Traditional Maltese Boats (and Kannoli)

A boat owner paints his luzzu with pride (and a little music from the earbuds) at the traditional fishing harbor of Marsaxlokk in Malta. © Jeffrey Cardenas

Maltese fishermen come from a long line of seafarers. I watch them moving about in the early morning of Msida Harbour, readying their traditional boats for another day on the water. Brightly painted luzzus and handcrafted rowing dories are loaded with nets and provisions. I am preparing for another day on the water, too. I will leave in a few hours on a 320-mile passage from Malta to Sardinia. I have a long to-do list this morning in Msida, but my attention is diverted by the scent of fresh-from-the-oven Maltese kannoli coming from the Busy Bee Bakery. Hmmm, I think as I turn toward the bakery. A sailor can’t go to sea without proper provisions…

The images of Malta’s traditional boats (not to mention the island’s kannoli) created memories I will carry on departure from this unique island. I arrived in Malta at a difficult time. The island was still in pandemic lockdown. Bars, restaurants, churches (even bakeries!) were closed indefinitely. Life was at a standstill, except at the waterfront. Each day, the sea came alive with fishermen in their traditional multicolored boats. Not even the worst virus in a century could stop the Maltese from going to sea.

It is interesting which images of a place etch into the grey matter and which fade away. I will sail from Malta with a little bit melancholy–there is never enough time–but also with a debt of gratitude. And, if things get rough, I have a sack of fresh-from-the-oven Maltese kannoli to help me along my way.

Malta’s Busy Bee kannoli. Passage provisions.

Sailing is not just about the wind and the sea; equally important are the places to which this boat takes me.

Please click Follow at the bottom of this page so that you don’t miss a new update, and please consider sharing this post with others who might enjoy following the voyage of Flying Fish. I welcome your comments. I will always respond to your comment when I have an Internet connection. And I will never share your personal information.

You can follow the daily progress of Flying Fish, boat speed (or lack thereof), and current weather as I sail into the Mediterranean by clicking this satellite uplink: the “Legends and Blogs” box on the right side of the tracking page for en route Passage Notes. 

To see where Flying Fish has sailed since leaving Key West in 2017, click here:

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Facebook: Jeffrey Cardenas

Text and Photography © Jeffrey Cardenas 2021

Let this be a time of grace and peace in our lives   –Fr. John Baker

13 thoughts on “Traditional Maltese Boats (and Kannoli)

  1. hi Jeff, i have been following these stories for quite some time and i just want to say “thank you for sharing” it is beautiful work and such a treat to look at the pictures of you embracing this journey. safe travels.. jane in key west

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always wanted to visit Malta and Sardinia. Thank you for bringing me vicariously on the journey. The kannoli sounds great. Blessings upon your journey.

    *From:* Flying Fish *Sent:* Saturday, May 8, 2021 7:48 AM *To:* *Subject:* [New post] Traditional Maltese Boats (and kannoli)

    flyingfishsail posted: ” A boat owner paints his luzzu with pride (and a little music from the earbuds) at the traditional fishing harbor of Marsaxlokk in Malta. © Jeffrey Cardenas Maltese fishermen come from a long line of seafarers. I watch them moving about in the early “

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff, the beautiful colors and craftsmanship! And cannolis are addicting! I made them homemade at Christmas! So happy you are experiencing LIFE! Sardinia will be breathtaking. Enjoy 🤗💞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Leanne. Within moments of posting a Sicilian I know said, “Maltese don’t know kannoli, only Italians know cannoli!” Kannoli. Cannoli. I guess it all depends on what shore of the Mediterranean you land. I can’t wait to try them all.


  4. You should get some artistic upgrades to Flying Fish while you are there!
    Thanks for including us in your journey and wishing you a smooth and enjoyable passage.


  5. Beautiful boats. Reminds me of the care and pride we took with our wood guide boats on Boca Grande. Billy Wheeler used to say, “paint them so they look like an ice cream cone.” I also wonder how many decades the boatman used that rock to secure his vessel. Practical as can be. My kind of sailor.

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. Capt.
    NOTÉ 1st tropical storm in Eastern Pacific, before season full T. STORM, highly unusual and portends early and Active Atlantic season. Keep safe.


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