the very long and wide pontoon otherwise known as the landing strip!
It's early days yet but our first impressions of Marina di Ragusa
is that it is safe, secure and going to be a good choice for the winter. In the past two weeks we've heard thunder, seen lightening, dodged torrential rain, endured gusts well over 40 knots and Flirtie has barely moved. We've even seen our first waterspout!
it's blurred as I was shaking with excitement at the time, sorry!
The staff are friendly and speak excellent English (Bruce is happy because the girls are good looking too) and they are more than happy to receive the post and parcels. Recycling is encouraged with several sets of bins that are emptied daily located opposite the gated entrance. Yacht fouling is reported to be minimal as there are natural springs in the marina basin so with any luck we won't have to employ a diver to remove crustaceans from below the waterline at the start of next season... watch this space.
There are a couple of onsite shops selling gifts and clothes plus a gym, small bakery, lounge bar, beach side restaurant and self-serve laundrette (at €3.50 to wash and €3.50 to dry). The laundrette doubles up as the place to exchange books/DVD's/magazines/manuals etc. Immediately behind the marina is a bike hire shop, a pharmacy and the 'Bar Stella Marina' offering 'happy hour' twice a week.
Shower/toilet facilities are clean albeit a bit of a trek being located to the east and west of the entrance that is accessible by an electronic key fob. In additional there is a night security warden or two.
There's a good size live aboard community developing comprising of all nationalities so naturally we have access to a wealth of experience and knowledgeable cruisers that have come from all corners of the world. Needless to say that we're looking forward to hearing about places that we've yet to explore and catching up with our Lisbon friends, Clare and Vic off 'Njord'
who are also wintering here. A daily VHF net is due to start from the first Saturday in October which we look forward to tuning in too.
Marina di Ragusa isn't just a marina per say, it's actually a small seaside resort. An extremely popular destination during the summer with 60,000 visitors and barely 4,000 residents during the winter. Despite the lack of numbers in the winter it has a very relaxed feel and the locals are very friendly. Several beach bars and restaurants have closed for the season but plenty remain open including the geleterias to satisfy the winter audience.
The resort is structured in a grid-like formation with one-way roads so we really can't get lost here as all roads lead down to the sea front that opens up to a long tree-lined promenade with a beautiful golden sandy beach. There's a cycle path (yet to be explored) together with buses that run daily to the main town of Ragusa Ibla and Ragusa Superior, 25km inland.
We have a good choice of supermarkets with the largest, a EuroSpar and two smaller discount supermarkets MD and ARD plus a weekly market selling fruit, veg, meat, cheese, fish, clothes and bric-a-brac. We've found a couple of DIY shops and 'Vela Latina'
chandlers who will happily order items if not in stock.
What more could we ask for and all accessible just a short walk or bicycle ride away - we think we're going to like it here.