Off to Malta - just 1000 miles...

10th July 2010
 
Time to finally bid farewell to the Eastern Mediterranean and to start heading back towards Gibraltar.  With around 2000 miles of the Med to cover by the end of August, a long passage from Herzliya to Valetta in Malta seemed a good way to get some sea miles behind us.  The chart tells us it's approx 1030 nautical miles along the rhumb line - that would be about 10 days at sea, depending of course on conditions.The prevailing winds are from the North West, exactly the direction we want to go (no change there then!), so it could be a long beat to windward.
 
Having stocked up on all necessary supplies, we finally checked out of Herzliya, dropped the lines and were off.  Once outside the marina we hoisted sail and set them for best course to windward, which actually put us on course for Port Said! This was going to be an interesting journey.  We carry enough diesel to motor a maximum of 450 nautical miles, so no putting on the engine every time our speed dropped a bit, or motorsailing to get close on the wind.  We would very definitely be dependent on the wind.  After two months of pretending to be a motor vessel and using the engine nearly all the time, it felt good to feel the wind in the sails and to hear the gurgling as the hull cut its way through the water.
 
Malta here we come...