We left the capital of Valetta, and explored the other islands of Malta: Gozo, and Comino. Comino is barren excecpt for one resort on the East side. We anchored on the West side in a huge tourist and local attraction called Blue Lagoon. It is an amazing picturesque spot with lots of little islands and LOTS of caves to explore. We took the dinghy and found some pretty amazing spots. There are caves we drove the dinghy through and had to duck to get all the way thorough to the other side. Some ended several hundred yards in a dark cave with a sandy beach. This is the spot where a lot of pirates over the centuries hid out in and it literally looked like a movie set for Pirates of the Caribbean. They were able to hide in and around all the small islands and it was easy to see why it was strategic. We heard that the Knights of Malta, while they were in control of this region was actually issuing pirate licenses to anyone who wanted to help steal from the Moors and Turks, and of course pay tax, and have the protection of Malta......let me see.....the governing authorities issuing permission to pillage and plunder, gain the tax, and everyone gets rich (sounds like the banking industry in the US....sorry) We all fantasized that maybe we would stumble on some leftover treasure, and after plenty of looking, didn't find the proverbial pot of gold.
It was really fun snorkeling in the caves and the color of the water swimming back out toward the light leaving the caves was unbelievable. It was the deepest blue and turquoise you can imagine, and teeming with fish trying to get out of your way. It was a pretty magical few days there and we spent a lot of time in the water, and as you can imagine, slept very well in the dark calm bays at night.
Now we're back in Valetta, and preparing to check out with the autorities tomorrow, and after checking weather, looks like we might make a run back North to Sicily and up through the Messina Straight. After there, we will be stopping in the Aeolian islands of Vulcano, and Stromboli on our way towards Rome.