{Travel Tales: Malta & Italy, Part Nine – A Day at Sea}

Tuesday was our big boat tour, the one we’d had planned for over a week and was really our only solidified plan for the week.  We had arranged it with the company the night we had dinner in Xlendi, and they agreed to pick us up a grocery store near Sarah’s grandmother’s house.  We had to be up bright and early to meet them by 9:30 to make the boat by 10 a.m.

The car picked us up as scheduled and we got to the boat in Mgarr with no issues.  Our first stop was the Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino, something I had been looking forward to seeing ever since the light blue water was pointed out to me in the distance from the balcony of the apartment.  It did not disappoint.

It was gorgeous.

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We did hit a little snafu with a misunderstanding here.  The boat made an announcement that you could get off or stay on the boat.  We didn’t realize that the boat would be moving to the middle of the lagoon after letting us out, and we thought we could get off the boat for a little while and then get back on.  So you can imagine our surprise when the boat took off without us on it.  We knew it would come back for us, so we weren’t worried as we were given a time to meet back, but it was a little disappointing to not get to swim off of the boat at this point.

However, there was nothing too shabby about hanging out at the lagoon for an hour and a half.  We rented some chairs and took turns going swimming (someone had to stay with our belongings).  I loved swimming in the lagoon.  It was crystal clear and beautifully blue, and the water wasn’t too cold; it was perfectly refreshing.  Once you commit to submerging yourself in the water, it is perfectly comfortable and I wish that I could stay in it all day without worrying about my skin.

When Sarah took her turn in the water, I read my book for a little while but mostly just enjoyed the scenery of the lagoon.  My only regret for this lagoon time is that we didn’t get a fancy drink in a pineapple as we were waiting for the boat to return.

The boat came back as scheduled and we moved on to the crystal lagoon.  Here they set up a buffet of sandwiches, veggies and fruit for us to enjoy during this stop.  The blue lagoon’s water was a clear blue, while the crystal lagoon’s was more of a pretty, greenish tint.  We stayed there for quite some time, and we got to swim off of the back of the boat.  Having never actually just jumped off the back of a boat before, I couldn’t wait to give it a try but was slightly reluctant after seeing all the fish that were swimming around near the back of the boat.  I’m not afraid of fish, I just don’t want them to touch me.  I decided to just deal and hopped into the water.  I can’t believe how much I love swimming, something I always seem to forget when I haven’t been in a long time.

Still trying to make sure I kept my skin protected, I spent a short time in the water and then got into the shade of the boat, where I read for a while before we headed back out onto the water.

The last part of the morning was spent riding around Comino seeing the sights.  Among the things we passed were elephant rock and a number of amazing looking resorts.  Before we knew it, the morning part of the boat ride was done and we returned to Mgarr Harbor to drop off the morning people and pick up the afternoon people.  We were not the only ones staying for both portions; a few other groups remained on the boat as well.

The afternoon group was much larger than the morning group, and full of people who couldn’t seem to sit still.  They came up and down the ladder to the second level multiple times, and stood up and moved around the boat much more than the morning group had.  Instead of Comino, this boat trip was around Gozo, and we got to see many of the boys and villages from a different perspective.

During the afternoon, we saw the high cliffs along the coast of Gozo, and visited the opposite end of the boys, looking at them from the water.  There were fewer stops in the afternoon, which made the ride seem much longer than the morning.  It took longer to get from place to place, and it started to get a little boring.

I did, however, continue to love the parts when we were swimming.  We stopped three times to swim.  At the first one, we just sat and enjoyed the water, because we had such a limited time, but at Ramla Bay we both went into the water.  The water there was choppy but it was still enjoyable to swim and get some movement in after sitting for so long on the boat.

We were both surprised at the end of the trip when the boat went back to the lagoon.  I was actually really happy about this because I got my chance to swim in the center of the lagoon that I had missed out on that morning.  I took every opportunity to get back into the water I had loved that morning.  It was late enough in the day that the sun wasn’t very strong, and I didn’t have to worry about the sunburn factor and I was able to fully enjoy the experience.

I love swimming off the back of boats.  It was so cool to just anchor the boat and climb off the back of it and into the water.  It also negated the whole walking into the water slowly to get used to the water thing.  You had to commit to the water right away which made the adjustment faster.  These moments were my favorites of the day, and had a similar quality and feeling to the fireworks at the wedding moment or the Iceland school bus moment.

We returned to the harbor in Mgarr and were dropped off at the grocery store so we could walk back to the house.  A day of sun and swimming wore us out, and after showers, a light dinner and a quick visit to Sarah’s other grandmother’s house, we turned in for the night, ready for our last two days on the island.

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