Nina bound for Lagos, Portugal

Mon 7 Jun 2021 18:29
So we left Horta at 1530 local time, an hour behind UK. Couldn’t leave earlier because we had to wait for our Camping Gaz bottle to be refilled - not possible at the weekend. It’s a spare but thinking crew may get mutinous if hot food and tea suddenly become unavailable.

We enjoyed our few days on Faial. Hired scooters yesterday and bombed around the island which has some curious sights. An inland lighthouse, usefulness limited by a volcano that appeared in front of it, extending its peninsular. Very exotic trees and also creepers growing up huge cliffs. Then the magnificent Caldera crowning the island. Nick and Matt made a death defying run down the mountain. It appears scooters can get to quite ridiculous speeds on extended downhill sections. Ross and I enjoyed the scenery rather more.

The key memory of Horta is the view from the harbour to the next door island of Pico, with its magnificent 2400m mountain. A perfect conical shape reminding me of Mt Fuji in Japan. Clouds whisk past it, or completely cover it. Other times it stands out brilliantly in the sunshine. Lovely with sun setting later on the top too.

Also great memories of 2 good nights out with the other crews once we finally got ashore, especially last night at the famous Peter’s Sports Cafe, frequented by many many famous trans Atlantic sailors.

We are bound for Lagos, a just under 1000 mile trip. Heading very slightly North of the direct route to get a bit more wind. Satisfactory winds if a little behind us. We should make acceptable progress for the first half of the journey. Then likely a short motor to reach the Portuguese Northerly trade winds. Should be a fast run after that. Will take around 6 days.

We still have the YB tracker on but have left well ahead of the main fleet. As one boat is still completing the Bermuda to Horta leg, you can find us on the same screen as before. You will see Big Bear half way to UK too. ARC may switch on the Azores Portugal leg at some point which will then show our distance to complete ( rather than Finished and our time to Horta.

In other news, the results of the First Leg from St Maarten to Bermuda were finally published. After adjusting for boat sizes and a related time allowance, Nina came first and Buganvilia second. We had a last chat with the crazy Chileans before departing. They were fun and we definitely beat them on the second leg despite their bold claims in Bermuda - especially in the bar.

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