Italy, Sicily, Siracusa - checking in and out
After having stayed in Tunisia for almost 7 months during the winter season, finally, the time to return to Europe and to start the 2019 sailing season had arrived.
We crossed the Sicilian and the Malta channel and arrived in Siracusa, Sicily so now we needed to check in back to Schengen, make a new Costituto* before doing anything else.
We entered the harbour around 6am after requesting permission to go on the anchor with the Harbour Master on channel 16 on the VHF. After they confirmed the vessel details we were granted permission and informed to be at the Guarda Costeria office at 8am for formalities.
At the time requested we were at the pink building that houses the Guarda Costeria on the right-hand side of the Town Quay looking for a place to tie off the dinghy. When knocking on the door we were informed that we were in the wrong place this building was just the Search and Rescue related services, the administrative building was on the Siracusa side not in the Ortigia Island. We got back on the dinghy and went looking for another spot to tie off closer to the right building.
We got to the correct building, filled a form with the vessel details again and were informed that we could stay at anchor in the designated area for as many days we wanted or we could move to the Town Quay for free for up to 5 days but to do so we needed to call on the VHF again for permission. They informed us that they would only do our Costituto* the day before our departure.
We asked where passport control was and they indicated us the Aduane building right next door.
It sounded too good to be true and it was but the staff at the Aduane building was super helpful coming with us to the parking area to explain to us exactly where we should go.
After explaining we had to go around the city block to get to the other side of the complex we decided to go back to the dinghy and see if we could find a closer spot to tie it off.
We didn’t want to risk leaving the dinghy unattended long given the reputation Sicily has when it comes to dinghy theft.
We did find a much closer spot but when we entered the building we were told that the officials that would take care of our passports were taking care of a tanker nearby so they would only be available after lunch. Their immediate suggestion was precisely for us to go to town to take care of our new SIM card and enjoy lunch, for sure we could have our passports taken care of after that.
So we returned back to the dinghy and went to Ortigia Island to enjoy life while waiting to go back.
Upon our return to the Policia Fronteria, the passports were taken care off in 5 minutes whit a very friendly chit chat.
So far the easiest arrival in Italy.
A few days later we decided to go to the Town Quay to make provisioning easier, we requested permission over the VHF and after confirming the vessels details again we were asked to return to the Guarda Costeria office to fill a form, the same form we had filled in the first day.
The Town Quay has no water or electricity available and although in all forums it's mentioned a 10€ daily charge for the rubbish no one has ever come to collect while we were there and the papers handed out by the Guarda Costeria state that the Town Quay is free of charges.
*Costituto- Arrival document issue to non-Schenghen flagged vessels in Italian waters
***In the spirit of sharing our dreams and experiences we have shared this blog post in the NOFOREIGNLAND.COM website sailors community. In this post you can find information regarding check in and out procedures with location for the Coast Guard, Town Quay and Immigration