Santa Maria

First order of business was getting the sail patched.  A check of resources available in Santa Maria revealed no one on the island with a sewing machine for sailed.  Dave of Himmel, volunteered to help.  He brought his patch kit and Carlos brought out the sail repair kit he bought at West Marine in Portsmouth, VA.  We hauled the genoa down and for the next 90 minutes Carlos sewed.  Pushing a needle through the heavy Dacron at the foot of sail took a lot of strength.  I took over and finished the job in a little more than an hour.    The patch looked darn good, considering Carlos and I had never sewn one before.

Dave of Himmel offering technical support to Carlos.
Dave and Roy getting the genoa sorted out and ready to hoist.

To celebrate our victory with the sail tape, I went with Roy to get a grilled tuna lunch.  I wish I had a picture.  It was a big tuna steak, grilled and served with a cup of butter.  The flavor of the wood grill added a new dimension to tuna.

Tomorrow we set sail for Portugal.  Hard to believe it is the last leg.  The winds are forecast to be less than 10 kts for the next three days.  It would be nice to have more wind, but it is what it is.

Day Sail to Santa Maria.

We had to take on fuel, so we were slow getting out of Sao Meguel.  We had to wait while Flying Doplin finished.  Eventually, the dock was free.  We fueled and headed out.  The wind was mild and right on our stern.  We sailed between 5 and 6 knots for five hours.    We had to gibe and in the process of shifting the whisker pole to the starboard side, the pole ripped a 5 inch tear in the foot of the genoa sail. We sailed on because it was in the foot of the sail there was two layers of fabric.

Roy and Carlos setting the whisker pole on the genoa.

We were the last ones to leave Sao Miguel and eventually caught Migaloo.  At that point the wind died and we used the Yanmar sail, i.e., the diesel engine to reach Santa Maria before customs closed.

Once in Santa Maria, we were invited to Principal Interest for drinks and appetizers. We received the tour of another incredible boat.  If the Oyster is a Rolls, a Farr is a Bentley.  The mast is 95 ft tall, the keel is 9.5 ft.  Even the rudder is 7.5 deep.  It is 60 ft long.  The boat is built to go fast.  On AIS, Carlos and Kathy watched Ed maneuver the boat in the very tight marina.  Keeping with the auto metaphor, it was like parking a Chevy Suburban in a European parking garage designed for Smart cars.  Somehow without crashing into another boat or the dock, Ed found a space that would fit. The Migaloo crew joined the North Wind crew and told docking horror tales.

Evening at the marina on Santa Maria.

Bus Tour of São Miguel

“Azorean legend has it that long ago a beautiful Princess with piercing blue eyes used to roam the countryside because she was in love with land. One day she came across a humble shepherd tending to his flock on a nearby hillside. She and the shepherd began talking about their shared love of the flora and fauna all around. They returned to the same spot day after day to meet and quickly fell into love. When the King found out his daughter was in love in a lowly shepherd, he was displeased and told his daughter she had to marry a foreign prince and she was no longer allowed to see the shepherd. The Princess knew she must oblige her father, but asked the King if she could see her love one more time. She and the shepherd met a final time, at the same spot on the hillside, and she shared the sad news. They both cried endless tears, and it’s said that her flowing blue tears filled the Blue Lake and tears from his emerald colored eyes filled the Green Lake. While they were separated from that moment on, they were still together forever in those two connecting lakes.” from 

From this perspective, it looks like the lake in the foreground is as large as the one behind it.  However, the Blue lake in the background is much bigger.  It is a Blue Lake because it reflects the blue of the sky.  In contrast, the smaller Green lake reflects the green color of the vegetation sourrounding the lake.  The lakes formed in a large volcanic crater.

I enjoyed a Coke with ice and lemon at the above resturant.  If you ask for a coke with ice, they normally a slice of lemon.  This little town is on the banks of the Blue Lake.  Our guide mentioned that the houses are small and very expensive, 2 million Euros ($2.300,000).

Even small towns have large churches.  The lichens covered the trees on the path to the church.

Where the Azorean pineapples are grown.  The roof is painted white.
When the paints are this big, they fill the hot house with smoke.  This puts the plants on the same timetable.

Overnight Sail to Ponta Delgada

Last night, we left Terceira at 1800.  As we motored out of the harbor, we stowed the dock lines and the fenders.   We had daylight for a couple of hours, so were able to see the sails and trim properly.  Before departing, I was not sure about an evening departure.  I questioned voluntarily submitting to a night of interrupted sleep.  I was on for the 2200 shift.  Roy had trimmed the sails well and we were cruising at a comfortable 7-8 kts, very pleasant.  Himmel was .2 nm behind us and Principal Interest was about the same in front of us.  During my shift the wind picked up to 14-16 and we were doing a solid 8 – 8.5 kts.  During the next two hours we passed Principal Interest and put more than a 1 nm between us and both boots.

Carlos took over after my shift.  About an hour into his shift there was a gust of wind that suddenly heeled us over, not to the point of putting the sails in the water.  It was enough to shut off the autopilot.  Carlos was teethed to the table and unable to get to the helm in time to avert a 360.  I slept through it, while Roy emerged from his cabin to help.  It turned out the gusting winds returned to a steady 14-15 kts.  My morning shift started at 0600 and the wind had dropped to 6-8 kts.  Eventually, we dropped the sails and I steered us to Ponta Delgada.  Carlos parked us in a slip.  While Kathy and Carlos went to customs to check us in, I had granola and several cups of English Breakfast tea.  Very tranquil start of the day.  After the experience of the 90 nm night sail, I decided I liked it.  Something worth doing in the future.

This is the cafe were I had a Coke (with ice and lemon) and used the wifi to upload this post. We are in the marina in Ponta Delgada.
I am looking at this church while writing this caption.
This is just to the left of the church.  I walked down this alley to arrive at the cafe.
The crew of Silkie, the only ARC sailors with kids.  Four kids from 2 to 11.  
There are gardeners employed to take care of the flowers along most of the roads.  If we had been here a couple of weeks later, the Hydrangeas would have been incredible.

On the way to meet Carlos and Kathy, and the Migaloo and Prinicpal Interest crews, Roy and I came across an 585 Oyster that was rafted up to us in Bermuda.  Back in Bermuda on board of North Wind, we shared a number of drinks with Louie and his crew.  Louie had mentioned his dad woul be taking the boat from the Azores.  Sure enough, we introduced ourselves to John, Louie’s dad, and were invited aboard.   He welcomed us by giving us an indepth tour of the boat; electronics, galley, thruhulls, cabins, and hydraulics for winches, furling genoa, backstay, etc.  Burled wood on the table was worthy of a photo, but I did not have my camera.  Oysters are build in Great Britton and if you think of a parellel to autos, it would be comparable to a Rolls Royce.  John insisted on gin and tonics, so that delayed enough that we missed dinner with the other crews.



Strolling around Angra on the Island of Terceiro

ARC sailors are on a walking tour of Angra Heroismo


Notice the tiled walkway.
This is the look of sidewalks across the entire town of Angra.
Town Hall
It is no wonder that Angra has the designation of a World Heritage Site.  Amazing!  It is the  people who are incredibly friendly and helpful that make the Azores a wonderful place to visit.
The view of the town from a castle on a hill.
Returned to the marina to get ready for running of the bulls.

We Depart Horta for Terceira

It is a tradition to record your passage through Horta on the dock.  Kathy and Carlos painted the North Wind mark on the dock.  The tradition is based on the belief that the painting will result in a successful passage to the next distant port. 
Many sailors have left their mark.
The crew of Himmel, my Mt Pico buddies.

The ARC was scheduled for a 0700 departure.  In the Horta Marina, five boats were rafted off the dock.   We were the third boat from the dock.   The outside two boats were efficient in untying their lines and were off at about 0645.  We were ready, so in two minutes we were free and headed out of the marina.  Since it wasn’t a timed start, we set the sails.  Because our generator was not working and we had not connected to shore power, we had to run the engine to charge the batteries.  And run the engine we did.  With the aid of the engine we led the pack and put some distance between us and others.

A last look at Mt Pico
It is hard to tell from the picture, but the waterfall is quite tall. This was a view off our port beam.

When we emerged from the lee of Pico, the engine was off and we cruised with a 12-14 kt wind that put us between a close reach and beam reach.  Very pleasant sailing at 7 kts, occasionally seeing 8 kts.  I took two naps on the 9-hour trip to the impressive Angra do Heroismo marina on the island of Terceira.

Safely docked in the marina at Angra do Heroismo, Terceira.

In the evening, we enjoyed a group meal at the sailing club.  Everything I sampled off the buffet was tasty.  After the meal, a band came on and did American/British rock and roll.