Caroline wrote 2 days ago: There is a
need to press on to Bermuda, partly because of crew changes, but also to get
across to the US before the hurricane season. So
we headed straight to Faial Island, with very little visibility and
winds increasing to gale force as we get closer to Horta. Even people who have
lived here for many years say that the weather has been exceptional, with strong
winds and rain since December.
seem to like officialdom, but perhaps it is partly that they are at the western
extremity of the EU. On arrival in Horta we had to wait our turn at the marina
office for all our details to be computerised and printed. Next stop is the Immigration Office,
followed by the Customs office and then the Police, each documenting your
details and making a paper copy.
The final part of the process is at the Harbour Office, when, having paid
2 Euros in light tax (lighthouses) you are given a certificate and a receipt
that has been stamped and authorised by a supervisor. Still as with all the Azoreans we
have come across, everyone is courteous and will go out of their way to
arriving in Horta are on a mission – it is a place to replenish supplies, get
things fixed and continue on across the Atlantic. The
season for visiting yachtsmen is short, which may explain the dearth of
restaurants, but doesn’t explain how, whilst it’s difficult to find bananas or
fresh milk, you have a wide choice of stylish dresses or can buy a smart suit.
Horta harbour is known for the thousands of pictures covering every part of the
walls around the two marinas, which are a fun kaleidoscope of colour and design
as crews over the years have recorded their boat’s transit. Perhaps it’s because most people don’t
have long to stay in this lovely island that they want to leave something
behind. Desiree did a great job in buying paint and templating our logo and
‘Discovery Magic’ on the quay – quite an achievement as it was still wet from
the torrential rain.
Saturday and two days outfrom Horta, we are now more than a tenth of the way
around the world! Well that’s if
you cheat and are able to stay at this latitude – nonetheless we are now about a
fifth of our way to Bermuda. I think we will have very little wind
for a couple of days, so it’s a case of motoring for a while. Still, this is the first really warm day
and we shall have lunch in the cockpit; we have had yet another amazing display
of dolphins this morning and Desiree has just spotted a whale - not bad for a
lazy Saturday morning.