31 January - Marina di Ragusa

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Sat 31 Jan 2015 09:51
So, today sees the end of January 2015 and only 328 days to Christmas.

Winter has at last arrived here in Sicily. The sunny days I enjoyed earlier in the month seem to be a thing of the past and we are beset by day after day of strong winds and heavy rain showers and some more persistent drizzle at times.

Today and for the coming weekend strong winds are forecast with 40 knot winds due tonight. I have been around and checked the mooring ropes and all is well. These are now threaded through lengths of polythene so they don't chafe on the toe rail or keep me awake at night by creaking on the cleats above my head. Needless to say work on deck has been suspended for the time being until the sunshine returns.

For all of that, this marina is well sheltered from the sea at least. I walked out to the seawall yesterday and saw waves breaking right over the top with spray driving through the boatyard hardstanding thoroughly dowsing the several yachts laid up there - not an ideal lay-up venue and not nearly as good as we experienced last year in Sant Carles, in Spain. There was a very heavy surf running in to the beach from across the harbour entrance - I am wondering how much silting is occurring out there.
Turning my back on the sea and looking in towards the moorings there was no swell or scend reaching the boats although the gusts of wind were making the yachts heel and tug at their moorings. We have our lines made up onto heavy spring shock absorbers but they seem superfluous here in Ragusa. When it rains hard the water turns murky and I guess this is rain water run-off from ashore. There seem to be three under water springs in the Marina basin, as indicated by swirling water along the road-way wall. One advantage of this is that water in the marina is brackish with a large freshwater content which discourages marine growth. The fish seem to like it, I have seen quite big fish swimming around the boat and there are at least two cormorants who seem very busy feeding themselves.

Life in Ragusa out of season is very quiet. Apart from the customary group of middle aged / elderly gentleman who stand around the town square gossiping all day, there are very few locals around. I walked into town to the butcher’s shop and then the local veg shop. The food they have to sell is so much nicer than buying from the Spar supermarket. Not only that, but the supermarket is a good hike up the hill. I set out to find the hardware shop yesterday but gave up in the end. It is tucked away in a residential side street on the side of the hill and much easier to find with the aid of a bicycle. They seem to sell a little bit of everything in there if you can find what you are looking for (reminds me of Spreadburys Harware in Milford in days of your). The last time I visited the back of the shop was in darkness and I had to go to the counter and ask the owner to switch the lights on - their ideas of customer service and my expectations differ somewhat.

Last weekend’s treat was a group meal in a restaurant in town, very enjoyable and not expensive at 9Euro including wine. Last night was my treat for this week but was much more staid and sedate and comprised a takeaway from the local pizza restaurant. Not such good value at 5€ and not at all sociable. I am looking forward to having Maggie out here again!