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Summer 2022

First Sail of the Season

The weather forecast predicted a good sailing wind to leave Marina di Ragusa, so we cast off our lines and set off to Portopalo on the south east point of Sicily

With a force 4-5 westerly wind blowing, we had a great downwind sail with just the Genoa out. We saw a small turtle swim by but we were going too fast to get a picture! It didn’t take us too long to sail the 30nm east along the coast to the small fishing harbour of Portopalo.

This is the same route that we took last year, it is a good first sail of the season to check everything is working after being moored in the marina all winter, thankfully we didn’t encounter any first day issues.

There were several other boats also taking advantage of the good wind (and the talk of a party when we arrive) so there was a convoy all heading to Portopalo. Fortunately it is a large anchorage so there was plenty of space for everyone.

The bay has good protection but there was a slight swell when we arrived. It was one of our friends birthday and so a party was arranged for us to meet up on one of the bigger catamarans (which didn’t roll so much in the swell), with a water taxi organised to pick everyone up.

After a couple of nights in the bay there was a favourable wind to take us around the coast and so the convoy continued on to Siracusa.

We had a good sail for the majority of the 30nm journey but the wind did drop off at times and we had to have the engine on for while.

We approached what looked like a sailboat adrift with no one on board, there was a coastguard and police boat standing by and we could see that there were 30+ people on board the coastguard boat. We later learnt that they were refugees who had been rescued from the sail boat, (which was a similar size to ours) and taken to safety. This served us a salutary reminder of how lucky we are to live the life that we do.

As we approached Siracusa we could see the familiar sight of the castle on the headland and entered into the bay, we dropped anchor with views of Mount Etna in the distance.

In the evening we had beautiful views of the sun setting and then a big bright moon rising over the sea.

Although we’ve visited several times (and written about in a previous blog), Siracusa is one of our favourite places. We never get bored of this lovely ancient city with its lively atmosphere. With our friends also anchored nearby, it was great to meet up for trips ashore to explore the sites and visit a traditional Sicilian restaurant.

Making the most of being on anchor and although the water was a bit choppy, it was time to get the paddle board out.

It turned out that I was a little out of practice….yes that is me in the water, my first ‘swim’ of the season, thankfully the water has started to warm up a bit!

With so much to enjoy here and in no rush to leave, we plan to stay for a few more days.

6 replies on “First Sail of the Season”

Hurrah! The blog is back! I have missed it and have been waiting to hear your news. Once again, fab pictures which are not making me at all jealous – although the sun is shining here. 🌞 Very impressed with the paddle boarding and something I would love to get into. Enjoy your next few days and looking forward to hearing more next week. We will be in Paris! 😃

Liked by 1 person

Hope returns after the frightening pictures of DIY last week.
What a wonderful start to the sailing season with superb pictures, especially of the sunset and the moonlight over the water.
Look forward to more!

Liked by 1 person

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