Maltese Interlude: Rest, Relaxation, and a Stormy Decision

Our arrival in Malta marked a welcome respite after our challenging journey from Athens. For eight glorious days, we reveled in the tranquility of a well-deserved break from the sea. Initially, we secured a spot in the Royal Yacht Marina,a charming haven just outside Valletta. However, the floating dock, designed for smaller vessels, proved a bit too delicate for our Lagoon 450. As waves grew larger, the marina kindly requested we relocate to avoid any potential damage.

Fortunately, the weather forecast offered a timely warning – a storm was brewing on the horizon. Guided by this information, we sought refuge in the Marina di Valletta. This larger marina, near empty upon our arrival, was a perfect fit. Solid docks and a more sheltered location from incoming waves offered the ideal protection we needed. Here, we would wait for the storm to pass, ready to continue our journey when the seas calmed once more.

We spent the next six nights at the Marina di Valletta, using this time to explore the captivating city of Valletta. Steeped in history, Valletta offered a treasure trove of sights to behold. We wandered the narrow streets of the fortified city,marveling at the grand architecture. Here are some of the highlights that captured our attention:

  • St. John’s Co-Cathedral: This magnificent cathedral, adorned with opulent decorations and Caravaggio masterpieces, left us awestruck.
  • Upper Barrakka Gardens: Offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Grand Harbor, these gardens provided a delightful respite amidst the city bustle.
  • Grandmaster’s Palace: A captivating display of Maltese history, the Grandmaster’s Palace offered a glimpse into the lives of Malta’s former rulers.
  • Valletta Waterfront: Bustling with activity, the Valletta Waterfront provided a vibrant atmosphere lined with shops and restaurants.

While exploring the city, we also encountered a crew from a Lagoon 560 chartered out of Croatia. Their experiences with their boat, though interesting, didn’t directly apply to ours. They shared stories of concerning quality issues with their Lagoon after less than a year of charter use, including leaking windows and delamination. They attributed these problems to the high demand and resulting emphasis on speedy Lagoon production, potentially compromising on finish quality. Their tales did spark a moment of doubt – were we perhaps a bit reckless undertaking this voyage on a Lagoon?

Malta itself proved to be a land steeped in history, brimming with sights waiting to be explored. Unfortunately, the weather during our stay wasn’t entirely cooperative. Most mornings dawned with rain, although the afternoons often offered glimpses of sunshine. Ten days, I realized, would hardly be enough to fully experience the island’s rich tapestry.

The final two days brought a welcome change. Perfect weather conditions seemed to beckon us onwards. Despite warnings from the marina staff about an impending “huge storm” and a suggested four-day delay, we decided to set sail.Leaving Valletta behind, we charted a course for our next destination…

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