Sunday, July 27, 2008

PWA Fuerte

Well right now there is a real battle going on within both men and womens freestyle in Fuerte. Wish I was there to watch it all. It must be so exciting.
The above pic is taken off the PWA site ( and is of Ricardo Campello landing an air chacho. How about that for mast and sail stress??

Friday, July 25, 2008

What has a Maltese Windsurfer got to do with the latest Prostate Cancer breakthrough?

This is a pic of Gert Attard (Gerhardt full name). Gert is a fanatical Maltese windsurfer who is now working in the UK at the Institute of Cancer research in Sutton, Surrey. Gert was one the doctors in the limelight this week when the news was full of the new prostate cancer breakthrough. It seems that Gert has been in the forefront of this research. If you would like to read what this is all about go onto this link

Gert yesterday assured me he does get some work done inbetween his windsurfing sessions!
Prosit man!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is for you Horsey

So this is for you Horsey.
Don't have a big choice of photos - need to get some good ones.
The boat is called a Drascombe Coaster Longboat (I think that is the particular model - there are quite alot of different models). It is a traditional type sailing boat with tan sails (which I love).
We bought the boat second (or third or fourth??) hand. Must be around 35 years old. Stripped it right down to the hull and did a big refurb job on it. Well my husband did all the work - though I did strip and redo all the spars and alot of woodwork jobs on it too. The hull was resprayed and new gunwhales were put on (probably the hardest job of all). It is a gaff rig and has a small mizzen and also a jib. My husband put on a bowsprit and made a cruising chute (you can see a pic of the chute in an earlier blog entry last week). It has a slot at the back designed for an ouboard engine. We have a Mariner 9.9HP engine on ours. The rudder and centreboard are solid steel. The boat itself is very light. The spars are all wooden. You can sail with a boom or without. We tend not to use the boom - basically less hassle and do not really feel the need for it. Our model has a little cabin which is really useful for storing fishing gear, cushions, ladder etc.
She is great fun to sail in a force 3 -4. Surprisingly sails pretty close to the wind and ofcourse very seaworthy. Have had some good sailing days on her in quite strong wind and very choppy sea and she performed admirably.
As a fishing boat she is also excellent as she is low in the water and very manoueverable, so retrieving fish is not a difficult task. (That is when we catch fish ofcourse!)
For more detailed info you can go onto this site

Nice Hour

Enjoyed a good hour of windsurfing late yesterday afternoon. Was on my wave board and 5m Tushingham Rock - yep that sail rocks all right. So comfortable. All the guys were on 5m's and so was I! Am usually half a sq m under the men but I just tightened it up well and was very very comfortable. Strapped on the camera to front end of the boom and did alot of experimenting while sailing hoping to get it at a good angle. Came home and stuck card into the comp - result - empty card! I figured out that I must have deleted my footage when I switched on one time thinking I was pressing the video mode! Hmmm................OK won't even mention the comments I got from family members about that!! Such as my hair colour is quickly turning a lighter shade of blonde!! OK enough said about that before I shrivel up with embaressment. All I can say is I keep my family pleasantly amused!!

The most important thing out of all this is I had LOADS of fun.......especially as I was convinced I was getting some really good footage............end of subject - enough said..............aaaagggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wind wind glorious wind!

We finally had some wind yesterday blowing from the NW. There were alot of guys down at Ghallis and most were using 5m and 5.2's - I was on a 4.7m . There were some lully patches but on the whole pretty constant and great to be out on the water again. The swell was nice and quite big outside. I used my Fanatic 74l wave board.

John strapped the little camera onto his wrist and took loads of video. The quality of the picture is very good but the angle was bad. Also from the wrist you cannot see the board at all so it is just sea and sky most of the time until you gybe then you get the back of the sail. You have to look at it practically sideways! So by trial and error we have to figure out the best place to strap this little contraption. John wants to strap it to the mast but I think it is a risky place to strap it just above the boom cos in a wipe out can smash the board, mast and camera all in one. I am going down shortly to grab a quick sail cos the wind is looking good again, so I think I will try strapping it to my shin and see what that produces. There is a kit I can purchase that attaches to a helmet, but first would like to try it out in different ways. I could also try the front end of the boom - especially my boom cos the front goes quite wide.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day out on Boat At Last

We had a nice, long due, time out on the boat yesterday. A bit roly as the sea seemed to be choppy wherever we went, but we finally found a nice little secluded spot (the joy of having a smaller craft) which was not as bumpy as everywhere else. We tried to catch some wind on the way back and just put up the cruising chute and managed to sail slowly back down the Comino channel before having to take it down and resort to motoring again.

Cats and Their Choice of Sleeping Places

Cats are well known for their choice of sleeping places. Cic, our cat, is no different. Besides the bath, basin etc in search of cool spots away from the heat, he chose the fruit bowl this morning. The other day he probably thought that by claiming the wakeboard he would get the cooler feeling of gliding across the sea in search of a cool breeze!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Brief Overview of my Trip

Looking upriver on the Nolichuky

The Smoky Mountains

Speaks for itself!

There is nothing more boring than reading about someone's personal summer holiday - so will spare all the details and just put some stuff in note form! I have made out a route map which can be accessed on this link .
In total 3,700 miles was the mileage clocked from my arrival to my leaving at Detroit airport.

1. Arrived and day spent fishing (caught some nice Bass) and relaxing on the lake at my cousins house.

2. 12 hour drive down towards Asheville in North Carolina.

3. Day touring Biltmore Estate.

4. White Water rafting down the Nolichuky river (great fun!) then a 5 hour drive to Charleston, South Carolina.

5. Few days in Charleston sight seeing and also went crabbing which was great fun - especially eating it for supper!

6. 17 hour drive back up to Battle Creek, Michigan..................uuuuh! That was a marathon!

7. No time to rest and following day 8/9 hour drive up to Rice Lake in Wisconisn.

8. Few days there and went tubing down a river and saw 3 or 4 Bald Eagles close up which was a great experience.

9. Drove back................the long way! Via North of Lake Michigan to cross the Macanaw Bridge and then down to Battle Creek.

10 Last day on lake at the house and went fishing again - some time to relax at last!

And that was my trip! Appalchian mountains were very picturesque with some lovely views. Had lots of great laughs and a few stories to tell.

Plan to produce a slide show of some of my more interesting shots. All taken with the ProHero Action digital camera. Basic photos but great when you are in or on the water. Very happy I bought it, but need to get used to using the video part. So looking forward to experimenting when we get some wind.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back Home

Well back home from my US holiday and in total we covered almost 4,000 miles! I passed thru 10 different states and don't want to see a Highway type road for a very long time!!
I arrived back Saturday and have not been able to sleep at all, but finally last night I managed out on the sofa. Feeling a bit more normal today but the boiling hot weather does not make it any easier. It was a fun time just being with my cousin and meeting other members of my family, some of whom I met for the first time. I will not complain ever again about having to drive for half an hour to get somewhere here in Malta...................try driving for 17 hours straight to get back home!

Now I am back I will hopefully get sorted within the next week and renew my avid blogging. There is quite a lot to get down besides all the interesting stuff that has been going on at the various PWA events - it seems like Pozo kept up its reputation as one of the windiest spots on the planet. Doubles seem to be an everyday thing have to look for the triples to be cool!!

OK need to catch up with my email box.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Great Video from Lanzarote PWA

Go onto Yoli's site for some really great action from the PWA event in Lanzarote.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

In Wisconsin now!

Wow.......I have really done some mileage in this country of stars and stripes! Getting quite close to the 2000 mile mark!
I am now in Wisconsin - was in South Carolina a couple of days ago. What have I done, well lots.......swimming in the Atlantic off the Isle of Palms, crabbing, eating (!), ddrriiivviiinnggg! Swimming in the lake, rafting ofcourse, site seeing plantations, 100 year old trees etc etc.
I now have to rush cos it seems we are going ''tubing'' down some river shortly.
Sorry no pics but not very organised having to jump from computer to computer when I grab it! When I get home will have a full report out with photo slide shows etc.
OK I have to go.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Great Day Rafting the Nolichuky

Well it certainly was a full day yesterday! We did some white water rafting on the Nolichuky in North Carolina and Tennessee. It was quite long starting around 10 and ending around 4, but 6 hours full of fun, adventure and stunning scenery. Our guide, Tim, made it all the more pleasant for us by giving us little snippets of local knowledge and history - he also saved me from 'drowning' but that's another story-ha ha!

My only disappointment was that we didn't see a bear. Apparently they saw 2 tiny bear cubs the other day but there was no sign of the mother. The water was quite low so the rapids were not wild wild (The Dominican Rep was wilder) but still wild enough for me to be tossed into the water 3 times!! It was a laugh all the way down (and perhaps even funnier when I decided to do the last small section on a 'duck' (inflatable kayak thingy). I actually wish I had taken a duck further upstream - very challenging and good fun.

The guides are all ofcourse excellent and know exactly what they are doing. Tim was superb and it was amazing to find that he was in Malta for 2 weeks Jan before last. Happy to hear he loved it too! We went with USA Raft which proved to be an excellent outfit. I will be writing a review about them on Tripadvisor.

We had another great overnight experience on our second night. We found this camping/hostelry/cabin place to stay. It caters for rafters and mostly heavy duty hikers going onto the Appalchian Trail. The owner 'John' was priceless with his slow southern drawl and ssllooowww way of doing things, but we got a fantastic cabin (as I said in a previous entry) and it really got us into the mountain atmosphere. It certainly is a world of its own up there!
The mountains are simply stunning and the birdlife is amazing with birds of prey circling overhead everywhere. Even driving on the interstate is a pleasant experience cos the scenery is so lovely.

I have also been sharing with some of the driving. First time driving an automatic, but as easy as it is still don't quite feel I am driving without a gear stick!

Now we are down in Charleston,SC (drove down for 5 hours after the rafting!) and today plan to buy loads of fresh shrimp and have a feast...............yummy! Jane has gone back to sleep so till she decides to wake up I will dive into my book.......................and I also have my cousin's two cats to entertain me. Would you believe they sit, give you their paw, beg and fetch!! I will have to try and train Cic when I get back home!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to put on some of the rafting pics.


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