Marina di Ragusa - January, 2015 36:46.868N 014:32.779E

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Fri 23 Jan 2015 14:53

Hello all - with our first post to the blog in 2015.

Charlie's exile started on 1 January when he flew out to Sicily leaving Maggie at home to finish the building works at Woodley. 

Sicily in wintertime has much to recommend it.  Generally the days have been bright and sunny and the temperatures in the low  to mid teens.  The evenings have been cold and the heating system has been put to good use.  

 Marina di Ragusa, (that is the name of the town where the Marina is located) is naturally enough on the coast about 5 miles to the south of the hill town of Ragusa.  The area is served by a mediocre public transport bus service with Catania airport about 1 ½ hours away (by bus) providing direct flights with EasyJet to Gatwick. There is also a smaller airport at Comiso about half an hour (by bus) with Ryan air flights to Luton.

Marina di Ragusa has much to recommended it as a winter base, not lastly because of a very good winter rate.  The harbour is well sheltered  and there is  virtually no surge at the pontoon berths whatever the weather is doing outside.   Additionally, the waters in the Marina are fed by several fresh water springs and there is an absolute minimum of marine growth on the hull,  even after lying here stationary for four months.  The minus side is that the local town is small and provincial.  However, there is a (single) hardware shop, several bakers, an excellent butcher who speaks English, a large Spar supermarket and two smaller supermarkets and various small greengrocers.   There is a chandler in the marina and an excellent 'phone shop.   There is an abundance of restaurants although the majority have closed for the winter season.

We were warned that the boat would probably be covered in sand blown up from the Sahara desert however this has not materialized so far. The majority of time this winter winds have been from the west. 

There is an active community of live aboard temporary residents with frequent activities organised by them hand and active self-help Group.  Facilities in the Marina are good although the toilets are some distance from the main pontoons.  The Marina staff are excellent.

Charlie has been busy preparing the boat for the forthcoming season.   We had been looking at a trip to Tunisia but this has now been set aside and, weather permitting, we plan to sail down to Malta in April before returning to Ragusa for a few weeks while we return to the United Kingdom to attend a family wedding at the beginning of May.  Our plans thereafter are to cross the foot of Italy to Corfu then cruise down the West Coast of Greece, through the Ionian Islands ending up in Crete where we will lay up for the next winter.  We’re looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, while the UK is getting colder, this week we’re enjoying some Sicilian winter weather in Ragusa.  It has rained fairly solidly for the last 36 hours and at the moment there is a brisk 30 knot westerly wind heeling and rocking the boat!   Is a good day to stay in the warmth of the cabin.