Siracusa - Mara
Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Mon 16 Oct 2017 07:45
Having put the charts and Sicilian flag at the start I had written that we were about to round the last corner of Sicily before heading over to Malta this coming week. We started off in the north west point in Trapani along the north coast out to the Aeolian Islands round the north east point through the Straits of Messina and then down the east coast and presently sat in the harbour here waiting to go round the last point of the triangle later today. The Sicilian flag is characterised by the head of Medusa in the middle with three wheat ears and the 3 legs allegedly represent the three points of the triangular shape of the island. The red and yellow divide represent the first two cities Palermo and Corleone at some point in their long and complex history.
I'd also written about the advantages of being on the town quay. Firstly it was only €10 a night which was collected each morning at 10.00am by a man with a little van who also collected the rubbish and gave you a receipt. For this we didn't have water or electricity ( these you could get by ringing up and then someone would come and connect you but we didn't need either) so great value better than the €95 in Catania which Ok did include electricity and water. The town quay was a great place to people watch - the Italians do like their 'promenade' and also see and help the other yachts coming in and out and super yachts too. Now that is another world. The quay was also very central for getting into the main town and apart from a little music from several cafes along the front was remarkably quiet - possibly not if you were there in mid August.
So all in all we rated Siracusa as certainly our best stop yet.
Yesterday's sail was also great ( 3 sails In row ) impressive. Some other sailors we met said it's not called the Mediterranean but the Motoranian. They had just had to motor all the way back from Greece so were a little jaded but there is no doubt about it as mentioned previously the weather is very unpredictable . So a good sail out from Siracusa yesterday - you have to go round a marine reserve and then south along the coast. Mount Etna was still there in the background and there was a pall of yellowish smoke across the land other wise clear blue skies. We can only assume it was from the volcano and/or the oil refinery at Augusta .
The wind died mid afternoon but we'd already decided to go into the marina here as opposed to continuing round the point. So a little motoring towards the end. Once in the harbour and tied up again with the help of 3 very obliging guys from the marina office helping us in David and I borrowed the bikes from the office and cycled into the village . Well we don't think much of our bikes that we have on board but these were definitely not really road worthy - mine had no brakes for a start but we made it - thankfully flat although trying to negotiate all the pedestrians who we taking their Sunday afternoon stroll was a challenge.
The town centre is about mile and half from the marina and was delightful - I had read there had been an old tuna factory there and this had been converted into cafes, bars , restaurants with a few little shops thrown in too plus shops selling local produce olive oil and tuna in tins of all shapes and sizes , jars etc etc. All this surrounded the piazza with its church and with people locals and tourists just wandering in the late afternoon sun after siesta time .
Not sure whether this part of the old Tuna factory, a residence but on an island in the middle of the harbour and quite photogenic!
So another beautiful day some yachts have already left but we are filling the water tanks and washing the boat as well as having breakfast. David has already cycled into the village to try and find milk. The harbour office said there was a small store he couldn't find it , a local policeman who apparently spoke English told him where but said wouldn't be open till 11 so he has turned empty handed.
We shall head out to sea later and round the last point of Sicily and see what we shall find - hopefully a nice anchorage for a couple of nights.
Table tops In a cafe we strolled past
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