Jetstream Chronicles - Part 5
Jet Stream Chronicles - Part 5
And so we had to motor-sail for a fair part of the trip from Faial to Terceira, arriving around 8pm and anchored off the marina in very rolly and rocky conditions – the marina was completely full, including the reception and fuel dock – ah, well, such is cruising.
On the 72 mile, 13 hour trip we saw:
The following morning we were allocated a berth and tied up around 11am, somewhat tired from little sleep the night before, rolling and meandering around in the anchorage. The marina is smaller than it looks and storm damage earlier this year knocked out two pontoons making space even more of a headache for the marina staff. The town itself was recovering from 10 days of festivals with lights, decorations, flowers, music stands and the mobile bars and cafe’s still evident – they certainly know how to party here. Alas we missed it, so a good reason to return at some stage.
Interestingly we caught up with Linda from Coromandel again, and Paul and Jackie met Ricky and his wife Ailish, whom they had last seen in Northern Ireland some years ago, which led to a fine evening of wine and nibbles and catching up – Ricky and Ailish had been in the Caribbean and knew a number of folks we knew from our time there – Just Imagaine with Cheryl and Robin, Quicksilver with Sharon and Chris, Karma with Joannie and Graham, Allegro with Sharon and Lee and Piano with Sue and Malcolm, quite a small world the cruising community. We also bumped into Paul (SeaLove) , from The Netherlands, who we had met over-wintering in Lagos and who would also be heading back there in a few weeks. Then, late in the day we met Seamus, who was also in Lagos over the winter.
We decided to hire a car and see the island; a grey start to what became a very nice day. We drove to Praia do Vitoria, where the other marina is located, to take a look around – it’s a nice town with an extensive beach, though the marina was small and full and has a challenging entrance. We continued around the coast and had a rather fine late lunch in a restaurant, Caneta in Altares, recommended by the car hire folks. It was a very popular place with lots and lots of locals – the meat is from their own farm next door – very delicious fare indeed. We continued on, via the highest peak on the island – Santa Barbara and at 1021 metres it was very cold, cloudy and damp up there after reaching the top on a very narrow twisting road. We then back down again stopping for the view once below the clouds and carried on to the caves – one a lava tube cave system (The Christmas Cave, as they hold a mass there each year), and one in an old volcano which last erupted some 12,000 years ago – both very interesting, both very damp, and fascinating nonetheless. Occasionally they hold concerts in the volcano cave in a part called The Cathedral – take a raincoat if you go! The island is very green and has extensive agriculture, but also has a bit of a buzz about it, something that was lacking on Pico we felt. Angra Heroismo, where we are berthed, is a nice town with extensive shops, interesting architecture in the houses and other buildings, squares, forts and huge amounts of history (and churches), reflecting the people and its culture over the past 600 years or so of occupation. It was covered in pretty lights when we arrived but they have now been taken down.
The following morning was spent sourcing and fitting an alternator belt – boats are never designed for making repairs and replacing bits very easy, so this, as usual, was a bit of a challenge. It took three pairs of hands to finally get the belt fitted and tightened, in a small awkward space. However we managed it eventually after much effort and were rewarded with a fine lunch at a recommend local restaurant. Another great meal indeed. A wander around the town and the forts and we were ready for our departure to San Miguel and Ponto Delgarda the following day – this will be a 90 or so mile overnight sail.
Terceira is a lovely island and well worth a visit, particularly when the festivals are on. We missed the bull running in the streets which was a bit of a shame, but time has caught up with us, largely due to the lengthy stay in Horta. The bulls are well treated here and while used for sport, are not harmed, as they are in Spain. However folks running with them occasionally get more bruises than they were expecting.
We do seem to be eating quite a bit on this trip.........
.....Off to San Miguel.........
More in due course,
Andrew, Susan, Jackie, Paul
Angra Heroismo, Terceira, Azores
(PS: Happy birthday to Paul)