The Rush to Malta

Cruising along the coast of Sicily to the most southern point put us at our best position for hopping over to Gozo. Coastal scenery kept our interest as forts and towers passed us by. The designs varied but distinguishing features enabled us to group certain structures together to a common era. Some were quite ellaborate. Deserted stone warehouses littered the coast from a more prosperous time.

Other than an overnight stay at the harbour of Sciacca to stock up on supplies and to have a night out, we spent the nights in open bays in the range of the beach resort’s entertainment systems. Just after mentioning how we weren’t really mixing with the locals, a ferrari designed paddleboat with a family of four-the patriarch sitting prestigiously aloft the stylish accompanying waterslide directing the crew- navigated towards us to warmly welcome us to their waters. Cordial greetings were exchanged and they returned to their journey.

Our welcoming committee

Once again the dophin pods accompanied us whilst on the crossing. A strange  anomaly of styrofoam crates that imitated a Hansel and Gretel type path littered the way to Gozo. There was no getting lost even if the GPS had of gone down!

We were directed to a beautiful bay on the western side of Gozo by my Australian friends who are staying on the island. Originally from Malta, my beautiful friends, Mary-Rose and David, are catching up on a bit of R & R on this sleepy island on holiday from Oz. They joined us as our first dinner guests aboard Qi. They found the rocky trek to meet Thomas with the tender quite adventurous but it became even more so on their return in the dark. It was great to catch up on the gossip from Oz and spend time with these lovely people.

Dining with Mary-Rose and David from Australia

After a brief snorkel in this beautiful bay on arrival, Thomas suggested we take a dive there. So our first dive together was in this calm bay with steep cliffs both above and below the water. The fish were plentiful and Thomas was quick to spot a centipede type creature moving majestically with the soothing motions of the gentle swell. The plant life was varied and a number of soft coral was on the wall. The steep drop opened into an azure abyss exposing an endless road to adventure. One whose depths and secrets were prohibited to us.

At the far end of the bay several caves were calling us. Thomas manoeuvred the tender close to the first one and we jumped in for a snorkel. Thomas almost walked on water to get back into the dinghy when we saw the amount of human and other debris washed up in there. The crew followed soon after. But the second cave’s opening was deep enough for the tender so I egged Thomas to enter. The water was clear and the rocks and plant life were easily visible from the dinghy. So we rowed in to find a big semi-sphere of darkness imitating the night sky, minus the stars. Still there was another opening further on, although we had to duck down into the boat to get through. Thomas balked at the eerie sounds coming the bowels of the inner cave. It sounded like a convoy of lorries passing overhead – or maybe a sea serpent giving birth- not that that the latter has been witnessed by any living soul. Reluctantly he assisted with the paddling and we ventured into a small cavern streaked with green and red stone. Remaining at the entrance, the captain announced that the next time we go caving we carry a torch!

Our arrival at Fungus Rock, Gozo

 

Once we left the cave we ventured on land to explore a beautiful swimming area of rock pools over shadowed by a rocky arch. Many Gozarians and tourists alike were cooling off. The buzzing of talk and squeals from brave jumpers made a sharp contrast to the peacefulness of the bay just over the rocky outcrop where the boat lay.

With the decision to return on the way back from Malta, we up-anchored and moved to a small bay around the corner in sight of Malta and a third island called Comino. The bottom of this bay looks very inviting and a cliff scattered with caves is beckoning me from over on Comino…

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