Fri 9 May 2014 22:58
We are on our way from Horta/faial to ponta delgada/sao miguel where we shall meet Barbara (much expected) and loose Karsten who will be replaced by Henning. Karsten threw a farewell party starting at a nice restaurant followed by ample drinks at the famous Cafe du Sport (Peter's Bar) which lasted till about 2am. There we were joined by friends from Flores, yacht Bartas, a French steel cruiser from near Sete. Its crew is composed of family and friends between about 20 and 45, all male, one working for Greenpeace and everyone very ecological. They went ashore on Flores to gather their own wild food, some kind of celery and lettuce. Delightful company and looking quite hippy. We were also joined by Morten from Haderslev in Danmark who sailed his boat (a wonderful X Yacht 42) back singlehanded. We hope to meet him in Falmouth but he might be well ahead of us because of an earlier departure and a faster boat. He participated in the ARC with his wife.
Sao Miguel is the largest island of the Azores and the most densely populated. We shall spend 4 or 5 days there and try to visit some of its attractions, among them the emerald and sapphire lakes which were created, it is reliably reported, by the tears of a princess and a shepherd boy who were forbidden to meet. For centuries the village in the caldera on the crater floor was accessible only by a narrow and steep foot path and generations lived their lives there without ever leaving it or seeing the sea. So the Azores have their own Hobbit world!
Another attraction is the Vale de Furnas with its thermal springs. On ones way there one passes a lake which, at its northern end, has a 'natural kitchen'. Whole meals are sealed in pots and buried in the ground to produce a local speciality called Cozido which
takes on a slightly sulfuric taste. The recipy for Poule au Volcan begins with the words "Take a volcano and ...". The less adventurous or more geriatric may try out the Spa associated with the thermal springs.
Lets see whether it lives up to its reputantion and our expectations!
Bye for now
PS it is 11pm half moon, sea calm, 9kn apparent wind 90 degrees on stb and we do 6.7 knots this is how night watches are meant to be, pure magic.
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