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.

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