Faial life

Tue 7 Feb 2023 08:46

Hey all, sorry about the very delayed blog entry. Have just read through my last entry which was last year. Says `ill try and keep blog updated – miserable failure!


Hope you all had a good Christmas and NY. We`ve bounced around a few places here but were in a really nice little garden room for Christmas and until a few weeks ago. We`ve been enjoying Faial, lots of good running trails with amazing vistas and terrain to enjoy. We managed the coast to coast E to W, 7.5 hrs, 36 K with nearly 2k m of ascent. We were suitably tired on sailors legs! Mountain biking is also amazing, a little frustrating in that  we don’t have bikes but have hired and had a good session.  Also been getting in the water plenty to foil. Katie has really cracked it and is now ripping around, flying upwind and starting to gybe. It is a bit limited in terms of spots, the harbor is good and flat but always v gusty. Porto Pim is a small S facing beach which i`ve had some good sessions in the waves at but only really works in small wind direction of SSW to WSW.


Weather though January been pretty cold and wet. Not quite what we’d hoped for. Often only 12 degrees. Has been much better recently with temps above 20 and sunshine.


We`ve met some great people, Tom and Sofia. Tom is a red bull paraglider pilot, Sofia a sports TV presenter in Belgium. They fly in and out for work. They’ve just built an amazing house overlooking Pico and the volcano which they lent to us for 2 weeks recently when they were both away!

Thomas and Janina, another ex pat couple who are great and we`ve been in the water lots with Thomas winging. All of them experienced sailors (think everyone in the azores is!) so loads of help and advice for Moonshiner.  


We’ve just had a weekend on Pico, the Volcano is magic. The highest peak in Portugal. 2300. Trail start form about a 1000m so kind of like a good UK Mtn day. Amazing views form the top. Pico gots loads of nice places and as always Katie sniffed out some really good restaurants.


So, Moonshiner………..


She was in a pretty sorry state when we got here. Has been really hard to fully asses damage and we`re still getting to bits we haven’t found. The Gantry, deck equipment and electrical problems were clear but predictably difficult to fully elucidate and repair. Everything was just saturated with salt water, we’ve finally got her dry after a month of heaters and for the past 2 weeks hot Azorian sunshine. The whole coach roof took a beating we think with just about everything on it leaking.


Saloon windows have all been removed, sealed and rebedded

Heads, saloon and chart table hatches replaced.

12 v Nav system powered up with a new dropper.

12 and 24v battery chargers replaced.

AIS aerial, cable and box replaced.

New cockpit spray hood nearly ready

Solar gantry in progress

New saloon upholstery and cushions being made.

Rig check done, mast head lights replaced.


We`ve done a huge amount on the boat being there most days, often for lots of hours. Joao, the MAYS main man is a pleasure to work with and a real perfectionist.

Katie  has taken it upon herself to revamp all of the wood, a mammoth task that is nearing completion. Everything has been striped, sanded and re varnished with many many coats. Is all looking really good.


So progress is good, we`re optimist about getting away. I`m sure the last 5% will be the hardest bit though.


Still to do


Finish and fit spray hoods,

Have cockpit cushions made

Finish and fit gantry

Refit/wire solar panels

Sort aft bilge pump

Fit replacement mast top wind instruments.



My folks are flying out on the 26th of February for a week. Hopefully a good opportunity for sea trials, the Islands of Sao Jorge and Terceria look  great for a few days cruising from here. We’ll then come back to Horta for final prep before leaving about March 7th or as soon as weather allows. We’ve found some crew on crewfinder. A father and son team from the UK and a Belgium vet! Should make the Atlantic crossing more pleasant as a big lesson getting here was how nice a good crew is!


Hope life in the UK is good, looks like its been cold. V jealous of some amazing Scottish winter conditions. Thanks for all the messages, emails etc. We really will try and do a bit more updating.


Will ping some pics shortly.




Ben & Katie.







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