Sunday, June 28, 2009

Evergreen is bound for the mainland!

We are making final preparations for the last leg of our transatlantic crossing and plan to leave this afternoon.

Brad's last bag arrived today after being lost somewhere along the way. The crew is complete (Rik arrived with Brad and Ian picked up Patrick, a "local American"); the boat is ready.

Ian had a fantastic week running with the bulls, meanwhile he got good at it, and hanging out with his new friends from the military base. We all got a taste of it yesterday and very much appreciated it. Thank you, Julie, for having us around. Omar, from Texas, took some fantastic photos of Ian "teasing" the bulls.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Praia Da Vitoria, Terciera, Azores

To all of our faithful followers, please accept our most sincere apologies for the lapse in entries. Thank you Lisle for taking the blog reigns while you were here, you left some big shoes to fill. Thank you JD for all of your hard work in Mobile and for all you taught us while you were here. To Vicky and Anita, we are truly disappointed that your visit was cut short by travel delays, but we were very happy to see you in the short time you were here. We enjoyed having all of you around more than you probably realize. Evergreen is on the island of Terciera. Our skipper has gone home to attend a wedding and Ian and Suzanne are left to our their own devices. Ian is off exploring the festival that is occurring on the other end of the island and Suzanne is taking advantage the local beaches and some rare and much appreciated alone time. We are looking forward to welcoming our next crew member, Rik. He is from Belgium and has been participating in the Mac races with us for the last several years. We are planning to leave the Azores for Portugal when Brad and Rik arrive next week.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Horta Day 5

We have been enjoying the scenery and food of Portugal.
The island of Faial is about 13 miles long and 8 miles wide.
JD took his flight out today and Lisle will leave on Friday. Additional crew would help for the 800 mile trip to the mainland. Feel free to volunteer.
It is a tradition and also required for good luck that each boat paint something on the harbour walls in Horta. Two of the pictures show how the harbour walls look.
The top picture is the volcano at Pico island as seen from Horta.
Horta is the only major city on Faial. The airport is about 6 miles away and about 17000 people live on the island. Brad is planning to move the boat and additional 150 miles to the island of Sao Miguel. This island has a population of 200000+. The entire island chain has about 250,000 people.
Best wishes to all.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Horta Day 1

We spent a night at rest and most of the next day as well. Brad enjoys a brew at the Sport Bar. This is a traditional stop for all who have sailed the atlantic. We were with many of the ARC (Atlantic Ralley Cruisers) sailors who have also made the crossing from Bermuda. Our harbour neighbor Mary P from Kensale, Ireland was also sailed from Bermuda. There trip however was a bit different from ours. During our passage we were warned to stay south of the 37th lattitude and sailed 120 miles south of course. We never saw above 25knots of wind. The Mary P sailed north of us and were in 20 foot seas and Gale force winds. The Crew of Mary P, Neal, Andrew and Jeffery had waves wash over the boat and fill the cockpit to their knees. They broke their boom and ripped gromets from their mainsail. Brad and crew experienced a much milder Atlantic.
The city of Horta is located on the Island of Faial about 900 nautical miles from mainland Portugal. Similar to our Hawaiian Islands being west of the contiguous 48.
These islands are where Christopher Columbus provisioned for his trip to the new world.
Pan Am Airways landed here to refuel on its early flights to the US.
The transatlantic cables were routed through here.
Many of the men who Whale hunted came from the Azores.
These are volcanic islands and the island of Faial last erupted in 1957-58 in the fall and winter.
Thi island of Faial is a shor ferry ride from the island of Pico a volcanic mountain over 7,000 feet above sea level. We were very pleased that our GPS properly located the site. You can see Pico in the picture taken form a city street in Horta looking across the harbour.
Our plan is to clean and wash both ourselves and the boat before John and I leave so we have plenty to do. Will communicate again soon. Best Wishes to all.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Landfall in Portugal

After 17 days without the sight of land, Portugal's Faial Island looked beautiful to us all.***
Our cycle of 4 hours shifts followed by 6 hours off duty were so ingrained that the trip moved rythmycially along under all conditions. When are you on next? Did you sleep well? These were the common questions answered by all. The biggest events were Suzanne's Sunday pot roast and Sunday meat loaf dinners.***
The open Atlantic has hours of beautiful emptyness punctuated by moments of sightings like porpoise, whale, jellyfish, a freighter or a fishing boat. The porpoise joined us so a picture is included. They jelly fish don't move so we included a pictue. The whales however, were bound elsewhere and did not stop for a picture. The boats were visible at night moving away.***
The nights without moonlight were erily dark and when the night was cloudy it was difficlut to orient yourself. The horizon disappeared and you floated in an empty darkness impossible to describe.***
We have moved into a small group of people who have made the crossing. You have watched us make the trip and know what only a small group of people have experienced. The middle 3 pictures are a sample of our daily views.***
Did you know anything about the Azores before this trip? let us know. Did you look them up. Is Portugal a new place for you as it is for us?***
The finish time was 1:31pm eastern daylight savings time at the waypoint. We actually docked for fuel and customs at 1:52pm eastern daylight savings time. 5:42pm portugal time.*** More about the Azores later. The locals use a short a sound and the o is pronounced like a u.***
Your comments are appreciated.