Sciacca -> Marina di Ragusa (Sicily):
Tuesday: We spent the day bobbing around on the boat, the swell was still bad in the harbour.. We had a quiet day preparing Wanda for the sail down to Marina di Ragusa. Of course we had to visit the supermarket one last time, it was just too handy. The weather forecast had changed for the worse; our options now were to sail on Tuesday in lots of winds and swell in the right direction or go on Wednesday in less winds and swell approximately in the right direction. Thursday onwards the winds were against us (Southerly) for a least a week. We had to go now! We chose to sail on the Wednesday.
Wednesday: We were up bright and early, well OK we were up early. The alarm went off at 5am, by 6.15am we were slipping the lines to leave. Once out of the harbour there was very little wind so we motored. The wind gradually picked up, but it was still on our nose. The forecast had said there would be light winds on our nose to start with for about an hour. Our concern was Thursdays weather of strong Southerly wind was coming through early.
The forecast was that the wind would move round and strengthen in the afternoon, which should allow us to sail. This time the weather had read the forecast and the winds did shift around to be behind us! However it was now exactly directly behind us which was making sailing difficult. It was not helped that as the wind was slowly moving around, the swell was lagging behind this shift hence we always had swell pushing us in a different direction to the wind.
As an experiment we had dropped the mainsail to try sailing with the genoa and mizzen. This seemed to work reasonably well, the wind increased and as it did, so did the waves. For most of the afternoon we had a pleasant motor sail. Early evening the wind started dropping, which meant the genoa started flapping. We decided to furl the genoa and raise the mainsail. Furling the genoa was no problem, but as we turned Wanda into the wind to raise the mainsail we were bashing into some reasonably large waves. Just as we got the nose into wind two very large waves broke over our bow and covered the boat all the way up to the sprayhood with water. This is not normally a problem, but as it was very warm we had left one of the saloon front windows open. This meant the starboard seats and Yoyo (who had been sat on the seat at the time) got rather wet! We immediately turned out of the wind so we could sort out Yoyo and the saloon.
Yoyo was fine considering, although she was a bit wet. She obviously has very quick reflexes and had managed to run away from the window and onto Anne’s side of the bed. At least it wasn’t diesel and she still smells of cat J
We arrived at 9pm in Marina da Ragusa. It’s really quite scary trying to find an entrance of a marina in the dark – especially when you know it’s surrounded by big hard walls. We had the added problem that as it was a new marina our charts didn’t have it on. We had arranged that Dan and Judi on Koa would be there to help us berth as the marinaros stop working earlier in the evening. We had decided to moor up along the fuel pontoon for the night as it was easier. The marina however were efficient and a marinaro was still working in the “meet and greet” ribs. He really wanted to moor us in our berth but we insisted on staying on the fuel pontoon – it was easier to moor and we were tired. We will take a picture of the mairna at night soon. They have lots of fancy looking blue lights for the marina – looks very pretty but very confusing and provide little real light when berthing at night.
Koshka and Yoyo love been moored alongside when the ground is the same height as the deck. Before we had even finished tying up, they had both explored the fuel station. Anne kept an eye on the cats while Stephen sorted out the boat. Naturally the cats both went off in opposite directions and black cats at night can be tricky to see. Once we were sorted we called them back (they know who feeds them!) and we locked them in for the night.
We had been worried about our fuel filter while we were motoring, so along the way we checked it a few times. It kept perfectly clear this trip – so the mystery continues.
The coast of Sicily
The sun rising over Sicily