The Wet Way Update - Malta to Gibraltar

As you've all probably noticed, it’s been a while since our last website update. You could say we’ve been slack, but to be honest, we've been anything but. Since you last heard from us, we've sailed 2500 nautical miles, climbed volcanoes, surfed amazing waves and met some all-time people.

Over 2 months ago, Starlight set sail from the safety of Palumbo Shipyard. As the social media followers are probably aware, we ran smack bang into a winter storm off the south coast of Sicily on our very first night at sea. That night we ripped 2 sails, one of which we had repaired and the other was shredded to bits. We also had a rogue wave come over the roof and through the nav table window which fried our nav computer. You could say we were unlucky and got caught out, however, thats not the way I see it. Copping a good old fashion flogging on the very first night was exactly what we needed. Strange you say? Well to put it simply, it gave us confidence in the ship. Starlight handled really well in the nasty short period swell and once we hit the protection of the south coast of Sicily, we dried out our wet gear along with the wheelhouse, got the spare sails out and continued towards Gibraltar. Check some of the footage of that night on our Instagram page @thewetwayhome.

 

Starlight under heavy guard from the Royal Navy in Palumbo Shipyard

Starlight under heavy guard from the Royal Navy in Palumbo Shipyard

On approach to the south coast of Sardinia, we had a phone call on the satellite phone from Charlie warning us of more weather inbound from a storm in the Bay of Marseille, only a few hundred miles from our position. So naturally, we took his word for it and took shelter for Christmas day on the south side of Sardinia. We pulled the Turkey out of the freezer, put on a extra large pot of mulled wine and had a Christmas lunch at anchor in 50kts of wind.

The Starlight Family, Arabella and the Kirkby's

The Starlight Family, Arabella and the Kirkby's

New Years Eve was in Benalmedina, a small port not far from Gibraltar and a sleepy little town until we arrived. Once again, we stopped in here to let a weather front pass as well as do a few running repairs and pick up some new crew. Toothy joined us here as did Sam and Amanda for the new years festivities. They carried with them Starlight’s new flag which was to sit atop the ships top mast simply to add a bit of street cred to the look of the ship. We hoisted it on New Years Day. The party went for a couple of days and then we got back to business and prepared for the next leg south to the Canary Islands. 

 

The 3rd of January was the day Starlight officially returned to the Atlantic Ocean, her home for many years. After stopping in Gibraltar and topping the tanks up with duty free diesel, Starlight joined the busy shipping lanes of the Gibraltar straights on an outgoing tide and was met with a pleasant 2-3m, long period swell. We had officially left the Mediterranean Sea as well as the terms and conditions outlined in our insurance policy. 

 

Topping up the diesel tanks with half price fuel in Gibraltar.   

Topping up the diesel tanks with half price fuel in Gibraltar.   

Turns out, the straights of Gibraltar are full of tuna. With the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean currents mingling, coupled with the wild tidal streams, Starlight and her crew landed 50kgs of tuna in the space of 1hr. The aft deck was a blood bath and Starlight’s head of fishing (Brio) hit max froth. We chucked a few fillets straight on the new Magma BBQ and ate until we were ‘tuna drunk’. We couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome to the Atlantic Ocean. A freezer full of tuna, light winds and smooth seas. Now the adventure had truly begun, from a Sea to an Ocean. 

 

The lads on a big haul of Tuna after the Gibraltar straights

The lads on a big haul of Tuna after the Gibraltar straights

The trip from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands was always a concern for us. We had to time it perfectly to avoid these rogue winter swells that you so often see smashing the coast of Portugal and Morocco. As it turns out, we timed it perfectly and the trip south was relatively uneventful. With hardly had any wind, we had to run the engine the whole way. Not to worry, though, the crew was so excited to get there that burning a bit of diesel didn't bother any of us. 

 

Confessions From 233 Diesel Street

Forgive me Father for it has been a long time since my last confession…

A Hard earned thirst calls for a big cold Beer. 

A Hard earned thirst calls for a big cold Beer. 

 

Initially I believed it was a slow news week when The Wet Way Home graced the silver screens of Malta’s National News station TVM taking up a solid 3 min slot, but it wasn’t entirely the case. 

Shortly after there was a follow up interview broadcasted live on the Maltase equivalent of Kerri Anne Kennelly’s Midday Show by Mrs Antonella the self proclaimed bad girl of Maltese television. Talk about taking Malta by storm! Well a salty sailing storm in a cup of Earl Grey.

Its not like The Wet Way Home’s being hounded by paparazzi but I do find myself singing Brose’s hit song from the eighties “When will I, will I, be famous”. I even pretend to be the choir answering myself with the chorus…. “I can’t answer, I can’t answer that”! 

Unwanted fame will surely come the day the Sun Riders are discovered and get rave reviews, being equated to boy bands such as The Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Monkeys. I look forward to the day the Sun Riders cruise into LAs MTV Studio drop there underpowered 1970 moto’s at the building entrance and get down and dirty for an unplugged recording. 

Everyone has been saying “Its Happening” as in The Wet Way Home is happening but it’s been happening for so long now that “Its Happening” sounds a lot more like a sad idea of hype, like Johnnie Farnham’s Final Tour… the seventh one. Is it ever really going to happen?

Johnny Farnham on his 7th Final Tour. 

Johnny Farnham on his 7th Final Tour. 

Its defiantly going to happen, I have been watching pipe masters with Dylan allowing myself to dream of uncrowded waves in some exotic location eating fresh fish and lobster cooking on the Barbie anchored just outside the breakers. Any day now the planets will align and it will happen but no time for dreaming I got to get on up and do my thing.

The only thing stopping us now is “Frankenstein” the brain of Starlight’s navigation equipment. Frankenstein is the unholy creation of Nicky’s mad Maltese genius that surgically created the beast by cutting and joining various pieces of many computer bodies to fit a small computer carcase that Mick found on the side of the road somewhere. 

Complete with a pink mouse and keyboard all that’s required to bring Frankenstein to life is a bolt of lighting from the 50-year storm. 

The only fish that’s being eaten lately was one that spoke to Mrs Antonella on TVM informing her that the Starlight’s crew was crazy. The famous fish was splashed with some Caribbean butter and days later and thrown on the Barbie for all to try. 

A massive thanks to the boys at Rapala who provided the Wet Way Home enough quality fishing gear to cover the decks of Starlight with Cod and Haddock. Kew instructed me to fabricate a death spike to take care of big fish, it ended up looking like something that would be found in Chopper Reads back shed and that reminds me of Charlie Kirkby’s eerie resemblance of Carl Williams, what a worry.

Max Froth. 

Max Froth. 

Jodi suspects that there is a rodent on board trying to steel the goji berries. Who ever spots it first has the rights to name it. I’m thinking Rooster would be a good name…you know Rooster the rat…but you never know it could be a mouse. 

Brio