Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tislijiet Mill Malta (Greetings From Malta)

I am in Malta for the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, a 606 nautical mile race around Sicily beginning and ending in Valletta, Malta. I'm not a participant but my son is, crewing aboard a Benateau 40.7 named Lady Ruth.

We arrived Thursday evening after flying United from Chicago to Brussels, then Air Malta into Malta. The United flight had some problems leaving Chicago and didn't take off for 3 hours after its scheduled departure. Unfortunately we boarded on time and had to sit in the plane during the entire delay. On the bright side, I had a long layover between flights in Brussels, so the fact that we arrived 3 hours late shortened that a little bit. The flights themselves were comfortable enough. We had bulkhead seats with lots of legroom and no 3rd seat in the row on United so it felt very roomy.

We arrived at our hotel in Valletta around 11 pm and headed to the lobby bar to relax with a drink after getting settled in our room. A text from Danny said that they were at a pre-race party at the Royal Malta Yacht Club, and invited us to join them. We caught a water taxi across the harbor and joined the party. It was after 2 am when we returned to the hotel and we were exhausted from the long day of travel.

Friday began with a buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room. After Danny left to join the crew for sailing practice, we went for a foot tour of Valletta and also to look for a spot to view the start of the race on Saturday. Friday night we were invited to join the crew of Lady Ruth for dinner at a restaurant near the Yacht Club. It was after 10 pm when we got back to the hotel.

Saturday (today) we got up early to join Danny for a 6:30 am breakfast before he had to leave for dock call and the start of the race. We stayed at the hotel until we watched the Lady Ruth pass by on her way to the race then took a taxi to the lower Barrakka Gardens which we had selected as a good viewpoint for the race start. Unfortunately the Garden had been reserved for an invitation only event so we moved instead to our second choice at the Siege Bell War Memorial. We had an excellent view from there but had to do without the Garden's amenities of shade and bathrooms. Danny's section started the race at 11:10 am and we got good pictures as they went by. We walked the 1.5 miles back to the hotel.

That brings things up to date. I hope to post an update in a day or two. Pictures are here.


Mary said...

Sounds exciting. I will try towatch the race on the computer. I am doing great. MOM

Mary said...
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