The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

08 September 2020 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
20 December 2019 | Gloucestershire
10 August 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
09 August 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
03 July 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
02 July 2019 | St Paul’s Bay (position: 35 57.629’N 14 23.841’E)
26 June 2019 | Marsaxlokk (position: 35 50.121’N 14 32.961’E)
24 June 2019 | Dwejra Bay (position: 36 02.815’N 14 11.496’E)
20 June 2019 | St Julian’s, Budella Bay (position: 35 55.064’N 14 29.695’E)
15 June 2019 | Marsaxlokk Bay (position: 35 50.114’N 14 32.974’E)
13 June 2019 | Rinella Creek (position: 35 53.678’N 14 31.530’E)
09 June 2019 | St Julian’s, Balluta Bay position: (35 53.678’N 14 31.530’E)
05 June 2019 | San Niklaw Bay (position: 36 01.101’N 14 19.790’E)
03 June 2019 | Il-Hofra-z-Zghira (anchorage), position (35 50.210'N, 14 33.726'E)
10 May 2019 | Malta, Manoel Island
19 December 2018 | Gloucestershire
25 January 2018 | Gloucestershire
19 December 2017 | Gloucestershire
30 September 2017 | Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.869’N 14 32.705’E)
30 September 2017 | Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.869’N 14 32.705’E)

2020, a year to be remembered

08 September 2020 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
Flirtie at anchor in Gnejna Bay, Malta 20/08/2019 - Oh, how we dream to be at anchor!

What a year it's been! We can't believe that we are already in September with just a few months left of the year. It's only now that we find the motivation to update our blog, to record our year that in more ways than one has been put on hold - not all of our own making we may add.

Last September we returned back to the UK for Bruce's hernia operation and to catch up with family and friends. Knowing that we were due to return to the UK again in March for another PSA test we were keen to catch the first flight back to Sicily in early January to see Flirtie and crack on with all the maintenance work so as to be ready to leave in early April for a summer of cruising the foot of Italy up towards Venice and then Croatia - well, that was the plan before COVID rapidly became global news.

In March (a week before our scheduled return to the UK) our flights were cancelled and Italy went into complete lockdown. There were a few repatriation flights on offer but after considering the options we made the decision to stay here in Sicily and not take any risks with travelling but we needed to find a blood lab in order to get Bruce's PSA test/results. We spoke to our support nurse back in the UK to explain our situation and she was more than happy for us to find a lab and send the results back for the record. We found a lab in Santa Croce - the next town from MdR just a short cycle away which took away any anxiety of using public transport.

April came and went as we kept up-to-date with the local and worldwide news regarding Covid and Brexit and kept ourselves thoroughly entertained by watching some hilarious videos and photos on the web - thank you to all who took the time to post them. We also decided to upgrade Flirtie a little and added an additional port light (window) in our back cabin to allow more airflow, replace the original round galley sink with a double stainless steel sink, fit a new table in the cockpit and start the endless task of internal varnishing. All of these jobs have been on the wish list from the day we moved aboard Flirtie but for one reason or another never actually made it to the top.

By May, with so many restrictions on travel we made the decision to commit to yet another annual contract. There were so many unknowns and so many unanswered questions regarding sailing around Europe that we didn't want to find ourselves in the situation where we were not allowed to anchor and instead forced into an expensive marina and potentially having to quarantine. With more time on our hands we continued to research the impact of Brexit to our lifestyle and travelling around Europe. For us living on Flirtie for periods greater than 90 days in every 180 days it became clear that we shouldn't just sit around and hope for the best but instead we should apply for residency ready for when the UK finally leaves the EU on 31 December 2020 with or without a deal.

In the first week of June we applied for residency on the basis that if everything went to plan then by mid-July we'd have our residency and then we could spend a few months cruising as the ports started to accept foreign visitors - that was the plan anyway!

A visit to the local comune (Municipality Administration) here in Marina di Ragusa confirmed that we could indeed become Italian residents whilst living on Flirtie. For non-EU cruisers the process is well documented but for the UK's departure from the EU the requirements were at the time pretty sketchy. We lost count of the number of hours that we spent translating text and documents in order to try and understand the paperwork and documentation required. One of our American cruisers (thank you Tom) suggested that in his experience it was far better to take too much paperwork than too little and have everything translated and photocopied just in case. We headed his words and it paid dividends as we handed over forms duly filled in along with all the supporting documentation. We watched the clerk cross check everything and tried to gauge her expression to see if we'd been accurate (a little difficult given the mask) but her eyes and a confirming nod said to us that everything was in order. She then confirmed that we'd expect a phone call and that after residency acceptance we'd have to return to apply for ID cards... that was almost 3 months ago. We can only assume that there is a significant backlog because of Covid and the offices being shut at the time and now more recently an increase in new applications being made as the Brexit deadline approaches.

In August we had a bit of progress (hurray) in that we received a phone call to check that our contact telephone number was correct and they advised us that we were now being processed to the system. We are at least now in the system. We decided that a fortnightly visit wouldn't hurt to let them know that we're still here and waiting. It has to be said that the ladies in the office are lovely and particularly welcoming but the answer is always the same - aspetto! (Wait!). Don't leave your residence and on the latest visit, an additional gesture of... pray!!

So we continue to wait, hence the reason for the lack of blogs. It's looking doubtful if there will be any wild adventures for Flirtie this season as it stands but like many others this year our lives are on hold for one reason or another. Just stay safe everyone.

Sicily, Marina di Ragusa – summer is in full swing!!

09 August 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
there's still space for more!

Our return to the UK provided us with another excellent PSA result - that's four tests and four very positive results. However, over the last few weeks a strange looking bulge has developed in Bruce's pants... a bulge that really shouldn't be there! After a bit of poking around the consultant confirmed it to be an inguinal hernia and went on to say that the bulge was his bladder slipping into one of the keyhole voids created during the RALP surgery. A further minor operation is now required so we return to the UK late September. In the meantime, we're back in Marina di Ragusa to find summer in full swing.

The atmosphere is buzzing with most hotels and apartments now full. Cars and mopeds line every inch of the grid-like structure of the resort though the preferred form of transport is the bicycle, they're everywhere. For as far as the eye can see the beach is now a kaleidoscope of colour lined with umbrellas to shelter from the intense heat.



The local market has trebled in size with additional fruit and vegetable stalls, clothes and bric-a-brac. Summer stalls line the promenade all trying to tempt you to purchase their goods - jewellery, soap, arts, crafts and local produce and there's an entertainment schedule to suite all from fitness classes to art and cultural events.



As for the marina it has a steady flow of cruising sailors, mainly Maltese and Italian with just the occasional English, Swiss, French, German, Belgium and New Zealander flagged vessels. The noticeable change is the increase of additional sports boats and ribs berthed either side of the runway along three pontoons. The marina has laid on an extended golf buggy that offers a shuttle service around the marina grounds - to and from the beach, the office, the local bars and I'm pretty sure if we asked they'd take us to the shower block too! We're thoroughly enjoying our summer in Marina di Ragusa and despite the additional volumes of holidaymakers it's still very pleasant and relatively quiet in the marina.


daily swim with fellow cruisers Di and John

Malta, St Paul’s Bay to Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (MdR)

03 July 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
oh what a beautiful morning...

From the moment we left Malta we had near perfect conditions which allowed us to sail all but 12 miles from the Sicilian coast - that's approximately 40 nautical miles sailed... Ye-ha, happy days. We even sighted a turtle mid-channel.

Instead of 'following the wind' we pointed as close to windward as we dared to factor in for a few degrees of leeway - we didn't want to miss the entrance to MdR after all! The seas weren't particularly large so all in all it was a comfortable ride and far more enjoyable than our previous passage from Sicily to Malta.


a short video of Flirtie stonking along like a steam train making 7 knots at times... correction, 7.1 knots ;-)

As the entrance to MdR approached we swapped our Maltese courtesy flag back to Italian before being accompanied to our berth through the narrow buoyed channel that now exists down the fairway. It was a very satisfying day.

Total distance this season: 240.33 nautical miles
Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
About:
Welcome to Sailing Yacht Flirtie's blog.

Our blog serves as a personal record of our adventures and experiences since leaving the UK in 2012 whilst allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with our whereabouts. [...]
Extra: email us: bandc.trott@gmail.com
skype us: distant.drummer797
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Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

Where are we now?