Winter in Sicily
27 April 2014 | Marina di Ragusa, Sicily
OK, so it has been a while since we updated the blog. We’ve just left Marina di Ragusa in Sicily after 6 months, so now is as good a time as any to get back in to the habit of occasional updates. Here’s a quick summary of the last 6 months.
Nov ’13: arrived in Marina di Ragusa and settled in with the community of cruisers wintering there. With people coming and going, there were probably around 30 people there on average, including cruising kids: Elliot (14 yrs-old) and Marina (8) from “Neptune II”, and Haley (11) and Riley (8) from “Miss Behaving”. The boys ended up spending every spare moment they had with Elliot. The 3 of them could be seen scootering around the marina every afternoon after school, before sitting down for an hour of “Minecrafting".
late Nov ’13: flew to Barcelona for a week, then visited my cousin Ingrid and her family in London for 4 days before flying on to Australia.
Dec ’13: we spent December in Australia visiting friends and family, as well seeing some of the sites. We rented a camper van (RV) and drove from Melbourne to Brisbane via: the Australian Alps, Canberra, Sydney, Warrumbungles NP, Carnarvon Gorge NP, Emerald (Central Queensland) and Mooloolaba. Christmas was with family in and around Brisbane, including stays at the beach and O’Reillys.
Jan ’14: flew back to Barcelona for New Years Eve, and stayed through my birthday. It was a busy time with family, and getting a bunch of tasks done, including Marta helping Rosa write her second book, fixing up Rosa and Felix’s rental flat, and finalizing my Spanish Residence Permit so no more Schengen Visa issues.
Feb, Mar, Apr ’14: The rest of winter flew by in a blur of social activities, school work, boat projects, and visitors. Matt and Marg visited in February (a romantic surprise trip for Marg by Matt) and we explored some of southern Sicily with them including Siracusa, Valley of Temples, Noto, and a series of “Montalbano” locations. Andrew, Will, Eric and Effie visited next. The kids were mostly interested in hanging out with each other, but we still managed to get in some touring including seeing the mosaics at Villa Romana, and a side trip to Malta by Eric and Effie. Our last visitor in Marina di Ragusa was Tim, who stopped by for 10 days on his between jobs world tour. We had a very relaxing time chatting, a little touring, eating, …. In fact so relaxing that we got none of the tasks done that I had set aside for Tim’s visit! In amongst the visitors, Marta and the kids got a bunch of school work done, winter boat tasks, and I pulled out my guitar and joined a band made up of wintering cruisers. We did a couple of concerts at a local restaurant and the crowd seemed to enjoy themselves dancing and partying the evening away. I can see that this could become addictive. I’m going to have to really start practicing so that when we catch up with some of the band members (well at least Gary on the Saxophone) in the Balearics I can hold my head up.
So that’s about it. We were surprised at how social the wintering scene was. We made a lot of friends and hopefully our paths will cross again along the way. But as Marta said, it is just like a very small village, and after 6 months we are ready to move on, though we will miss our new friends. So now we’re on our way to Crotone in Southern Italy where we are hauling out for routine maintenance for a week or so before heading on to Greece, Croatia, Italy, …