Sao Jorge 38 40N 28 12W
Next stop on our whistle stop tour of these islands is St George...hence this pavement art.
As we arrived into the marina at Sao Jorge, José, the marina manager met us throwing his arms in the air and shouting, “Welcome to Paradise”, the nicest greeting we have had at any marina. Like many of the newer marinas it is small though bigger than Flores and Pico which are tiny. José works it like a jigsaw puzzle and squeezed us into an improbable space but which worked extremely well.
One of the highlights of being in Sao Jorge was a rendezvous with Tom Fisher, who is now owner of our previous boat Arctic Smoke and whom we traced through the web site he has for the boat. Shortly after we sold her into dual ownership the younger of the two owners sadly died and Arctic Smoke wallowed in Lowestoft for five years with little attention, not good for any yacht. Arctic Smoke is an Elizabethan 33 with classic lines and a traditional long keel that takes the sea in its stride. She is now in good hands;Tom has done lots of work to bring her back to a sailing life and brought her to the Azores with friend Tony for an ocean trial that has gone well. The marina manager berthed them next to Gryphon II, it felt unusual to see boats 5 and 6 together. It has been such a pleasure to see Arctic Smoke and meet Tom out here. We hired a car and travelled Sao Jorge together having a very enjoyable day in the varied terrain of the island and Tom left next day for Terceira where he will get AC ready for leaving in the marina there whilst he makes a short visit back home before sailing her back.
Tom embarking on a cool snorkel in one of the natural swimming pools that occur in all the islands.
The tiny marina we squeezed into is next to the pretty little town with this attractive square (or round).
The island is a plateau with steep sides falling to the sea. The surface is covered by pasture on which cattle are raised producing milk for a delicious range of cheeses. The Azores have the most pungent and wonderful scents of anywhere we have been, If it were raining all the time as it was when we came in 1982 it would be a different story but we have had such wonderful weather here we feel very lucky.
As usual the hedges are riotous thickets of hydrangea and roses, a delight to the eye and the scents are wonderful.
Last day of June and we left Sao Jorge at 06:20 as the sun was rising.
It was with some regret that we left Sao Jorge, not because it was our favourite island, although very attractive, but because this journey takes us to Terceira from where we will leave the Azores.