Sao Miguel

Basil Panakis
Wed 29 Jun 2016 19:09
Sailed for approx 12 hours before the wind died. Put the engine and slowly slowly we made to Ponta Delgada. As usual I called in and he told me to take a berth and then report to the marina. By coincidence I took the same berth as last time.
The Police guy recognised me from last time.
Monday I called on Thomas, arranged for a trip up the mast for the afternoon. Lovely day, scorching. I bought an LED nav light (99 Euro), and LED all white anchor light (80 Euro), and put my name down for an LED tricolor for (160 Euro). This was subject to mine being caput. With the help of a fellow Brit tailing we sent Thomas to the top. Came down with the lopolight saying it is not working. I tested it and it worked. Before going up again tested all the lower down connections and the one by the mast failed. Up he went and put the lopolight back, down he came and connected this time the offending part himself. I was relieved, certainly his fees would be less than the light, by almost 100 Euro. The nav light did not work so he took it back. The next day he gave me a cheaper alternative as he had no other LED green light. Instead I bought an LED “bulb” instead of the ordinary one that the light came with it. Bought another self amalgamating tape (white). Total charges for him were 67 or something, total in the region of 260 cash. A big battery 225, but did not go for that. Checked with TUDOR batteries and they had a 25% discount, so instead of something 255 paid 179 cash again.
Following day I had spring washers and 3 bolts cut to size for my furling gear. I discovered in Praia that I lost 3 of the screws. I put much longer ones in with nuts to the required depth and had them taped, to stop them for undoing and falling off.
Also decided to buy netting as I had found my nets on the boat.
Thomas watched my video on which he figures. He liked it. He was was due to watch Nick, his mate, of the Tahiti Belle fame. I told him that he had died recently.
On Thursday Isabel booked me on a guided tour of the blue-green lakes etc. The weather was lousy so missed really most things. May be in hindsight it was a 50 euro down the drain.
The following day Friday I took the local bus and went to Furnas. Couple of hours in the Botanical gardens was enough for me. Has a burger, a beer and coffee for 5.10, good value. Then took the taxi to the place were all the steam comes out by the lake and where the locals and restaurants cook their meals. I negotiated with the driver to take me there and bring me back and wait for me while I did my touristy bit of taking photos and video. Ten euro well spent. At the tourist office I was advised of the route 9.5 kms, 3 hours plus 1 hour to walk around the lake. 4 hours in the heat, no way Jose. Half an hour with the taxi was fine.
The driver had lived in California and we had a good rapport. He told also about the Brexit results. As I was getting off he told me that there were further calderas and hot spring the other side of town. Off I went to taste the foul smells and various water springs, spit the lot. They were boiling corn on the cob in some of the springs. So I had one and it was really lovely. Very succulent.
Saturday morning I left. I think that was based on some not so sound weather predictions. It would have just as good to have left at noon or just after.