Winter living

Marina Di Ragusa liveaboards.

10th April 2014
Quitting Facebook
Marina Di Ragusa Marina


Liveaboards in Marina Di Ragusa


Sailing to Marina Di Ragusa without an engine

Cygnus III had looked after us all year but we needed to make just one more sail down to our winter berth in Marina Di Ragusa on Sicily’s south coast. We still had an engine cooling pump problem which meant every time we turned the engine on sea water would come in. Not a good thing on a yacht where the water is supposed to be on the outside. We could run the engine for a short time but we really needed to sail and pretend we didn’t have an engine.

Syracuse had been a wonderful anchorage for a week and somewhere we wanted to return later but the winds were right and it was time to leave.


Syracuse to Portopalo

Portopalo refuge


The sail to the southern tip of Sicily was exhilarating but once we rounded the point the wind slapped our faces like a scorned woman with PMT. (Always remember if you are on a boat with a woman with PMT and you have GPS the psycho can find you). The seas rose to the point life was going to be really, really uncomfortable. There was a small bay close by at Portopalo which would give us and Cygnus III respite from the bad weather. The thought of pounding into big seas and winds for another six hours helped make the decision easy. We went to anchor in the bay. Over the next several hours we saw numerous yachts sail past us and within 30 minutes they had all turned round and come to join us in the bay.

At first light the following morning we set off from Portopalo with a strong wind behind us and had one of the best sails we had all year. Cygnus III was flying in glorious sunshine and the sea was now picking us up and pushed us forward like an army volunteer.


Marina Di Ragusa

Winter liveaboards in Marina di Ragusa

Yacht Marina di Ragusa Marina

The wind that took us to Marina Di Ragusa became a real pain once we got into the outer harbour. It had been fantastic sail but the strong winds were now side on to Cygnus III and were blowing us all over. We needed help to get in. A Marinello and his rib came out to assist and used the dinghy as a tug boat to push us through the wind and into the berth. It was a relief and once tied up properly we celebrated the fact we were in our winter home with a beer or two.


A huge winter liveaboards community.

Marina Di Ragusa has a huge purpose built marina and is known for having a large number of winter liveaboards so we would not be lonely.

The town of Marina Di Ragusa usually consists of about 10,000 locals but in summer this number swells to 60,000.  This probably has something to do with the beautiful long sandy beaches but October is classed as winter so there were only us live aboard’s and the locals.

Marina Di Ragusa at night

Marina Di Ragusa at night

Over the next few days more boats came sailing in and we began to get to know everyone. There would be about 40 or 50 people staying full time and others going back to their respective homelands before returning later. There was every nationality imaginable of liveaboards but luckily for us everyone spoke English. Well everyone apart from the Americans and Canadians who had a language all of their own. It resembled English apart from they kept using the wrong words. We have had to have special classes to teach them how to speak the Queen’s English and what a “Fanny” actually is.


All nationalities are one family. Sailors.

Ragusa IBLA

Ragusa IBLA old town

It did not take long for us to form our own liveaboards community and quickly realise that no matter which country we came from we were all the same. We were all living on boats and had a dream of seeing as much of the world as possible. There also seemed to a hidden agenda of drinking your own weight in wine each month and for some that was an awful lot of wine.

Very quickly a radio net was formed so each day we could check on each other, sort any problems out and notify each other of any social events. As liveaboards it was important for us to socialise and become big kids again. We had left behind our responsibility to society and instead wanted to have fun. A few of the organised events included exercise classes (normal, Ti Chi or Yoga), guitar classes, boat maintenance classes, days out, men’s drinking afternoon to put the world to rights, women’s stitch and bitch, numerous social evenings to celebrate anything, Italian lessons, cooking and many others. In between there would be other one off events. It was certainly social but then again there was never any pressure to attend anything. It was personal preference.


Sicily is an amazing Island

Over the coming seven months we would visit various places in Sicily and discover an amazing history, some really, really strange things (have you seen 800 mummified hanging bodies?) and meet some wonderful Sicilians. We were in for a treat but that is for later.

As for now we were happy that Cygnus III was tied up safely, we could forget about sailing for a while and as liveaboards in Marina di Ragusa we were in for a wonderful but busy winter.



Before I finish this blog here are a few of the universes unanswered questions for you to ponder.

Why do we press harder on the remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?

Why is it that when someone tells you that there are one billion stars in the universe you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint you have to touch it to check?

Why do they use sterilised needles for lethal injections?

Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Why is there an “s” in the word “lisp”?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialised?

Why do people run over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it and then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

If you can think of any more “why’s” or want to know about being liveaboards on a boat or Marina Di Ragusa just leave a comment below or send us a message.



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  1. We spent the 2012 season there and just loved it. My capt gets misty eyed just remembering it. Loved the opera in Catania and wine cheaper than water. Loved getting milk at the laughing cow station on the square.

  2. “Why do they use sterilized needles for lethal injections?”
    I know this one… Read somewhere it is because a stay of execution can come by phone at any time (we all saw it in the movies) and they do not want the liability in case they give the poor guy an infection… How nice of them…

  3. LMAO!!!! I really did laugh out loud when I read about the Vacuum and the string LOL (I have done it!!! LOL) – all were hilarious, thanks for my chuckle of the day 🙂
    I enjoyed your adventure, I have only been to Italy once, but I fell in love with it. It has an aura about it 🙂 Maybe I will get to Sicily one day, it sounds beautiful there.
    I see you have moved on from cats to Canadians, eh! 🙂 lol just kidding, I like your posts and as a cat lover and Canadian I know we can talk weird (that goes for my cats too) lol
    – A Fanny is your butt, right?
    – I have heard of PMS, hmm, used to happen to me but is PMT different?
    always a pleasure reading your adventures 🙂

    1. Thank you for the comment Sandy. Sicily really is a special place although it was not somewhere that originally held any attraction for me. Having spent some time as liveaboards in Marina Di Ragusa there is an amazing variety of things to do and history unfold in front of you. Again thank you for the comment.

    1. Me, an agent provocateur. Never, just a pair of liveaboards contemplating life with questions such as “Why won’t men ever ask directions” and “Why do women think they are never wrong”?

    1. Thank you Hans, we really enjoy it here in Matina Di Ragusa. You will have to try it one year as it is only a few days sail away from you and I still want that beer this year.

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