Sunday, December 28, 2008
Yesterday we visited and went up the KL tower. To be honest that was a bit of a disappointment. The view is great ofcourse but the tower is very tired looking and needs a bit of makeover in the visitors areas.
Tonight we leave KL and go back to Singapore for a couple of days before flying back home.
Once back in Sing will try and upload a couple more pics.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Well our Bali side of the trip is coming to an end as we fly to KL tomorrow. It has been a great 9 days here and we have seen various aspects of Bali life.
The town we are in right now is called Ubud and if anybody visits Bali you cannot come here without a visit here. Infact I would recommend basing yourself here in Ubud and go out on day trips either hiring a car/scooter or get a driver for the day. Prices are ridiculously cheap and I think you get more of a feeling for Bali in Ubud than staying in the more touristic areas.
Today did a great walk through padi fields and forest - basically got a bit lost but we found our way back through some other village and spoke to some very friendly locals for quite a while on the way.
Next stop KL....................
This year I was unable to follow the event closely since being away, but very happy to read that Ella won the Championship and has kept the Maltese flag flying. Well done Ella!
You can read a bit more about it on this link http://www.di-ve.com/Default.aspx?ID=65&PID=11&NewsID=56978&Action=1&newscategory=22
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Anyhow since my last installment we have been to a small island off Bali called Nusa Lembongan which was great. You can walk round it in a day if you wish. We walked round about half of it but it is pretty hot work!
We did a great 4 hour trip snorkelling on an outrigger boat. We snorkelled 3 different places and it was like swimming in an aquarium. The colours of the fish and coral are beautiful but watching the behaviour of the fish is fascinating. It makes you appreciate the wonders of nature!
The people here are very very friendly and kind, though some can be a real pest and you have to be quite harsh with them when they keep on and on bothering you for various things like taking you on a boat, trying to sell you soemthing or trying to rent you a bike etc.
We are now back in Bali in a place called Ubud which is inland and the cultural centre of the island of Bali. It is a bustling fascinating place and so far we have just had a glimpse of the market which is just pure buyers and hagglers heaven.
Tomorrow we are going on a day trip with a private driver (very cheap over here!) so looking forward to that. Am also forming alot of interesting ideas for our next house conversion.............lots of fun with that!
As I write Geckos are scurrying all along the wall infront of me, the relaxing sound of water running is all around, the air is balmy warm (though very hot during the day) and I am looking forward to some more good food tonight! Indonesian food is DELICIOUS!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Well we arrived here late last night and when we reached the hotel it was like walking into a travel brochure! I am thrilled that it is much better than I even hoped for. The whole atmosphere of the place is really exotic. I booked a small family run place not wanting some awful polished resort and it just could not be better.
The architecture is typically Balinese and everyone is so friendly.............sometimes a bit too friendly!
Today is a simple chill out day.Relaxing after the fast pace of life in Singapore. And chilling out we are! What is so nice here and relaxing to the ears is that there seems to be the sound of running water everywhere. Water features here are all part of the architectural environment.
OK time to stop cos this could go on and on and on.
Have tried to get onto my email but with no luck. The computers here are very slow and some things just don't come up. I want to try and get some pics up so will have to see if I can get the camera to work on this computer.
Feeling so relaxed that I just want to lie down and doze off!
Hope my next entry will be a load of photos.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Singapore is a very interesting, bustling city............sooo clean! Had planned to write in more detail about Singapore whilst here but been too busy to do so. Hopefully in Bali will be a bit more relaxed and I may have the time to upload some pics and share on my blog.
Been eating lots and lots of different cuisine..............great fun and delicious. In these few days have had Chinese, Indian, Korean and Japanese!
Time to go!
Friday, December 12, 2008
So I suppose that brings an end to the heavy debate that has been going. Personally I never questioned that kiting wasn't sailing - never even thought about it to be honest.
OK I'm off!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
IT HAS BEEN SAILABLE FOR 4 DAYS OUT OF THE PAST 6 WHICH IS PRETTY GOOD GOING.
NOT MUCH TO REPORT BUT FEELING VERY PLEASANTLY TIRED!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Yesterday had a really nice sail in the bay. Wind was very South West so had a few patches but was some nice blasting. Used my Mistral Pro 86L and 5m Tushingham Rock. Tommy had his GPS going and we all did a stint with it which really showed me how tough these guys who go for the speed record must be. I enjoyed using the GPS cos it kind of gave you a goal and so you kept pushing and pushing. Ofcourse none of us have proper speed gear but its a fun thing to do. Speeds were not phenomenal and mine was the slowest ofcourse (ha ha!) at 24.8knots. My aim is to hit the 30knot mark...............we'll see how long that takes!
You have to sail totally on the edge of being catapulted and on a broad broad reach and you just know when you have done that slightly faster speed, you can really feel it. Most of the bay was very choppy but there was a nice flat area in the last gust before the slipway and that is where I could feel my fastest speeds. I am full of admiration for these guys who try to break the record. They must be soooooooooo tough. I have watched them in Fuerte in extremely difficult conditions sailing way overpowered etc etc and they are out there for a couple of hours at a time full out. How do they do it? Especially the women. Well I have a long way to go to get anywhere near the fastest women in the world cos their speeds are like double what I got yesterday................................yeah in my dreams! Maybe I could one day try and be something like the fastest OLDEST woman on the water! Now that's a thought.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Cut around an 8" strip of velcro which I threaded thru the strap attachment bars. I had to cut the velcro to adjust the width to fit snuggly in the top strap bar
Tightly attached the velcro strap on the velcro on boom to keep camera secure
Pro Hero have just come out with a new wide angle version of the camera specially adapted for surfing. You can even get a boom attachment besides the helmet attachment that goes with it. My camera is the basic camera that comes with a wrist strap. So when it comes to windsurfing I have had to improvise quite a bit and it is usually a last minute job before going out on the water. I can actually send off to buy the boom attachment but I thin that my system will work well when I try it this weekend. Today I decided to look ahead and organise the camera properly. What I came up with is the above and I think it should work well. Before going down I will just need to adjust the camera to make sure it is angled in the right position. From previous use I have found that this is the best position on the boom and the video quality is excellent.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Well as I always say here in Malta - we either get too little wind or too much wind. The fun stuff in the middle we don't seem to see very much of! After no decent wind for the past 6 weeks, or something like that, the forecast for the weekend is gale force winds. Windfinder right now is giving a steady 32 to 35 knots for Saturday while Weather Underground is giving 44 knots! Direction WNW. There will massive shore break at Ghallis so if I brave the conditions it will have to be in the safety of the bay here in Mellieha which means no waves but very choppy and bone rattling conditions and probably very gusty too. Unless it looks like there will be lots of fun I may just become official photographer. Having said all that Friday may give us a decent sail in the afternoon. Still early in the week so conditions are bound to change a bit. But fingers crossed to at least get a couple of hours of fun sailing in.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Back side of Zebbug cemetary
Gholla l-Bajda, Xwejni Bay - Gozo
Outside Xwejni Bay - Gozo
Boulders at Xwejni - Gozo
Yachts near Qbajjar in the Round Gozo race of the BMW Gozo Weekend. Notice the lack of wind with the flapping sails.
Above are some random shots I took in Gozo this weekend. We did a couple of nice walks. This weekend was the BMW Gozo Regatta. Conditions were not very nice with a distinct lack of wind and some squalls. The race back to Malta had a slightly steadier wind.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Stormy skies over Mellieha
We have had quite a stormy past couple of days with thunder storms and lots of rain.
Sun is out now and the sea got quite choppy from the north east last night but wind not willing still. It is quite frustrating when it is getting to be around 6 weeks in between each time you can get a decent windsurf in. When the wind comes you are feeling so ''out of it'' that it takes the whole session to get back to some normality - and the older you get the longer it takes! No comments on that last statement please!!
The coming week doesn't look like it is going to be any good. The kiters may get some time on the water but thats about it.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
It is turning out to be a very interesting afternoon as more and more boats cross the finish line. And as they do so overall placings change on corrected time. It is nice to see the boats sailing past outside the bay. The wind is extremely light and variable so some boats have had a beat to the finish whilst some of them have had their spinnys up some of the way.
Right now the first boat overall is the French Beneteau 40.7 SPIRIT of AD HOC with CHESTRESS2 and THREE SISTERS in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Stormvogel - off L-Ahrax Point Mellieha
Rushed up to the Comino channel and was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time just as Kerisma BOV was coming into the channel. Weather is lousy.........raining, wind maybe 3 knots (!), thunder and lightening on the horizon to the NW. Then I drove to L-Ahrax point where Stormvogel was sailing past, but a bit too far out for me to get a good shot - especially in the poor rainy visibility. Besides those two boats was unable to see any other boats approaching on the horizon. Visibility is not so good in the rain but in this wind think it will be at least another couple of hours until the next boat reaches the channel.
As more boats finish across the line there has been a change in the overall first position. Alegre has gone down to second place with Chestress 2 (a J-133) now in overall first.
The above pic is taken off the RMSR website. You can see the latest full report of the race and if you go onto the media gallery there are some really great photos of the race. http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/news/index.cfm?ID=158&f
The Med is well known for its unpredictable weather which can change within minutes (if not seconds). Yesterday the boats around Pantelleria experienced some pretty scary conditions when they were hit by a squall with sudden gusts of 40knots and over. Italian yacht SCIARA broke her mast, other yachts had torn mainsails. Maltese yacht AZIZA was knocked onto her side for several minutes until they managed to get the sails down. British yacht GYRATE was struck by lightening...........so there have been a few retirements and some boats had to go into Pantelleria to seek shelter and assess their damage.
There are still alot of boats that have not finished yet, but as results stand as I type they are like this:
1. Alegre (Mills 68)
2. Bella Donna (Vismara 46)
3. Moneypenny (STP65)
4. Strait Dealer (J125) - The first Maltese boat
I think I will go up to the channel to see if there are any boats passing thru and try and get some shots.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Their average speed was slower as they had to deal with massive waves and giant tankers in the busy shipping lanes, and needed to rest due to fatigue and high speed crashes. At times they were over 30 miles from the nearest land with waves the size or rows of terraced houses, blocking their view of each other and of their support boats. No one has ever windsurfed across this wide stretch of the Channel before in a storm.
They raised over £7000 for the Ellen MacArthur Trust which takes young people aged between 8-18 on sailing trips to help them regain their confidence, on their way to recovery from cancer, leukaemia and other serious illness. They had a hero's welcome at Sandbanks with BBC and ITV covering the story live. "This was the toughest day's windsurfing of my life. I've sailed in 30ft surf and 70 mph winds before, but nothing was as hard as this crossing. At the half way stage I left my kit and clambered on board the rescue boat exhausted. I was sea sick, cold, starving and had absolutely no energy left. I then had to jump back into the sea, 30 miles from England with only one way home. I had cramp everywhere but had to finish it for the charity. It was an amazing day!" Guy Cribb "This was much harder than I imagined. The waves and the chop were really dangerous. We could not of done this today with out the support of each other- when Guy was tired I pushed him on, when I was tired he was pushing me. It was perfect." Antoine Albeau
As Malta wakes up for another day of work ALEGRE and MONEYPENNY have just gone thru the Comino channel and heading for the finish line. Alegre looks set for line honours and a good chance of gaining the coveted overall first placing. MONEYPENNY is still hot on her heels......a full 600 miles of close chasing giving the crews no time for error the whole way round.
ROSEBUD is the only other boat to have rounded Lampedusa for the final leg home. The rest of the fleet are heading towards or passing by Pantelleria. Leading the main pack are RAN and RAPTURE. There have been a few retirements, one of them being STEINLAGER2, who has retired near Pantelleria, is on her way back to Malta.
STRAIT DEALER has done extremely well all the way thru keeping very close to the front of the fleet just behind the big boats. STRAIT DEALER is one of our local boats owned and skippered by David Franks. Amongst the crew are David Anastasi (a long time crew member on the boat) and young guns Jan Rossi and Benji Borg (both Laser sailors).
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A quick update from this morning. The latest I have seen on the tracker the leaders may have found just a fraction more wind the further south they have come. ALEGRE is still leading with MONEYPENNY hot on her heels as they approach Lampedusa - the last island to round before they head back home to Malta. ROSEBUD is approaching Pantelleria but the rest of the fleet are still far behind. The leaders of the main bunch are still on the western tip of Sicily and the fleet spreads right across the North of Sicily.
From what I have read it seems Moneypenny is leading on corrected time. I can foresee a repeat of a couple of years ago when some of the yachts retired since they could not make it back within the time limit and so they went into harbour in Pantelleria to have a good meal (and booze up no doubt!) since they were running out of food and water.
LAZY DUCK (seen in pic above) is owned and skippered by John Ripard JR. She is a Swan 47 and was built in 1978 - so quite an old boat. She has seen alot of mileage over the years all over the world. Most of John's crew are made up of family members who are all prominent sailors on the local scene.
On my update tomorrow I expect the first boats will have arrived back in harbour.
In sharp contrast to the dramatic race last year ( gale force winds , lovely "LOKI" having to be abandoned plus the majority of the fleet retiring to seek shelter in the harbours of Sicily) this year certainly is not going to break any records. Unless it becomes the slowest race on record!!
As I type the leading boat is ALEGRE with MONEYPENNY hot on her heels. They are approaching Pantelleria with the front runners of the rest of the fleet just rounding the western tip of Sicily towards the islands off Favignana. The leaders up there are ROSEBUD and RAN. STRAIT DEALER (a boat based in Malta) is doing well and quite far up front with some of the bigger boats. COMANCHE RAIDER also seems to be quite far ahead in the fleet. Otherwise the rest are pretty much in a bunch heading towards Palermo.
There should be some better breezes starting to come in tonight so hopefully the sailors will get some sailing in that is a bit more exciting than it has been so far.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Yesterday a preliminary race was held down the coast of Malta from Marsamxett harbour to Delimara Point. Wind was very light. A full report can be read on the Middle Sea Race site
MY FRIEND, JEREMY, IS CLEANING OUT HIS GARAGE AND HAS A COUPLE OF ITEMS HE WANTS TO SELL.
1. A WINDSURFING TRAILER . IT CAN HOLD 3-4 BOARDS AND HAS A SAILBOX ATTACHED.
2. FANATIC FISH (100L).
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED CONTACT ME THRU MY BLOG .
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Pic taken off Middle Sea Race website.
See the latest re the upcoming Rolex Middle Sea Race on http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/news/index.cfm?ID=145&f