We covered the 70 miles to Terceira overnight as
planned. At times we seemed to be sailing (or, rather, motoring) straight
through a cloud. It was very damp and chilly. Caroline stood her first
nightwatch with aplomb. Terceira means 'third' in Portugese and was both the
third island to be discovered and at 30km by 20km wide is the third largest of
the group. The last earthquake here was in 1980 when the capital, Angra do
Heroismo, was particularly badly hit. Angra is now a UNESCO World Heitage Site
and is full of beautiful old Portugese buildings. There's a great natural
harbour and an excellent new marina. Our arrival coincided with the annual
Sanjohaninas festival. There were parades, local produce shows and all sorts
going on. A lot of the houses had hung beautiful patchwork quilts from their
upstairs windows. Each night we were there, there was some sort of musical event
on the steps down to the marina (including, unfortunately, one very late night
set of Abba covers).
And, speaking of Swedes, we've had the great
pleasure of reuniting with Regina. Leon, Carolina, Jonathan and Jessica have
been here for about a week having come from Faial via Sao Jorge. They welcomed
us with coffee and pastries and then gave us an excellent tour of the
town. Jonathan went on a bus tour with Anna, Eddie, Penny and Caroline
and we all had supper at one of the festival stalls in the marina last
night. We first met Regina in La Coruna 10 months ago. Their children then
spoke no English and our now fluent. Anna and Eddie can say "hello, goodbye,
thank you and please" in Swedish. We will leave around the same time and keep in
radio contact. But they are faster than us and will gradually pull away. That's
sad but we are already plannning reunions, the London boat show, a sail
across the Baltic to Russia, the Mediterranean and Chelmondiston are under
This is one of Angra's churches, it over looks the
Regina had been here a week, so it was great to
have Leon to show us around as soon as we arrived.,
This is the recurrent symbol of the festival, the
crown, the dove and sceptre, signifying the Holy Spirit.
The buildings throughout the town are wonderful,
we've yet again found ourselves day dreaming about renovation projects and
The steets are all decorated for the festival
and there seem to be daily parades. So far there's been no bull
running, but all the shops run endless videos of men
scampering away from angry, therthered bulls so we think there may be some
later in the week. We've decided we are not too bothered about
All over the island there are small Imperios do
Espirito Santo, literally Empires or Theatres of the Holy Spirit.
Many are brightly painted with windows on three sides and often a balcony used
for displaying the silver crown, dove and sceptre.
This is overlooking the harbour and marina.
Its been an important natural harbour since the sixteenth
This is the Marina tucked into one
We saw a display of local stick fighting in the
main square one night during the festival. It was very like morris dancing
without the bells.
As ever in Portugal the entertainment starts late
and goes on well into the night. This was the jazz band that played
in the marina.
We took an hour and half bus ride to Biscoitos on
the north side of the island. Jonathan from Regina came with us, but we
were all a bit too cold to take a dip.
Anna daring to get close to the crashing
Caroline wondering what is going to be like out
there on Tamarisk.
With a lack of beaches on the islands, a great deal
of work is done to make the lava pools accessible for swimming.
Around Biscoitos vines are grown on tiny plots
surroune by protective lava blocks. The soil contains a lot of iron
oxide and gives the wine a very distinctive taste.
This was one of stalls set up in marina
selling local wine and ham.
And where we ate supper under a real bulls
Caroline trying a revive her new friend with some
So now we are busy making our last minute
preparations. The laundry is in the marina dryer, Caroline has found some
more bread and milk. and the cabin hammocks are full of fruit and
veg. The GPS says it is 1169 miles to Falmouth, we hope we won't have to
detour too much for the weather. There's nothing strong in the
forecast, but it's all a bit on the nose, so we are expecting to motor north to
find the westerlies we need to blow us to the UK. The only challenge now
is to find someway of listening to the England Sweden match this