Arrival in the Azores
Terry/ Nicola Flinn
Wed 13 Jun 2007 16:26
37:44.41N 25:39.51W Ponta Delgada, the Azores.
We finally arrived in Horta harbour on the island of Faial at 0245hrs on Saturday, 9th June after 17 days at sea.
We sailed 2065 miles against the 1800 we had expected and arrived 2 days late, because we elected to stay out at sea rather than risk the severe weather forecast for Horta. Our decision proved to be the correct one, for we suffered no damage, while those boats already in harbour and those that continued inbound experienced very frightening conditions.
Although quite tired, we were pleased to arrive in time to join the coach trip around the island, and most importantly, to attend the prize-giving cocktail party. Much to our great surprise and delight, we were awarded 2nd place in our class.
Because of our late arrival, time was at a premium and laundry, provisioning, and maintenance were a priority. The World Cruising Club's schedule, calculated for much larger boats than ourselves, is very optimistic, even in ideal weather conditions, and so we decided to miss out the 2nd leg to Terceira and instead sail straight to Ponta Delgada after taking a rest for 3 days.
Hamish decided to fly home from Horta, but Tony will stay with us all the way back to England.
We enjoyed our time in Horta on the island of Faial, which is very green and reminds us of Ireland. The locals are very friendly and there is a long seafaring tradition here. The walls, jetties and pavements are bedecked with murals and pictures painted by visiting yachts; Nicola and I would like to revisit the Azores again soon and leave our own Flinesse motif.
At first light on Tuesday, we left Horta for the overnight 145 mile passage to Ponta Delgada, which is to be our last stop in the Azores. We experienced winds gusting up to 38 knots, but because they were exactly on our tail, apart from the rather uncomfortable rolling motion and rather penetrating rain during the night, we had a fast, trouble-free passage; we arrived in Ponta Delgada marina at 7am on Wednesday morning.
Unfortunately we may well be forced, yet again, to join in the merrymaking, before leaving for Falmouth on Sunday!