frolicking as only they can do. Soon Pinta is surrounded, everywhere I look I can see them. Jumping, rolling, diving. To port some 43Nm off is the coast of Tunis, 8Nm off Pinta’s starboard bow however is Pantelleria Island. Rising steeply, breaking through the cloud, almost touching the sky. Distract from writing this weeks update I sit topsides for a while admiring natures beauty and the wonder that is our world.

An hour later and I return to writing this weeks update; It has been a busy week onboard getting Pinta ready for sea, this is he second longest time we have been becalmed (in a country) and although Malta is very beautiful, the time to leave is well overdue.

The local supermarket delivers goods to the marina however now that I have regained my fitness I wanted to keep active. I have been walking to the shop every morning at around 08:00hrs (GMT) and carrying around 15k of victuals back to the boat. Ten days later we were ready to depart.

I can mot recall any other time during the past 1403 days that I have been push mentally and physically, to be truthful with you I did not think this day would happen. The following words perhaps better describe my time here in Malta.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Well, we are now at sea once more and on our way back to the Atlantic Ocean, but not before a slight delay. All weather data both local and satellite gave force 5 decreasing to 3 /4 so I departed the marina, a short while afterwards I received a telephone call from a friend of mine who owns one of the Tuna boats here. He had just been in contact with a vessel 140Nm off Malta; they were being battered by force 7 winds and sea’s. With this in mind I moored alongside the wharf at Marsaxlokk for the night. A quick radio contact with the vessels at 02:00hrs (GMT) indicated that low off Italy that should have moved easterly had now finally done so and the sea’s were calmer. I departed at 07:00hrs (GMT).

Since leaving yesterday (Friday) I have had very light winds and have been forced (reluctantly) to use the engine to move Pinta to where there is wind.

The Boat:
A busy week in preparation for leaving Malta, the steering gear (linear arm and steering cables) were removed, stripped down, cleaned, adjusted and refitted.

The compass light and inline fuse removed and both replaced. I also finally got around to fixing the chart table which started working loose on the long, long passage from Australia.

The cooker was removed, stripped down, cleaned and new gimbals fitted. Last but not least the engine oil level was checked and topped up.

Fair winds, calm seas.