Grand Harbour Entrance from the British Hotel live camWonderful view of the Grand Harbour entrance and Fort Ricasoli

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  • avatar
    • 2 weeks ago
    • Catherine Sunter

    MWH Sorry I meant to type ISS International Space station. You can register to receive emails and they will tell you when it is due to go over your area (I think you register your post code) and is visible. I am usually somewhere outside checking it out (not every night):) but quite often. You can also follow it on a map which shows where in the world it is going over and when it is available to be seen in the sunlight. PL Try this link http://iss.astroviewer.net/ if you've not seen it you might find it interesting

  • avatar
    • 2 weeks ago
    • P.L.

    Hi Catherine
    As MWH says Under maritime law, passenger ships and non-passenger ships over 3,000 gross tonnes on international voyages must be fitted with AIS.

    If you want to see where the Space Station is try the following URL; http://www.isstracker.com/
    I have seen it pass over me on many a clear night.

  • avatar
    • 3 weeks ago
    • MWH

    Hi Catherine. I actually means Space STATION !! Sorry!!

  • avatar
    • 3 weeks ago
    • Catherine Sunter

    MWH/Dee thanks for your comments, Dee is was the larger tug boat which turned round at the harbour entrance. MWH I didn't know the space shuttle has a tracker.

  • avatar
    • 3 weeks ago
    • Dee

    Catherine... I must have missed what you saw, but could have probably told you which tug boat accompanied the ship. Was it the tug boat that turned round at the entrance and didn't show up on the map? It sounds like the tug boat was there to accompany the ship and provide a safe passage towards the exit of the harbour. Was it particularly windy that day? The white boat you refer to as 'Foxtrot' is one of the resident Pilot boats that are there to ensure a ship’s safe entrance and a safe exit from the Grand Harbour. 'Foxtrot' and 'Ohio' are frequently seen in the harbour and on the map.

  • avatar
    • 3 weeks ago
    • MWH

    Hi Catherine. Just had a snout about the web and I don't think AIS is a legal requirement on smaller vessels hence the reason you can track some boats and not others.. Of course, it's really useful but you're looking at around £500 so maybe not priority number 1 for many boaters. For some smaller boats (fishing) I'd consider it an absolute must. One thing I found out is the Space Shuttle has an AIS receiver!

  • avatar
    • 3 weeks ago
    • Catherine Sunter

    I have just watched Lucky Brother tanker being shown out of the harbour by two boats, on a small white boat and the other a larger red tug. Looking on the AIS ship tracking, it only shows the smaller boat "Fox Trot" and not the larger one which turned at the entrance and returned back into the harbour. Does anyone know why that is?

  • avatar
    • 1 month ago
    • MWH

    Thanks Gavin. Now, as our newly appointed skyline crane expert, would you explain to us how to assemble a crane please - do you need a crane to build a crane? Oh you don't drive a big yellow Coles do you - they're my favourite!

  • avatar
    • 1 month ago
    • Gavin R

    A crane like that here in England would probably cost upwards of £500 a week plus driver to hire , a lot less in Malta I would think ! I am currently driving one that costs £1400 a week and the same for me !!! I don't get paid that amount that's for sure !!

  • avatar
    • 1 month ago
    • MWH

    How much do cranes cost to hire? I walked past that one (left) in early November and it's still there! Interestingly (or not) it is electric and manned from the ground. It is held down by a shed load of stone blocks which is creating havoc for the local traffic. Right, that's "crane watch" over for today.....

  • avatar
    • 5 months ago
    • Pamela

    Those tugboat men have earned their money today!

  • avatar
    • 5 months ago
    • Pamela

    This storm's created havoc Stig. I've been reading about hotels flooded and alsorts! Here's a short video of that tanker
    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20161029/local/severe-winds-cause-minor-damage-all-over-malta.629400

  • avatar
    • 5 months ago
    • Stig Jansson

    Pamela, it seems you are right!

  • avatar
    • 5 months ago
    • Pamela

    I wonder if that tanker's broken away from it's moorings? Could those tugs be holding it in place?

Grand Harbour Entrance from the British Hotel

Grand Harbour (Il-Port il-Kbir) is one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world, a gem for the Mediterranean and a prestigious landmark for the Maltese capital city.

Already in use since Phoenician times when it already offered the ideal and safe conditions for mooring, this harbour has been the base for the Knights of St. John, was greatly improved over the centuries with docks and wharves and finally massively fortified during the period of the British Military, today it appears as one of the most important destinations and luxury marinas for sailing boats, motorboats, superyachts and cruise ships even longer than 300 meters.

Grand Harbour is bounded by Fort St. Elmo (Il-Forti Sant Iermu), Fort Ricasoli (Forti Rikazoli) and the Sceberras Peninsula, its predominant position in the heart of the Mediterranean made it a strategic military base for a long time but at the same time too exposed; as a consequence Napoleon and his fleet sailed into Valletta’s Grand Harbour at the end of the 18th century, after his brief and unsuccessful occupation that led to a drastic decrease of traffic, Malta became years later a British colony, tangible reminders of the British colonial rule are today many splendid fortifications, bastions and towers all around; British have truly left their mark with a wider entrance, harbour amenities, a greater anchorage, new houses, structure and churches were rebuilt, Valletta started to enjoy a new era of prosperity focusing mainly on the multi-purpose Grand Harbour; unfortunately it was savagely bombed during World War II by Italian forces that caused much destruction. Today Grand Harbour offers safe anchorage in all weathers and high quality services, it encloses the wonderful city of Valletta, officially recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and visited every day by a multitude of tourists from all over the world.

The southeast side is embellished by a number of inlets and promontories, the picturesque village of Kalkara (Il-Kalkara) and by the fortified Three Cities, that is Vittoriosa (Birgu), Cospicua (Bormla) and Senglea (L-Isla); on the left side of the Grand Harbour entrance and on the opposite side of Fort St. Elmo is located the above-mentioned Fort Ricasoli, a large fortification in the promontory known as Gallows Point built by the Knights of Malta at the end of the 17th century and named after its main financier, the Italian knight Giovanni Francesco Ricasoli; originally constructed to give protection to the Grand Harbour, it was active during the British rule but suffered greatly during the Second World War, much of the entire structure was damaged, the evidence of its so fascinating remains are still visible all around, however it enjoys wonderful panoramic views over Valletta and its surroundings.

Just for curiosity: Fort Ricasoli and its walls have been chosen and used as a filming location for successful films such as Gladiator, Agora, Helen of Troy and Julius Caesar.

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