Trip to Horta, Faial with Cory

DSC06312 Marina in Horta, much bigger than Flores!

DSC06313 Part of the charm is to paint your boat’s name on the walls of the marina.

DSC06315 Pico, southern island from Faial, as seen from Horta.

DSC06319A MUST STOP for sailors is Peter’s Sport Cafe.  A definite tradition for beer and sharing sailing stories!

 

DSC06320 Steve and Cory keeping Pete’s tradition alive and well!

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Cory tries to conquer the anchor found in Horta!  Cory flew back to the states on Saturday, June 27th, arriving back in Ft Worth on the 28th.  We much appreciated his time with us in crossing the Atlantic and sharing time with us in the Azores!! He is an awesome help with work on a boat!!  Love you son!!

We flew back to our boat in Flores on June 28th with Geoff’s wife, Marie.  We are doing a few boat chores, giving Marie time to get over her jet lag, and waiting on good weather to sail over to Horta for another island adventure!!

Our best to all!

Tour of Flores, Azores

 

 

 

 

 

DSC06182  On June 25th, toured the island by car.  West coast lookout point and park area.

DSC06215 14% grade on roads to beach!  DSC06242 Restaurante Por do Sol in Fajazinha. Great lunch of Octopus, rice and beans and pork lunches.  Quaint and cozy!

DSC06243 Cart to pull wood to restaurant.DSC06251 Creek waterfall off side of road.DSC06291 Caldeira (volcanic lake)DSC06302 View of Ponta Delgada, northern coast of Flores.

DSC06308Coastline in Santa Cruz, near their harbor.

DSC06202 Caldeira Funda, central Flores.DSC06226 Rows of hydrangeas lining roadDSC06257 Multiple Waterfalls at Ponte Ribeira do Ferreiro.  800M hike and gorgeous setting.  One of the highlights of the tour!

DSC06273 Great to have Cory with us!  (Christy we missed you!)  We had a fabulous day touring Flores and would recommend this island highly!  It is beautiful and lush!

 

 

Flores is beautiful!

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DSC06131Yesterday, we toured part of Flores by bus.  This is a beautiful garden with flowers lining all the walks.  Very well maintained and very little trash seen anywhere!!

DSC06162 Church facade in Santa Cruz. DSC06170These are hydrangea hedges that line the road and can be seen throughout the island, including hedges in the fields, planted in yards, towns, etc.  THEY are gorgeous!

 

Waterfalls in the distance.  There are numerous on the island.  Tomorrow we hope to sightsee to other parts of island and see more waterfalls, calderas and volcanic activity.

Check out this video:

We keep hearing these birds every night.  They have a call that is hysterical, and sounds like cartoon characters or somebody’s annoying ring tone and are so loud after dark!  They must nest on the cliffs right behind the marina, and they are much louder than this video.  The birds are also called Cory’s Shearwater or Cagarro.  OF COURSE, we have NOT teased Cory about the noise they produce!  LOL!!

God bless and enjoy your summer!  WE ARE!!!

 

 

Flores arrival and first impressions

We arrived yesterday morning at daybreak.  Some variable wind had slowed us some, but that just put our arrival at dawn instead of the middle of the night.  Cory was on watch when we hit our arrival waypoint and he woke me at 2 AM for final approach.  We observed the island getting larger and closer and kept checking our radar and chartplotter to confirm our distance offshore.  Distances at night can be deceiving and the island appeared a lot closer than it actually was.

We rolled up the genoa to slow us down and continued sailing under mainsail alone while waiting for daylight.  Flores is steep-to and we were still off soundings a half mile off shore.  I was watching the depth sounder closely waiting for the display to show something besides “—“.  Finally we showed 627 feet, and then the bottom rapidly rose from there.  Cory and I woke up Geoff and Laura and we dropped and furled the mainsail.

We motored into the anchorage and immediately found Kairos, a large catamaran that we had met briefly in Bermuda.  They had arrived the day before us and Jerry, the captain, offered us a ride ion his dinghy nto the harbor to see if there was room for us at the marina.  Cory and Geoff rode with him while Laura and I slowly motored through the anchorage saying hello to the other boats anchored out.

Jerry, Cory, and Geoff returned saying there was room for us.  It was tight, they said, but doable.  Tight. Great.

We decided to give it a shot.  There was no current and no wind to speak of, so that was a big help.  Jerry offered to come along in his dinghy to act as a tug by pushing us sideways if need be.  We accepted gratefully.  We slowly came into the harbor while Cory and Geoff pointed out the space available for us.  Okay, I have to admit it, they were right.  It was tight, but doable.  But we had to back into the slip.

It took four people on the dock and two attempts, but half an hour later we were tied up.  Sleep deprivation must make me a better helmsman, because we actually did pretty well.  We didn’t hit anything, and nary a scratch on our new paint.  It got close once or twice (remember, it was tight!) but nothing we didn’t correct and recover from.  Finally, we are here.

The marina is only a couple of years old and in very good shape.  Let me just say that it was designed for boats much smaller than ours.  It costs us about $20 a night to stay here.  The dollar is really strong against the euro, which helps.  The price includes free electricity, water, and wifi.  In Bermuda we paid $15 a night just for electricity, plus $30 a week for wifi and 15 cents a gallon for water.  The differences between Bermuda and Flores are striking.  While I was checking in with the port captain, a man drove up with fresh produce to sell.  Laura and Geoff went out and spent the few euros we had to buy fresh vegetables and a small ham.

Flores is very hilly and everything is very spread out.  We took a hike yesterday to get money (euros), visit the supermarket, and check out the hardware store.  We stopped for hamburgers and a cold beer for lunch, and headed back to the boat.  It was a real hike and we were very tired when we arrived.  Everyone except Laura took a nap, and we really needed it.  Laura woke us at 6:00 for wine, cheese and crackers in the cockpit. It was a very passable Portuguese red that we bought for $2.20 at the supermarket.  While we were relaxing, a small truck drove up and honked its horn.  It was the local bakery delivery coming to sell fresh bread to anyone in the marina.  I ran over and got four tarts for breakfast and four fresh buns for lunch sandwiches.  It just keeps getting better.

After appetizers we went out for a celebratory dinner.  Absolutely delicious.  The proprietor came out to ask what we would like to drink and we ordered red wine.  It came in an earthen pitcher for the table.  I guess it’s a european thing, but it was kind of cool.  Cory ordered a steak with ham and a fried egg on top.  He raved about it.  The three of us ordered grilled fish and it was delicious.  This was a very nice dinner and with wine and tip came to $66 for four.  Better and better!

So first impressions are absolutely favorable.  We are thrilled to be here safe and sound and are looking forward to seeing more of Flores.

 

 

 

Arrival in Flores, Azores, Portugal today!!

DSC06122 Our first good look at the harbor in Flores, Azores.  We settled into the marina in the lower right corner VERY EARLY this am.

DSC06124 First sunrise in Azores!DSC06125Cory and Geoff had to check their phones as soon as they got off boat!  LOL!

DSC06130Small beach near our marina.  Prices are great so far, food is very reasonable, marina has free water and electricity!

We are very happy to be back on solid ground!! The crossing was wonderful but long!!!!  We did have some uncomfortable swells and waves, but no bad storms or lightning.  We sailed south at one point to avoid a gale, so weather info worked great for us!

Hope all are fine there and had a great Father’s Day!!
Love and hugs from all of us on Orontes II.

Laura, Steve, Cory and Geoff Knowers

Bermuda FINALLY!

Greetings from Bermuda!

We were thrilled to finally arrive after 6 days of bashing into the wind and causing havoc with water in the boat and numerous tacks which seemed to get us no closer!!

After arriving in St. George’s Harbour, we cleared Customs and then anchored in the harbour, awaiting the arrival of Cory and Geoff Knowers.  We got them settled on board then went to a marina to begin the process of cleaning up and fixing equipment.   Both Cory and Geoff (AKA swabs) feel we misled them in our travel plans after the 3rd straight day of boat chores!!  LOL!  They thought they were going on vacation!!  WOW, were they surprised!!!

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DSC06107 Today, June 7th, we actually took an afternoon off to sightsee around part of the islands. We went to Horseshoe Bay looking for pink sand beaches, but as you can see below, we missed it!

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The local religious did a blessing of the fleet today, so we were blessed in the harbour for safe passage!  We are making final preparations for leaving Bermuda and heading to Azores in the next 2 days, as long as weather permits!

Our best to all!!  Enjoy your summer!
Laura, Steve, Cory and Geoff (the best chef to have on board!)