So the Burnetts are at anchor near Cagliari, Sardinia. They had to leave Malta despite having 7 saved locations on Google Maps of places they wanted to visit in Valletta. This time of year the weather in the Med is a bit erratic, and so they had to jump on the chance to have a smooth two-day passage to Sardinia. Which is what they had, thanks to PredictWind. Although there was motoring at the beginning and the end, in between there was that sweet, sweet 8-9 knots of boat speed with wind on the beam.
The Burnetts are at anchor because they do not want to pay 110 Euros a night to stay at the nearby Marina Piccola. So much for “off-season” rates! When at anchor, the Burnetts tend to focus on chores, like homeschool, laundry, and oil changes. And, at this anchorage, killing houseflies. I mean, there are a lot here! The nice part is that, in between the murdering of multiple Diptera (Mel had to do MANY bug collections in school), one finally has time to reflect on things.
Here’s a reflection: A Pan Pan went out on our passage (for non-boat-people, a Pan Pan is a medium-level Coast Guard alert that something has gone wrong on a boat.) A man went overboard at a location The Amazing Marvin had passed through just two hours prior. Mel snooped in on the conversation between the Coast Guard and the captain of the tanker the man fell from. The captain had no idea of the current or current direction at the time. Hmmm…that would have been important. So, Mel decided to start recording these things when she does her log at the start of her shift. Because doctors are trained to write EVERYTHING down. Unfortunately, the Pan Pan remained active for a second night. Not a good sign. Mel feels sad for the person who faced a lonely death at sea.
Here’s another: So Halloween didn’t happen for the Burnetts this year. THIS IS HUGE. We are talking about the family that throws massive Halloween parties and has a bigger space allocated in their storage unit for Halloween decorations than anything else. Instead, the Burnetts’ weekend was spent fighting swell in Malta, and Halloween itself was spent offshore eating tacos, just south of Sicily.
But we had plans before the weather messed with us. Allie was going to be Athena, Mel was going to be Artemis, Greg was going to be Hephaestus, and if Tommy had his way, he was going to be nothing. However, the family dubbed him Tweenus, God of Peripubertal Cynicism. His costume would consist of an Adventure Time T-shirt and eye rolling. It would have been AWESOME. I mean, the tragedy here is that Allie had designed our costumes using the software she learned how to use in a Youth Digital course:
But please do not shed tears for the Burnetts. We will have Halloween. If it’s a costume party in Grenada in February, WE WILL HAVE HALLOWEEN.
And another thought: The Burnetts weren’t that impressed with Malta, and FOR NO GOOD REASON. On paper, Malta had tons of cool sights: medieval towns, modern museums with decent English translations, WWII stuff, and beautiful harbors. It even had ancient ruins bigger and older than Stonehenge! Maybe it was that everywhere we turned, we met someone trying to rip us off. Like the car rental guy who only mentioned the OBLIGATORY 35 Euro fee for a half tank of gas while we were signing the contract. Or the Mgarr marina, which demanded we prepay their really high rate and then refused to refund us for the night we left because their docks were unsafe in the swell. But all of this behavior isn’t new to us. I think the problem is that, despite all of the countries one visits while cruising, you always tend to compare the country you are in to the last one. Unfortunately for Malta, our last country was Greece. The impression we got was that Greece was a land of honest, open, rugged night owls, most possessing a sense of aesthetics and customer service, with an American-like (and therefore contradictory) revulsion for graffiti, the police state, and trash in the streets. Malta wasn’t like this. So if you are keen, go to Malta. There’s lots of cool stuff there. Just don’t go right after you visit Greece.