Rob and Jacky Black
Thu 4 Sep 2014 11:48
37 02.7 N 15 17.4E
Siracusa Marina yachting 4th – 8th September
We had an early start from Rocello Ionica (0530) and set off for Sicily in very little wind. We had the main hoisted with 1 reef and the gib about ¾ out. It was motor sailing for most of the journey until better wind arrived around 1200 when we had to put in a second reef and reduce the head sail we even managed to switch off the engine for an hour or so and kept up our boat speed to the required 5+ knots. However the wind increased and veered and was as usual right on the ‘nose’ so the gib was furled away and we motored for the rest of the journey. We had dolphins around the boat a few times and had to alter course for two ships while on passage. With 3 of us doing watches it was a relaxed and pleasant journey. We ate a Lidl lasagne for supper while closing the coast of Sicily and even managed to pick out the outline of Mount Etna with just a few wispy clouds on her peak.
On arrival at the marina in Siracusa our friend June was waiting with a torch to help us find our allocated berth and we were soon in place just 4 boats down the pontoon from Piper. Both June and Steve came to help us with stern lines as well as the ormeggiatori from the marina. Later we retired to Piper for welcome drinks!
The next day after having taking the laundry to a nearby facility(information gained from a French lady we met in Rocello) June took Jacky and Amanda on the local blue bus (50 Euro cents) for a round the old city tour pointing out various places which were later able to walk to. The old town or Ortiga is truly delightful and we spent several hours exploring this at various times whilst in the marina. We visited the Cathedral and the main piazza where a local wedding was about to take place – beautiful bridesmaids but we never did get to see the bride as she was not expected for another hour (this despite the guests being there all congregating in the square).
The fresh produce market near to the old Greek/Roman temple is a delight to behold with numerous stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, spices, local olive oil, olives, sundried tomatoes etc. etc. We found a lovely shop at the north end where high tables were set in amongst the produce and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch sat here for a couple of hours on our second visit to the town. A beautiful old style motor yacht berthed on the quay for a couple of nights and we were fortuate enough to get an invitation from the owner to have a look around her. Built in 1934 on the Clyde she was used as a fire ship in Liverpool during the war and then fell into disrepair through several different owners. The new owner rescued her from a yard in Genoa where she had been partially re-furbished and has made it his hobby to restore her to what he feels she should have been like in the 1930s. She is called Lady Hertha and we were most impressed with what he has achieved so far!
Amanda’s friends were still in Gibraltar so she decided to leave us and fly via Rome to Malaga and catch up with them before they left to sail for Morocco. Once this was decided to we made plans to go north to Catania where she was to get her first flight from.