Horta - 10 July

Mon 10 Jul 2006 15:42

We are now back in Horta, awaiting the arrival of Mark (Wyld), who is joining us for the passage back to England. 
We left Ponta Delgada early yesterday morning, after saying goodbye to Wild Alliance.  It really feels like the end of the trip, now that we have left all the boats that we have been travelling with for so long.
The marine life we saw on the trip was amazing.  On three occasions we had dolphins swimming around the boat.
Atlantic Spotted Dolphins - Mother with young
We think this one is pregnant
We also saw a pod of pilot whales.  In the picture below there are two whales together - a mother and a calf.  The mother is shielding her young from us.
The passage from Ponta Delgada was not the most enjoyable as we had to motor the whole way (150 miles).  The effect of the Azores High - we are now accustomed to seeing the barometer above 1025mb.  The lack of wind did mean that there were flat seas, which were good conditions for spotting dolphins and whales.  We also had glorious sunshine.
We passed the island of Pico at daybreak this morning and the mountain had been coloured a deep red by the dawn.  The colour changed every few minutes, like Ayres Rock.  We were lucky that the usual covering of cloud had lifted; the peak is 2351m and looked spectacular.
Horta looked beautiful in the early morning sun.  We came into the marina and fuelled up.  The water here is crystal clear and the sea bed can easily be seen.  Unusual for a marina, and this is the fourth busiest yacht transit port in the world.   We expect to leave here, bound for Falmouth, England, on 13 July, assuming a good forecast.  If we make good time we may stop at the Scilly Isles for a night or two.