Monday, February 28, 2011

MALTA - Forefront of World News

Malta has really hit the news headlines - and history repeats itself once again.

Due to Malta's strategic position bang in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it has played an important part all the way through history. It has been invaded over the centuries by the Arabs, Phoenicians, at one point was part of the Roman Empire , fell into French hands for a short amount of time with Napoleon stealing many treasures which now lie buried at the bottom of the sea somewhere outside Alexandria. Then the British were the last to colonise the island before it finally gained its independence.

...........and now we have made news headlines by playing an important role in the evacuation of various nationalities from Libya.

I have noticed, through reading some comments on Tripadvisor, that there has been some concern about the safety of travelling to Malta right now. It is totally safe! The airport is, ofcourse, much busier with alot more people passing through the airport (as is the harbour), also the presence of news reporters there. Certain hotels in the St. Julians/Sliema area are also alot busier for this time of year - otherwise, unless you are looking at the television, life is totally normal. I have heard the distinct deep hum of the Hercules planes flying over, but that's about it!

I  just hope that peace will soon prevail in Libya - the people there have suffered so much over the years and it seems that there are some awful things going on right now. Such a shame because I have heard that it is a beautiful country with so much to offer with a rich culture, history, beautiful unspoilt beaches. BUT having said that it would be very sad to see all that spoilt due to a sudden uncontrolled form of tourism!

Right now we sit and watch as history unfolds itself!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Updated: Libyan fighter jets arrive in Malta

Malta is making news again. This time with the Mirage fighter pilots seeking asylum here after they were ordered to target protesting crowds!

Updated: Libyan fighter jets arrive in Malta

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thomas Safely Back Home

Above: Thomas Cremona   Photo: Bunty

Yesterday afternoon Thomas Cremona arrived back on home soil at MIA to be greeted by an ecstatic gathering of family and friends all very proud of his record breaking achievement across the Atlantic.

I felt very honoured to be part of the social gathering for family and friends last night at Surfside where Tom gave a very interesting account and presentation of the whole expedition. Tom was in top form, looking very well (though perhaps a bit thin!) and obviously extremely happy to be back home. He has done a very good promoting his cause of PUTTINU CARES and also proving there is definitely life after cancer.

You can read a more detailed report in The Sunday Times of Malta  which also gives a short video clip on his arrival in Malta yesterday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

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!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Time to Blog Again

My blogging has been a bit lax recently - a mixture of mainly nothing too interesting to blog about and busy with other jobs to be done.

First things first! The wind is with us at last and is coming in full force following the latest trend of either nothing or gale force. Have a look on WINDFINDER to see the forecast for today and the next few days. Looks like we are in for some thundery stormy weather too - well it is February and so far our winter has been practically non existent.

Now onto our Gozo Houses. It has been a busy time. Our annual maintenance is just about over in Dar Ghax-Xemx and we meet our first guests of the season next week. Hard to believe that we are already going into our 6th season since we started our rental business. Results have been excellent and the popularity of our little house in Victoria just keeps growing as do our list of repeat guests.

Our renovation project on San Pupulju is going exremely well too and we are still hoping to perhaps catch some of the summer season but cannot commit ourselves as yet. Below you can see some of the progress of the work on the house. All praise must go to our great team of workers who have kept going and not let us down in any far!  Once the house is ready and the interiors are all in place - and hopefully all my ideas have come together the way I want them too (!) the house should look quite stunning. The aim is for our guests to walk into the house, experience a bit of a wow factor and feel totally relaxed and at home. I just hope I will manage to achieve that effect.

 The new floor in the double bedroom. We have also opened up a doorway onto a pretty balcony overlooking the courtyard and pool from this bedroom - a great countryside view too.

 The upstairs landing has a new floor and also new beams put in with a partial new roof too - major major job here!
Construction is going on at the moment on the main entrance and external stairs.

As you can see we still have a long way to go! The above is just a fraction of the house - the house itself is pretty large and will be able to sleep 8 plus a couple more in roll aways if necessary. There are also 2 ensuite shower rooms, a large main bathroom and spare loo downstairs.  Shall get some more decent photos soon and once it is ready will put it up ''on show'' and give the link for full details on our website.

Windfinder - Wind & weather forecast map Italy South

Forecast for today and the weekend!

Windfinder - Wind & weather forecast map Italy South

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Sara G Breaks Atlantic Crossing Record

Today at 16:00:26 (UTC) Sara G trans Atlantic rowing team broke the world record. Right now not sure by how much the record has been broken but will update as soon as I do know. You can see the full tracking record across the Atlantic on this LINK
Well done to the whole team who gave it their best the whole way thru whatever the conditions and whatever their emotions were like dealing with seasickness and everything else that goes with rowing across a vast ocean for a month!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Beautiful Maltese Weather

What better than sitting out on a warm terrace in February having breakfast on a Sunday morning looking out onto our view.

...................with Cic lapping up the sunshine too!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Sara G Approaching Barbados

Thomas during his record breaking rowing marathon

Thomas Cremona, who forms part of the Sara G team rowing across the Atlantic, has been given an award in recognition of the record he had set on a Concept2 rowing machine a few weeks ago. This was awarded to him by the Kunsill Malti ghall-Isport.

Meanwhile, whilst this presentation was going on, Thomas himself was three quarters across the Atlantic giving it his all to break the record with his fellow team members.

You can read his latest bit of news on this LINK.

They will reach the shores of Barbados, hopefully, very early this coming week - let us hope the currents and wind will be favourable.



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