Return to Horta

Terry/ Nicola Flinn
Sun 5 Aug 2012 10:03
As expected, we had to motor the entire 131 miles back to Horta on a scorching, hot day and a mild, moonlight night.
Our Simrad chart plotter has failed, which means that we have to use our hand-held GPS for navigation. Unfortunately, the AIS system, which warns us of the approach of large vessels, needs information from the Simrad and so it no longer works. On arrival in Horta, Terry managed to find a suitable computer cable to link the AIS with the hand-held GPS, but then spent the entire afternoon trying to get the system working again. After a chat with the very helpful marine electronics expert in the local chandlery, the frustration ended and we again had a working AIS.
The next priority was a haircut to change the ageing hippy appearance. 
It is the start of Sea Week at Horta and the whole town has been transformed with outdoor restaurants, bars, exhibition marquees and a giant stage.
The mayor of Horta visited the marina shortly after we arrived, to welcome the visiting boats and handed out bunches of hydrangeas and goody-bags which included a sample of one of the very tasty local cheeses. There is a comprehensive programme of sailing and rowing regattas, parades, concerts, gigs and cultural events as well as the arrival of a fleet of French yachts racing to Horta from Sable d’Olonne in Brittany later in the week.
We would have liked to stay for the whole event, but must move on to Graciosa on Monday if we are to achieve our ambition of visiting all the islands and still make it back to Vigo by the end of August.