Sat 4 Jun 2011 09:48
We arrived yesterday with perfect timing at the top of the tide, in the
early afternoon. The wind kept up a steady force 4 to 5 over the last 3
days and remained pretty much in the south so we were in the end able to
sail straight to our destination without having to tack into an Easterly
The marina is packed with yachts as this is the best time of year to make
the westerly crossing from the Caribbean and America to Europe and we have
had to raft up outside two other boats.
All the paperwork was dealt with extremely efficiently, all three offices,
marina, immigration and customs are in the same building and all the
officials were very welcoming. We are boat number 502 this year.
Horta is a lovely little town and we are looking forward to exploring it
over the next few days. The legendary Pete?s bar is yet to be visited.
The harbour wall and all flat surfaces are covered in paintings left by
other yacht crews and we are talking of leaving our own memento.
Fernande made a fabulous wrap up soup out of what veg was left which we
ate on the way in, with home made baguettes ? there?s no stopping the
bread-making bandwagon now.
Reflections on the voyage
We have covered 2546 miles at sea, and have seen all sea and weather
conditions apart from an actual gale. The search for wind took us above
41st parallel, further North than we were planning to go. There were no
icebergs but abundant dolphins, turtles, Portuguese men of war, and
seabirds. Everyone else who has arrived over the past week seems to have
motored for days, while we motored for only 8 hours through the Sargasso
sea, and a further 10 hours last week, so our quest for wind was not in
All the systems on the boat functioned well throughout the journey, the
only breakage being the baby stay and the loss of a couple of shackles.
We have all got on well as a crew and managed to talk practically non-stop
without hesitation, repetition but with lots of deviation.
The provisioning worked well, and apart from the early melt down,
everything has lasted well. We made use of lots of ?keep fresh bags? which
really do seem to work like magic. We finished the last of the lettuce
yesterday, almost three weeks after we bought it and it was still as crisp
In spite of early disappointments the fishing was a success, and we still
have most of a tuna in our freezer.
Chris sustained the only injury with a minor cut which was inflicted on
his knee by an upholstery button (sic), so basically crew and boat have
arrived in Horta in good shape.
So all in all, a successful voyage the ultimate test being that we weren?t
sure what day of the week it was when we arrived.
John and I are now cruising the Azores for the next three weeks and so
will be off the air until we start the next leg of our journey back to
England on 26th June.