Azores: Nowhere to stay for the winter

The adventures of Chili III
Peter & Belinda Vernon
Thu 11 Aug 2022 10:55

It was the middle of August and every pilot book and sailing commentator tells you not to leave the Azores any later than this given the risk of the weather going against you. We had decided we wanted to leave Chili III in the Azores for the winter if we could and come back in 2023 to explore further. However, arranging this at the last minute proved impossible. All marinas suffer from significant surge, especially Ponta Delgada (which we witnessed despite smooth seas) and so leaving her in the water seemed unwise and risked damage. And yet the 3 yards where we could be lifted out onto the hard were all most definitely full (Vila do Porto at Santa Maria and Angra do Heroismo and Praia da Victoria in Terceira). We knew that our stay might be a brief stopover and so it was to be. 

UK or Spain - where next? 

Back to long range weather forecasting to plan where next. Routing back to the UK was not looking good with headwinds all the way for as far forward as we could see. We only had fuel for 4 days max. Our weather routing tool (Predictwind) had a route without the use of engine taking 22 days and going half-way to Newfoundland. Or we would need to carry more fuel, or wait. The route to Galicia, however looked pretty good and we knew we had a good yard to leave her in there. So, Galica was to be the next stop, leaving just a week after our arrival in the Azores. 

Departing all too soon but we'll definitely be back.