July 21, 2012

55 miles in 9 ½ hours

All vessels leaving either of the two harbors surrounding Valleta must get VHF radio clearance to leave the harbor. We again waited 45 minutes for Valetta Port Control to clear us. We had left the marina, and we just held our position while calling them about every five minutes. We thought that this was particularly rude, but we saw no other option.

We motorsailed for about the first half of this trip, and we expected that we would probably have to motorsail the entire way. But the winds filled in, and we had a great beam reach for the second half. Our spirits were lifted by a few hours of sailing.

Our AIS was working perfectly again, and we were glad to have it back. We had three somewhat close encounters with ships on this passage, and two of them required action on our part – one a change of speed and one a change of course. Our AIS helped us make these decisions quickly.

We headed for Marina di Ragussa on the south shore of Sicily where we would prepare the boat and ourselves to move further west.

Follow us to Italy. or return to Malta.