Wednesday September 3, 2014
It looks as if our time here in Horta is finally winding down to an end. Tomorrow we’ll be setting sail again after enjoying four wonderful weeks on land in what has been by far one of the most beautiful islands/countries we’ve ever visited.
To get you up to date on what is finally pushing us out of here, it turns out we will not be getting the aluminum boat in Rhode Island so there is no longer any reason to have to be constantly connected to the internet. The current owner came back stating that the price will not be lowered any further to make up for the corrosion to the stern tube and although we spent a few days hemming and hawing on if we still want to purchase it with the added costs to have this area welded, we decided it’s not for us and we’re walking away. So it looks like Europe is still on the table for us at the moment, although we’ve now just wasted two weeks and one perfect weather window to try and get ourselves to Gibraltar. Fall weather patterns are quickly settling in and it seems like we can’t go three days in the forecast without 30 knot winds popping up somewhere. Not ideal for a 1,200 mile passage that will probably take us about two weeks to complete.
Because something really nasty is showing at the beginning of next week but we would like to gain any miles we can, we’ll be making a 150 nm jump over to the island of Sao Miguel, the capital of the Azores and one of the furthest east lying islands. In a way I’m kind of happy that things are working out for us and giving us an opportunity to see more than just one of the seven islands here. We had been talking about making a move over to Terceria for awhile, it’s supposed to be beautiful and have a still known anchorage, which we would love, but our guidebook tells us we can only check out of the Azores from Flores, Faial, or Sao Miguel, and we didn’t want to have to force in yet another island just to check out should a preferable window come up to get us the rest of the way to the Med.
I’ve been reading up on Sao Miguel and Ponta Delgada, the port we’ll be visiting, for the past few days and it looks like it should have a lot to offer us. Including a McDonald’s. Don’t hate me..we haven’t had it in three months now. I’d say that’s pretty good for us. Besides Sea Week or our day with the scooter, there haven’t been many big exciting things happening here in Horta, just lots of small perfect parts to the day that never made it in the blog. Sometimes wandering the streets just to get lost, or taking Georgie to the park to find out the only place she wanted to be was back on the boat. To give you a little insight on what we’ve been up to the past few weeks, here’s some random shots of the town that is truly worth crossing an ocean for. Let’s hope Europe will be just as spectacular.
Monday September 1, 2014
Being stuck here is finally starting to get to me. I feel like I’m losing whole days to the internet as we sit on the boat and do nothing else, maybe popping over to the Continente for fresh rolls or Coke every few days, but sometimes that’s all the excitement we’re getting. Whole days are lost to tooling around on the internet just because it’s there. We keep saying that we’re going to get up and do something, one of these days, but by the time we’ve had our morning coffee and fully woken up it’s already time for lunch and our plans, if any have been made, get pushed back to the next day.
I partially blame this on the fact that we have no idea when we’re going to get out of here so it always feels like there will be a tomorrow to push those plans back to. The weather to get out of here isn’t quite agreeing with us, and even if it was, the prospect that we have to be within 24 hours of an internet signal had been holding us back for quite some time too. Not that we’re that reliant on the internet that we can’t get away from it, but with the back and forth of trying to buy this boat in Rhode Island, we need to be in a place where we can quickly take care of business when it’s ready to move forward.
The latest news update on this is that once a disclosure agreement was released from the owner we found out there was corrosion to the stern tube. Not necessarily a deal breaker in itself, I mean this is a fantastic boat so there’s not much that’s going to dissuade us from getting it….except the added cost of now fixing this corrosion. We’re already at the top of our limit trying to buy it and the added cost of fixing it might just tip it over the edge. We’re trying to work with the owner to bring down the cost because of this issue, and we’re waiting to hear back.
Which leaves us…still sitting at the dock. This is making me very very bored. I’ve begun taking walks every few days, even just different routes to the grocery store (getting myself completely lost and having to turn around and start back at the beginning) just so I can try to see something a little different. One one of these little walks last week I found a beautiful park at the top of a hill that overlooks the bay and Pico. This morning when I woke up I couldn’t stand to face another day of only staring at my computer screen and pretty much told Matt we were going on a picnic that afternoon. No vote optional, it was going to happen. Luckily for me he’s pretty chill when I make plans for us, especially if they’re free, and was just as excited to get off the boat as I was.
I have to say, as long as we’re stuck here anyway, this isn’t a bad way to while away the time.
Wednesday August 27, 2014
Insomnia…kind of sucks. There are two things though that make it infinitely better. One is when you realized that you have no job to wake up early for and nothing planned for the next day, so it doesn’t really matter if you’re in bed until one in the afternoon making up that sleep. The second thing that makes it better is when your partner happens to be suffering from it on the same night as you. No worries of tossing and turning restlessly in bed with hopes of not waking them when your mind is still racing at 3 am and you’re pretty sure you’d be much more productive on your computer at the moment instead of trying every sleeping position known to man.
This was the case for Matt and I two nights ago. If you can believe it, our sleep schedules are still a little messed up from our crossing. For the first two weeks we were in Horta I was honestly worried that I might be pregnant because I’d sleep from 11 to 11 Every.Day. If it wasn’t for Matt following mostly the same schedule I probably would have been running to the nearest pharmacy for an at home test and started calculating health care expenses in Europe while wondering what it would be like to have a Turkish baby. But then all I hear is Fat Bastard in my head saying ‘Turkish behbeh…it’s what’s for dinner’. No one wants that. Eventually I settled into a 12 am to 10 am nightly routine where Matt’s still been stuck in a 2 am to 12 pm. (TMI side note: I did take a test just to be safe and it came up negative. Looks like my IUD is still doing it’s job).
Anyway…back to the story…when 4 am rolled around and we realized that we were both still wide awake we decided to have a night time matinee. Or whatever you might call a middle of the night movie instead a middle of the day one. When the credits began rolling on James Bond as he caught the bad guy but realized the next assignment was right around the corner, I took a peak out the companionway to watch the sun coming up across the harbor by Pico. It was the perfect golden hour of light where the sun was illuminating the town of Horta instead of shadowing the area as it does when the sun goes down. It made me think that one of these mornings I need to get my butt out of bed and capture more parts of this town with my camera in nature’s best lighting. I thought it would be days away if at all, I mean, I had just screwed up my sleep schedule even more by having a 6:15 am bed time, but I did actually listen to my alarm when it went off this morning and got myself off the boat just before 9 am.
The best vantage point of Horta has to be from the water itself, but since our dinghy is still secured safely on deck I knew I wouldn’t be puttering out into the bay for those views and would have to settle for the far breakwater leading into the harbor. I walked out there with my camera only to find out that it was blocked off to me and after getting to an area that housed a few local fishing boats I had to turn around. I still managed to snap a few good photos before heading back toward town. Since I figured Matt wouldn’t be up for a few hours and a cafe con leche was sounding really good, I rounded my morning off with a stop at Calrsberg for a way overpriced, 1,60€ coffee with milk. Ouch. I think Matt and I paid that for us each to have one on a side street cafe.
Monday August 25, 2014
Being, as we were, the 1,000th boat to Horta this year, it’s kind of put us at the back of the pack as far as the majority of cruisers passing through this area goes. Not only will a mass of sailors pass on Sea Week at the beginning of August because it’s just too late in the year for them, but now sitting here ourselves well after it has ended, even the people who managed to eek that into their itinerary before moving on to the Med have now long gone. The marina is basically a ghost town, transient cruiser population: Serendipity.
That is why whenever I see a new boat coming into the harbor, I get very very excited. Nevermind the fact that I’m too shy to go talk to these newcomers or strike up any kind of conversation that might lead to sundowners, it just makes me feel better knowing we’re not the only ones left still passing through the area. So yesterday when we were headed out for my birthday dinner and I saw a new mast by the fuel dock, we decided we needed to check it out.
This was not just any mast however. It wasn’t only 60 ft tall and attached to a fiberglass boat full of German’s who will pass through a November gale and say ‘It iz nothing’. What drew us over to the fuel dock was a mast that surged over everything. This large black tower had to be close to 200 ft and was so tall it required a red light at the top so air crafts could avoid it. When we rounded the bend to see what it was attached to we were almost stopped dead in our tracks at the sight of this monolithic sea vessel. It was apparent as soon as we laid eyes on it. This boat was built for speed. Major speed.
Having done just a little more research on it now I’ve found out that this is the Genes-X Spindrift racing boat. It is a 33 meter racing trimaran that can reach speeds of up to 40 knots. It pulled into Horta just the other night to have work done to it’s rudder, but from what I can see of that bright orange bit sticking out of the water, they must have that project almost completed and be ready to be on their way again.
Most of the crew looked a little too busy with projects to be able to stop and chat them up at all, but according to their website it looks as if their next stop is France. I’m thinking that if I ask them really nicely, maybe they’ll let us tie a tow line between their boat and Serendipity and bring us along for the ride. Bring our average as of late from 3 knots to 12 or so. I think I can live with that. Heck, maybe they’ll even be up for switching a few crew members that will bring the ‘Dip the rest of the way in for us as Matt and I crew on Genes-X. I’m really good at being rail meat. You can just drop us in mainland Portugal, we’re not picky.
Wednesday April 17, 2013
We are having a great time at the moment traveling through the Ragged Islands and Jumentos. We’re currently sitting in Hog Cay, just next to Duncan Town on Ragged Island, of which we had a lovely tour of today. The only issue is that all four of us (Rode Trip included) we’re counting on the Internet service there, the only place in these island chains that offer it. After checking in on it today we found that a thunderstorm took it out a few weeks ago and they don’t know when it will be fixed. So here I sit with a bunch of posts from our Long Island adventures ready to go up, but no way to post them. Maybe they’ll have to wait until we get to Jamaica? We’re looking for the best weather window to get a little East and South to make the Windward Passage there, hopefully arriving in about a week. Wish us luck!
At 4:12 this morning we crossed under the Mackinac Bridge! Woohoo!, out of one Great Lake and into another. More ‘real’ post to come once we get a decent Internet connection. For now, I think some sleep is in order, and then a tour of Mackinac Island.
At 6:53 this morning, we left our Muskegon mooring for the last time. We are officially cruisers!