The weather forecast this week was good to leave the marina (several other boats did depart) so we have been trying to get the last couple of jobs done before we go.
We recently had our life raft serviced and as always on a boat, one job leads to another. When we removed it from the deck, we noticed that the wooden mounts were rotten and needed replacing.
We bought some new wood and set to work. The mounts were bolted onto the coach roof so we had to remove the lighting panel and headlining inside for access in order to first remove the old.
Paul cut the new wood to size, we could not find the correct size bolts so had to cut our own.
Holes were drilled and countersunk into the wood, a bit of Sikaflex and it was ready to be installed.
The mount is in place, we are now ready to refit the life raft with its frame.
We have one more job that we wanted to do before leaving and that was to wire in the new chart plotter. We took the opportunity while the headlining was down to run cables from the cockpit instrument panel, along the small void between ceiling and the coach roof, down to the electrical cupboard.
This was tricky as it is a tight area already full with other cables and very small access holes to guide it through – where there’s a will there’s a way!
We now have our new chart plotter up and running.
At the moment travel continues to be difficult with restrictions in place both within Italy and Internationally, often requiring a combination of multiple covid tests and periods of quarantine. We have been unsure of when we would be able to have the vaccine assuming that it wouldn’t be until we were able to return to the UK later in the year.
Italy had originally stated that all adults living in the country would receive the vaccine regardless of resident status or citizenship. The reality has been that to register to receive the vaccine requires an Italian health service number and this can be difficult to acquire for foreigners. Fortunately the local health service in Ragusa has been running a vaccine ‘drop in’ service for the last 3 weekends and many of the winter liveaboard community have been able to use this service regardless of any administrative barriers. Decisions on whether to give the vaccine have been made purely on medical grounds.
We hoped that we may now qualify for a vaccine and went along to the hospital in Ragusa with another couple from the marina.
When we arrived there was a small queue which took about an hour. We had lots of forms to complete (which were all in Italian) so did these while waiting.
Once we reached the desk our completed forms were checked, we were questioned about our eligibility and had to provide various documents. Eventually we were given a (deli counter) number and passed through to the next waiting area.
When our number was called we were sent into the hospital to the next ‘checkpoint’. This was where they made the final decision of whether we were entitled. All of our details were entered into the computer, thankfully we were successful and sent to the vaccine room. This was a small room with a desk where three people sat behind and a chair in front, it was like being interviewed! As Italy has made the decision to only administer Astra Zeneca to the over 60’s, we were both given the Pfizer vaccine.
To celebrate our success we went into Ragusa Ibla and had lunch in a park there.
We then took the scenic route back to the marina, poppies grew along the roadside and filled the fields.
The day was a great success, we were very happy to have received the vaccine and were allocated an appointment for the second one in three weeks time. We have extended our stay in the marina until the end of May by which time we will be fully vaccinated and hopefully the boat will be in top top condition ready for the summer.