Canoeing, Sailing & Yachting in Malta
A sport that is becoming ever more popular is open water kayaking, and it is one of the best ways for young and old alike to experience the natural beauty of Malta's coast.
Tours take in some of the most beautiful scenery in Malta and Comino and include snorkelling stops as well. One may also hire canoes and kayaks.
There are a number of spots offering kayaking and conoeing in Malta and canoeing in Gozo.
Just one of these is Rugged Coast Adventures Adira Sailing Centre and Lido Marfa Road, Mellieha Bay Tel 21529251 Mobile 79926734 email: [email protected] www.seakayakmalta.com
Approaches: The islands are low-lying and not easy to identify from a distance. However, since there are no offshore hazards to navigation, a landfall is usually made on the higher ground at Madliena, if approaching from the north-east. Any vessel approaching from the south-west will have no difficulty by day, since the cliffs are conspicuous from a distance. Caution is required if arriving by night as there are no navigational lights along the south-western coast, and Filfla is unlit. Yachts entering territorial waters should hoist a 'Q' (yellow) flag and must make for Marsamxett Harbour. And if equipped with VHF, they are to call Valletta Port Control on Channel 12 to receive berthing instructions. A night entrance is difficult for the first time, particularly if a strong north-easterly (gregale) is blowing; this produces a heavy swell and considerable surge.
Formalities: Arrival (Malta). After proceeding to the visitors' berth, the yacht?s registration book together with passports - covering all crew members and passengers - must be presented to customs and immigration officials at the administration building (in Ta' Xbiex) for the necessary pratique. Yachting Centre officials will then allot a berth.
Yachts may only remain in midstream until the berthing master, who should be contacted at the Yachting Centre offices or on VHF channel 9, allocates a berth. Arrival (Gozo) ? From 1 June until 30 September yachts entering Maltese waters may clear customs at the Mgarr Marina. Arriving yachts should head for Pontoon F, where berthing assistants will indicate the location of the custom office. Final departure? Before final departure from the islands, a passenger/ crew list has to be completed on the appropriate form and presented to the customs officer. All passports are to be submitted to the immigration officer.
Berthing: Gozo Mgarr Marina (208 berths) - opposite the ferry terminal.
Malta Lazzaretto Quay (75 berths) - on the northern part of Lazzaretto Creek
Marina Msida (274 berths) - on the south-eastern side of Msida Creek
Portomaso (105 berths) - privately operated
Ta? Xbiex Quay (53 berths) - on the south-western part of Lazzaretto Quay
Vittoriosa Quay (200 berths) - in the Grand Harbour
Whitehall Quay (398 berths) - on the northern side of Msida Creek
Sliema Quay provides an additional 60 berths during the peak summer months.
Berthing charges: Up to date rates and fees can be downloaded from the Malta Maritime Authority's website at www.mma.gov.mt
Berthing master: The berthing master may be contacted on VHF channel 9 or by telephone, on number 21332800.
Bunkering: Duty free bunkers for yachts in transit are available.
Duty free supplies: Duty free goods may be bought after the appropriate forms are completed. Sealed goods are loaded on yachts under supervision and may not be used in territorial waters. Vessels arriving from or sailing to an EU port may not buy duty free goods.
Maritime authorities Malta Maritime Authority Maritime Trade Centre, Xatt l-Ghassara ta? l-Gheneb, Marsa MRS 1917 Tel 21222203 Fax 21250365 [email protected] www.mma.gov.mt
Yachting Centre Directorate Gozo Mgarr Harbour, Mgarr Tel 21558856/7 Fax 21562672 Malta
Ta' Xbiex Seafront, Ta' Xbiex XBX 1028 Tel 21332800 Fax 21332141 [email protected].
Radio frequencies: Valletta Port Control transmits on VHF channels 9 and 12 and listens on channel 16 on a 24-hour basis.
The Yachting Centre receives and transmits on marine channel 37, if this is not available then on international channels 8 or 9. Services: Ablutions? A shower/toilet facility, located next to the Yachting Centre, is open daily. Gas cylinders & Butane gas cylinders are available.
Mail: Mail is collected in bulk and held at the Yachting Centre until collected by addressees. Power and water - 120 and 240 volts AC, single phase, is supplied at a charge. Water is also supplied at a charge.
Telephone: There is a connection fee of 35 euro. And a meter charge of 11.65 euro per quarter. A refundable deposit of 233 euro is levied.
Weather forecast: Valletta Port Control transmits the weather forecast daily on VHF Channel 12. In summer transmissions are at 09:03, 13:03, 19:03 and 00:03 (all times local). In winter transmissions are at 08:03, 12:03 18:03 and 23:03 (all times local). Malta Radio, Channel 4, transmits forecasts one hour before Valletta Port Control. The forecast is also available on an answering machine, dial 50043848. Three day forecasts for mariners are available online at www.maltairport. com/weather and at www. gozowe.accountsupport.com/marin e.shtml.
Article provided by Island Travel Yearbook www.travelmalta.com
*info correct at the time of publishing