Maltese Boats

The brightly coloured fishing boats that crowd the harbours around the coast have become one of Malta's national symbols. Painted boldly in blue, red and yellow, with the watchful 'Eyes of Osiris' on the bows to ward off evil spirits, the luzzu (loots-zoo) is a large double-ended fishing boat (for nonsailors, that means it's pointed at both ends). The kajjik (ka-yik) is similar in appearance, but has a square transom (it's pointed at the front end only). The dgħajsa (dye-sa) is a smaller and racier-looking boat, with a very high stem and stern-posts – a bit like a Maltese gondola. These are not solid, seaworthy fishing boats, but sleek water taxis. They were once all powered by oars, but today's dgħajsas generally carry an outboard engine.