Gale Force Winds Hit Malta

Below is what I am calling 'Photo of the Day' The way Tommy fell on the gybe was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. It was kind of slow motion and was like his head got stuck in the sail. A bit difficult to describe but we were rolling about. Thanks Tom for the laugh!

Yesterday Malta experienced gale force Westerly winds averaging a force 9. We also had quite a volume of rain too. Quite a lot of damage was done with fallen trees, flying water tank lids, fallen electricity poles etc.  Flights were also delayed or diverted. You can read about it on this LINK for The Times of Malta newspaper.

Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, John and I decided to load up the car and drive to Ghallis to see if it was sailable there. Driving there was slow progress because the rain was so thick that visibility was bad and roads had quite alot of water running through them. The wind direction in Ghallis was not good, but even if it had been conditions would have been far too dangerous there to go out. So we drove back up to Mellieha where we met a few other fellow windsurfers.

Being so windy the air temperature was pretty cold - we probably are feeling the cold more since our winter has been pretty non-existent so far. We have had quite a few gale force winds the past few years but I don't think I have seen it this windy for a couple of years. A notch more than previous gales I think. The lads rigged their 4m and went down to experience what it was like to be really overpowered and thrown about like a rag doll! Waaay too windy for me - I would have needed something like a 3m sail which definitely does not form part of our quiver!

One of the many wipeouts - some were quite spectacular

Keith was on the water for quite a while

John: chop jumps were quite high

Tommy chop jumping

Bernard - had a few catapults!

The photos are a bit deceiving - The wind strength always looks so much less on a photograph.
As I write this the wind has turned North Westerly and the wind is still strong. We shall be checking Ghallis shortly - am hoping there isn't too much of a shore break so I will be able to windsurf there. Really want to get in the water now!