Monday, June 8, 2015

Marina di Ragusa and Siracusa again

 As I mentioned in our last blog posting, we had cleared out of Malta for Tunisia and had our passports stamped out of the EU.  Then received an email from the air-conditioner repairman in Marina di Ragusa that our a/c unit had been received back from Climma and was ready to re-install.  So, back to Marina di Ragusa we went.  Tunisia will be skipped. That air-conditioning unit is for the main saloon and summer will be here before we know it.  That is much more important than visiting a country about which we hold safety doubts anyway.  Unfortunately, all offices for clearance officials at Marina di Ragusa were closed so we were unable to get our passports stamped back into the EU.  Maybe later farther on in Italy.

Cathedral in Siracusa
The air-conditioner was reinstalled and FINALLY (finally, finally, finally!!!) it works!  This has been an on-going saga since last October.  Bill had done all the trouble-shooting of which he was capable before throwing up his hands and calling a Climma repair technician.  The repairman had replaced some of the same components that Bill had just replaced.  The third set of capacitors did not solve the problem any more than the second set installed by Bill had done.  Bill had diagnosed the problem to lie with the blower but said nothing to the technician.  After testing each component and replacing those 3 capacitors (again), the technician also declared the blower to be defective.  He removed it and shipped it to Climma; it could not be repaired so he installed a new blower.  That solved the initial problem of tripping shore power but a new problem manifested.  As soon as the heat would be turned on, the unit would make a really weird loud noise.  We began to feel sorry for the repairman because this job had become such an ordeal for him.  New blower; new capacitors; new control circuit board.  Each of the old components and the new components tested fine...yet the system did not work without producing a worrying weird loud noise.  He finally removed everything that could be removed and shipped it all to Climma the day before we left Marina di Ragusa in very early May.  When we received his email that the whole unit had been received back from Climma, we came straight back in hopes of this problem finally being solved.  It was!! And for a cost of only 200 Euro (plus the new blower we had purchased last November).  We consider this a bargain!  And are extremely grateful that this Italian repair technician was so dedicated and saw this job to successful completion.  Had he charged us by the hour the cost of repair should have been 5 times what he charged for the total job.  He felt badly that it took so long to get this job done.

Statue on cathedral in Siracusa
More statues on cathedral in Siracusa
We rented a car and did the obligatory shopping, mostly at supermarkets to stock up as much as possible before heading north.  Who knows where we will be stopping or what provisions will be available at those locations.  Best to stock up while easy to do so.  The freezer could not hold another item.

BeBe and Bill in main piazza in Siracusa
A simple church in
old Siracusa
It was a motor trip all the way to Siracusa.  We put out the mainsail for about half the day but never found enough wind to fill the sail.  Once anchored in Siracusa we visited the Port Captain's office to have granddaughter Elisabeth added to our crew list.  We really were not sure if this was necessary or not (for example, Greece does not list children under age 14 on crew lists), but thought we should get paperwork handled correctly if at all possible.  It turned out not to be possible to simply add her to our existing Constitudo crew list, but another one including her as crew was produced and properly stamped by the official.  Still no stamps in our passports, however; he could not do that.  But our crew list includes copies of our passports and the official stamp was affixed to that.  Hopefully, that will suffice at other ports as we progress through Italy.  We tried; this was the best we could do.

BeBe and Bill on typical narrow street in Siracusa

I love Siracusa.  So far, this is my favorite place in Italy.  Love the beautiful old cathedral and the old town on the small island.  The very narrow streets filled with strolling pedestrians and artistic shops are so quaint and lovely.  With a cafe or restaurant always within 100-feet. 

Local cheese caciocavallo
Some kind of seafood.  Related to
shrimp?  Anyone know?

BeBe in her new dress and hat
aboard Sea Bird in Siracusa

The open-air market was just as good as I remembered from our brief stop here last year. This time we bought a few different items to enjoy, like a tiny pig-shaped locally made cheese and some freshly made sun-dried tomatoes which were delicious.  We splurged on some wonderfully delicious shrimp (prawns) that were to die for!  Been a long time since we have enjoyed shrimp.

BeBe posing in her new dress and hat
aboard Sea Bird in Siracusa
One evening Steven and Carol on M/V SEA BIRD hosted several other American couples aboard their gorgeous 62-foot Nordhavn.  It was a lovely evening with good hors d'oeuvres and drinks.  Also in attendance were fellow Americans, Bill and Janet on S/V AIRSTREAM and Bob and Suzanne Rossi on S/V KAMI, a sister-ship Amel Super Maramu 2000.  And, of course, our granddaughter Elisabeth, a/k/a BeBe.  It was a very fun evening.  Turned out that Steve and Carol had been in Trinidad the same time as us back in summer 2006 and we know several boats of friends in common.  Small world.

Janet Wickham of S/V Airstream with
Judy and BeBe aboard Sea Bird

L-R:  Janet (Airstream); Carol (Sea Bird);Judy and BeBe;
Bob and Suzanne Rossi (S/V Kami)
(crappy phone photo because did not bring camera)

Dinner ashore. L-R: Carol, BeBe, Judy, Bill,
Steve, Bill & Janet

Our world, BeBe, anchored next
to The World in Siracusa

MS The World arrived a couple of days ago and anchored next to us.  It felt really strange to be anchored so closely to this monstrous ship!  Check it out at this link: The World

And if anyone knows what that 'MS' stands for, please let me know.

An interesting tidbit about this cruise ship which is owned by its residents is that it successfully completed the Northwest Passage in 2012.  According to Wikipedia, after setting sail from Nome, Alaska on 18 August 2012 and reaching Nuuk, Greenland on 12 September 2012, the ship became the largest passenger vessel to transit the Northwest Passage.  The ship, carrying 481 passengers and crew (crew is normally 260 persons) for 26 days and 4,800 nautical miles, followed in the path of Captain Roald Amundsen, the first sailor to complete the journey in 1906. about that.

SEA BIRD and AIRSTREAM departed this morning.  We also planned to depart this morning but it is so nice here in the Siracusa anchorage that it is becoming hard to force ourselves onward.  We decided to stick around for one more day and do laundry and begin working our way north tomorrow.  We have already cleared out with the local port captain.  Weather forecast for this entire week calls for benign winds.  I would like to get through the Messina Straits while weather is calm.

1 comment:

  1. It’s great that you had a lot of fun on your trip, and you got to see such amazing architectural sights while you were at it. As for your AC problem, congrats on finally having it completely fixed, after a long process of going back and forth with the parts and whatnot. Anyway, I hope that’s the last problem you’ll encounter with it for a while. Good day!

    Tommy Hopkins @ AccuTemp


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