Ponta Delgada 37:44.41N 25:39.58W

The Return of Irene III - 2018
Louis Goor
Tue 5 Jun 2018 19:27
17.40pm Tuesday June 2018

Ponta Delgada

Strong southerly winds continued through Sunday afternoon and we covered the
82 nautical miles into Ponta Delgada in just nine hours. We tied Irene III
up at the customs reception quay at 11.50pm and settled in for the night.
The customs and immigration offices opened at 9am on Monday morning and it
did not take long to clear formalities. We also took the opportunity to
refuel taking on some 550 litres of diesel. We moved to our allotted berth
in the 'new' marina, which incidently, is the same one we stayed in when
returning from Antigua in 2010 on Irene II.

Ponta Delgada is situated on the south coast of the island of Sao Miguel the
principle of the nine islands that make up the Azores. Monday was a dull
overcast day with torrential rain all day long. It pounded the decks and
washed off the salt crystals which had accumulated on the passage. With the
weather being as it was and with the tiredness of the crew from the rough
passage, Monday was very much a rest day. The electrician from the local
Mastervolt agent arrived, fitted and tested the replacement charger which
had been ordered by Louis and gratefully we can report that all seems well
on that front.

We had a late lunch in a nearby restaurant and in place of dinner we snacked
aboard on grapes Azorean cheeses and drank a few glasses of excellent local
wine. A few of us had sourced the wine from a seafront wine store where we
also enquired about Gordon's gin, only to be told by the charming
proprietress that an elderly gentleman had come in an hour before us and
bought her entire stock of the product - some six bottles at Euro 9.60 each.
Returning to Irene III, we discovered that the elderly gentleman was non
other than our skipper. After our supper, the 'younger' crew members set
out for a night on the town returning at 4.30am this morning.

Today, Tuesday has been bright and sunny and the marina has been buzzing
with yachts returning to Europe having completed the ARC in late 2017. Many
of the boats are bedecked in bunting ,making for a colourful sight. The
crew have been busy with chores progressively ticking them off the long 'to
do' list. A provisioning expedition was made to a supermarket on the
outskirts of the town and the contrast in prices between here and Bermuda is
stark with produce some 3 to 5 time dearer in Bermuda.

We now plan to leave Ponta Delgada early on Thursday morning.
Unfortunately, Tom Fitzpatrick will be leaving us here as he must return to
Dublin to sort out issues on his new house build. Tom has been a great
shipmate and we will all miss him on the next leg of our voyage.