Catania to Siracusa (anchorage) log
13 September 2017 | Siracusa anchorage (position: 37 03.612'N 15 16.811'E)
Bruce & Caroline
view from the anchorage across to Ortygia island and town quay
Being woken by the sound of the automatic bilge pump wasn't an ideal start to the day. It's fair to say that we've never moved so fast apart from the time when we had a rat onboard.
Thankfully we weren't sinking but we found the tap on our port freshwater tank was slowly dripping freshwater into the bilge. It's plastic and probably original (27 years old) so we can only assume that the rubber seal inside has perished. Our only option was to turn it to the 'off' position and hope that it didn't break off in our hand. Thankfully it didn't and the seal held. It's now a job for the ever increasing winter list!
With the tank now isolated we finally departed Catania somewhat later than planned for the 30 mile hop along the coast to our next destination, Siracusa. To our surprise we actually managed a very brief mid-morning sail before the wind died completely only to return in the afternoon blowing 23 knots bang on the nose. Yachts sailing in the opposite direction were having a blast.
With Mount Etna standing tall behind us the island looked comparatively flat and sparsely developed until we reached the outskirts of Siracusa where rows of tall apartment blocks led us towards the harbour and Ortygia island, where Siracusa was founded in ancient Greek times.
According to various online forums it's necessary to call the harbour master on the VHF radio to obtain permission to enter the harbour as failure to do so can result in a hefty fine. Some reports have intimated that requests can be ignored with the view to fining you once inside the harbour! Thankfully our VHF call was answered on the second call otherwise we would have resorted to the mobile phone. Failing that we would like to think that we could have left a mobile phone message and make a note in the ships log.
The harbour is a natural 'horse-shoe' shape with a small marina, town quay and vast anchorage. Mooring to the quay requires you to use your own anchor and you can stay for up to five days paying just a nominal charge but our preference was to anchor in mud with plenty of swinging room.
Total distance this season: 1035.02 nautical miles