This is a catch-up post.  It’s out of order chronologically. 


On July 27 we leave Sicily for Malta.  We have to use the motor for most of the way.  We have no problems other than Avner feeling a little unwell.  We arrive in Mgarr harbor (don’t ask me how to pronounce it) on the small island of Gozo.  Malta consists of three main islands with some smaller ones around them.  Gozo is the second largest in terms of size and population.  


There’s not much space in the harbor, so we decide to wedge into an angled spot on the end of one of the piers.  There is already a boat sticking out from the very end of the pier, so we’re trying to fit in the right angle between him and the last boat facing off the long side of the pier.  The captain of the boat on the end protests that there isn’t enough room.  We’ve had experience with this sort of docking before in Aigina, so we just show him how it’s done.  The guy is petulant about it, but he does help tie us off.  To assuage his concerns we have Andrew stay behind to watch things as Avner and I go get some dinner for us all.  It turns out that the pizza there in Gozo is awesome.  The local beer, Cisk, is not so impressive.


On our way back to the boat Avner and I see horses being bathed in the water of the marina.  Humans, too.  It seems odd considering the amount f traffic going in and out of the place.  Ferries come and go every 45 minutes around the clock.  We struggle to comprehend how the Maltese can need to go back and forth between these small islands with such frequency.  Our best guess is that it is something like their national pastime.   


At the pier we meet a very nice German couple, Manfred and Kim, on their boat next to us.  They don’t care a whit about our docking job except that one of our lines is rubbing against an antenna on their stern.  Once we alleviate that problem, we get to talking.  I ask Manfred how long he’s been sailing and he says six years.  I’m sure there’s been some miscommunication, so I say, “No, on this trip, how long?”  I get the same answer.  It turns out that they are going around the world on Kim Kim and they’ve spent six years getting from Slovenia to Malta.  Kim Kim has a few meanings, Manfred explains to us, including “Come, Kim” in the Bavarian dialect.  It’s his invitation for his wife to join him on the circumnavigation.  Later, we tour each other’s boats and we can tell right away that they have everything set up for long-term living inside.  They plan on spending 6 to 10 more years to circle the world. 


Their boat is a Bavaria with a rare center cockpit configuration.  It’s extremely well-organized in true Teutonic fashiion.  In the aft cabin they have a flat screen with a hard drive containing over 600 movies.  There’s also a low-light cctv that looks into the cockpit so they can see each other if one is at the helm and the other in bed.  They actually have an engine room with a generator and watermaker in it.  


They bring a bottle of Slovenian wine with them when they come to visit our boat.  Tocayo, though we love her, seems somewhat underwhelming compared to their boat, although the difference in what each boat’s purpose and crew goes along to explaining that.