We spent a couple of days in Crotone and enjoyed having a wander round this town with its huge castle and imposing town walls.
We enjoyed briefly meeting fellow sailors on Three Times a Lady (try spelling that with the phonetic alphabet!) and early the next morning we slipped out in the calm morning breeze and wove our way out between the gas rigs and set off south and a reasonable lick. The wind was as fluky as predicted across the Golfo di Squillace and so we slowed right down. The night passed much better than the trip from Corfu and apart from one incident when two sailing boats appeared out of the darkness rather closer than I would have liked, the crossing went smoothly.
However, we arrived safely after two days and one night at sea and motored towards the incredible bay of Syracuse. We followed the procedure for gaining permission to enter and were allocated a berth, along with one other yacht on the massive town quay. Soon after we were tied up we visited the coast guard to do the necessary paperwork and were pleased with ourselves for doing things right. Next morning the Coast guard came round to check our papers. We were rewarded with a warm handshake and welcome to Syracuse.
We visited the Leonardo Da Vinci museum
The market was fabulous as Italian markets always are. Seeing all the fish and fresh produce made us hungry, even o soon after breakfast, so we had an amazing Sicilian lunch in a little back street café.
I had Pasta Siciliana which is made with a sauce of anchovies, pinenuts, sun dried tomatoes, oil, garlic, and sprinkled with herby breadcrumbs. Mmmm. Ian had Seafood risotto with saffron.
We need to go back to Syracuse because it was just beautiful and there we were, just parked on the promenade in the most enviable spot.
After a couple of nights there we just had a short hop round to Marina di Ragusa to complete. A longish day but do-able. We calculated 56 miles. We ended up doing 81 miles as the wind was, once again blowing right at us! We made it in, in the dark, and tied to the fuel pontoon ‘til morning. The security guards, alerted by the barking guard dog, flew round in a car and quizzed us. Once we had told them that we were booked in for the winter they gave us vigorous handshakes and lots of ‘va bene’s and shot back to their security posts.
Next day, we oh so smoothly, parked the boat in our winter berth – L16. Within minutes we had been invited aboard the opposite boat for coffee and met up with Carl, Amanda, Mark, Peter and Catherine. This is the most sociable place with 162 boats and around 300 live-aboards staying for the winter. We soon heard about a daily radio net, Yoga, knitting and tai chi classes, Italian lessons, olive picking experience, dinner out en masse, happy hours (3 of them per week), music making group, Halloween party, and much more…
What a fantastic, welcoming and friendly international community.