Saturday, 10 June 2023, 08.00

Sat 10 Jun 2023 07:46
We’re just about ready to leave Horta and head to Plymouth. Jonny has arrived, after a delayed flight as flights from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada were cancelled because of the strong gales blowing through. Horta was hit with a less aggressive gale but it was still pretty frisky for two days. We were glad to be tucked up against the inner harbour wall, while boats out in the open bay were totally exposed to the full wind and were bucking around spectacularly.

We have really enjoyed Horta. Really pretty, friendly, economic and good restaurants and not killingly hot.

Peter Sanders of Sanders Sails arranged for a chum of his Peter Whatley, sailing in the Azores with his wife Wendy, to meet us. Peter organised a Horta sail maker to repair the sail. He did a really thorough re-stitching job. Peter W examined the sail and we included that there was fault in the original sail but that the in-mast furling hardware had eroded the stitching. The hardware needed re-setting. Despite Sanders Sails not being responsible, Peter Sanders paid the sail repair bill. No wonder he’s liked, respected and trusted.

Peter W then helped (well I held the tools for him) and we tightened the inner roller gear to take out slack and moved the outhaul block to half way along the boom, rather than it sliding to the front of the boom. The net result was that the load on the foot of the sail when reefing/un reefing was horizontal, rather than pulling the sail downwards. The whole system worked easily and the creases in the sail largely went away. We may have cracked the in-mast reefing issue!

We ate out with Brian who had arrived a day before us in his 26’, bilge keel Sadler 26, with Peter and Wendy at several good restaurants, did a fairly big provision shop, serviced the engine fully (with Paul’s help), cleaned up and relaxed. We bought a fair amount of quite pleasant wine, with white wine in boxes at 1 € /litre and red wine in 5l boxes at 10 €. Today we do the perishable shop (and to buy more wine!), book out, and be ready to top up with water and diesel and head off to Plymouth.

Final meal at Peter’s Cafe Sport. Jonny fascinated by the antique scrimshaw for sale. Filled with diesel and off.

By the time we reach Plymouth we won’t be far of 9,500 miles covered on this shakedown cruise.

38:32.00N 028:37.29W