Finally, we were ready to leave Malta but the weather was trying to thwart us as it had been quite blowy overnight Monday and all day Tuesday. We thought the sea might be a bit rough so we left it as late as possible. It did seem sad to leave somewhere we had got to know so well having been there for two and a half years. So, after our goodbyes to Peter, we did a quick shop for bread etc before casting our lines for a final time.
The wind was coming from the west which was perfect for us to be going NNE towards Siracusa. The waves were described by the coastguard as moderate to rough – translated as more rough than moderate so it was like being in a washing machine for the next 8 hours! However, we persevered and, according to our electronic stalker, we topped 7.7 knots. The sea had calmed down considerably by 3am so the second half of the trip was much easier. We arrived into the harbour at Siracusa around 10am, both knackered but happy to have started our 6 month adventure in earnest.
The natural harbour at Siracusa is huge, so much so that a cruise liner was anchored in the middle of it when we arrived. The regulations have changed for boats since we were last here in late 2014. You have to ask permission to enter the harbour and they also tell you precisely where to anchor. We had a very nice chap this morning giving us these precise instructions – “anyway in the middle next to the sailing yachts”! So that’s what we did.
As our next stop is another 90nm we will need to do an overnight sail again so we arrive in the light, especially as we have never been there before and the entrance can be “tricky”. The forecast for tomorrow night is for moderate winds but a big sea following bad weather in Malta. We could have gone tonight and missed it but decided to rest instead and enjoy the fabulous ancient city of Ortigia for the next couple of days.
Apparently, you can now moor on the town quay for free so we will ask to move there tomorrow to avoid the swell that will come directly into the harbour. We can then easily walk into town rather than take the dinghy in.
The other bonus for not going tonight is that Liz has an opportunity to trial her fish finder for the first time! We’ll keep you posted on developments……