Sailing the AZORES: It’s A Race to the Anchorage!! (MJ Sailing – EP 86)

There aren’t many harbors to drop anchor in the Azores, and when our limited space is threatened in Sao Jorge, we race to get a place!

Since we can’t seem to find a long enough window to get to Ireland, we trade it for the rolling green hills of Sao Jorge.

Leaving the harbor of Angra on the island of Terceira just as the sun comes up, we make the 55 mile journey to Velas on Sao Jorge, fighting the setting sun and the limited space in their anchorage. Although we are able to make some good miles under sail between the islands, once we come along the coast of Sao Jorge we are head on into the winds and have to pound into the waves until they settle.

Claiming our spot that evening, we reunite with Bill & Grace of s/v Calico skies, and hunt down a good watering hole for the evening. The next afternoon under sunny skies, Bill comes to grab us in his dinghy for a few hours of snorkeling. We check out a few rocks near the harbor, and the big monte.

Later that evening we are picked up by Phillip who transfers us to the town of Urzelina, where he rents out the sets of bungalows Bill and Grace and previously stayed in. Filling ourselves up on 1 euro beers and sangrias, we wander past the windmills on the coast, framed by Pico in the background, and wonder what a life on this island would be like.

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Terceira AZORES: You’ll Need a Helmet for This!! (MJ Sailing – EP 85)

Not knowing exactly how much time we have left to spend in the Azores, we try to take full advantage of each stop.

While in Terceria, we visit their beautiful botanical gardens at the city center, and climb up through multiple levels for sprawling views of the bay below. Wanting to get our adventure kick in, we join up with Rope Adventures for a day of Coasteering. Layered up in gear, we snorkel the coastline until we’re at a set of small cliffs where we take turns jumping into the sea down below.

Lastly we are invited for a traditional Azorean lunch at the home of one of our YouTube followers. Fresh caught fish, plus locally made cheeses and desserts!

It’s becoming easy to see how the Azores have stolen our hearts away!

Much love from Terceria!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

We Got Off To A Bumpy Start… (MJ Sailing – EP 84)

Finally tearing ourselves away from Faial, it was time to hit open waters again. Getting to them was not very easy though.

BUCKET LIST Sailing Destination: Faial, Azores (MJ Sailing – EP 83)

Of all the far flung destinations to sail to in the world, Faial Azores should be near the top, for its beauty, diversity, and sometimes surreal atmosphere.

AZORES: Pico – The Island No One Ever Sails To (MJ Sailing – EP 82)

One of the most noticeable islands the Azores have, for housing Portugal’s highest point, is also the one that gets nearly the fewest visitors by sailboat. Without many good harbors, we find another way to get to neighboring Pico.

Hopping the ferry for the four mile trip across from Horta, we set ourselves up with a rental car for 24 hours and meet up with our friends Bill and Grace to see how much of this island we can see within a 24 hour period.

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

AZORES: We LOVE This Harbor – We HATE Rafting Up (MJ Sailing – EP 81)

There are so many things to love about Horta. Except when two boats crush you against a cement wall.

As we make landfall in in Faial, we can still not get over the beauty and charm of this island. Rugged cliffs sitting next to quaint European villages. There’s a a lot to get re-aquainted with upon arrival, but we also throw in a bit of boat work as well. Trips to the beach, outdoor concerts, a smashed toe rail and a trip to a world famous bar/cafe. What a way to be welcomed back to land!

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Spotting Land After 25 DAYS AT SEA!! (MJ Sailing – Ep 80)

Our Trans-Atlantic voyage is approaching the end!

We pick up this video on Day 18, after we get the news that our friends on s/v Calico Skies are arriving in Horta, while we still have 700 miles left and can expect winds on the nose for the next 72 hours.

After plugging through those, we go back to our sunny and calm days and while spending a little time outside get the opportunity to see some sea life in the water. Huge groups of sea salp are floating next to our boat, and we even put the GoPro in the water to get a better look.

While we’re stuck in what we hope is the last of our high pressure systems, we throw up our drifter to see how it works in place of a spinnaker. At over 40 years old we weren’t sure what to expect with this sail, but it did a great job of giving us a little extra oomph!

Then…there’s landfall! The day we had been waiting to see for such a long time! Even though we had a fantastic crossing and loved our time at sea, we were more than ready to dock in Horta and begin enjoying the wonderful Azores again.

Much love from the Atlantic Ocean!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

A Day In The Life Of An OCEAN CROSSING (MJ Sailing – EP 79)

Ever curious to what a full 24 hours on an ocean passage has in store? We’re going to show you!

We make sure to record ourselves at different parts of the day from 12am – 12 am and give an account of how much or how little tends to happen when you’re bobbing around in the great blue. From my daily coffee/email checks (yes, even thousands of miles from land!); to a 1,066 ft tanker passing in front of us; to what we cook when there’s little to no fresh food left on board.

No two days will be exactly alike, but settle in as we show you a common day in our lives.

Much love from the Atlantic Ocean!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

A Mid-Atlantic Birthday Surprise For My Sweetheart (MJ Sailing – EP 78)

Just because you’re in the middle of the ocean doesn’t mean you can’t have a little party!

As we continue along on our trans-Atlantic, we leave the doldrums behind and start making miles. We get the occasional squall and showers, but otherwise it’s all smooth sailing.

Featuring days 5-10 of our crossing, we get a few small boat projects done; Georgie receives a feathered visitor for a few hours; but most importantly, we celebrate Matt’s birthday. The 2nd time in 4 years he’s celebrated in the middle of the ocean! We don’t let location get in the way of commemorating the occasion as I decorate the boat and Matt even gets a fish on the line!

Much love from the Atlantic Ocean!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

We Left on a Trans-Atlantic & No Working Watermaker (MJ Sailing – EP 77)

The time has come, we’re leaving the Caribbean to sail across the Atlantic towards Europe!

Matt takes a minute to explain the situation with our watermaker, why it isn’t working, and why we decide to leave anyway. Making a 12 mile sail from Simpson Bay on the south side of St. Martin, to Marigot Bay on the north side, we fill up our water tanks and get on our way.

The first two days at sea are just spent getting into the swing of things, but by day 4 we find ourselves in the middle of the Bermuda/Azores high and have lost all our wind. It is a beautiful thing to be hundreds of miles from any land and have the water be glass calm around you.

We take advantage of the calm by putting down our swim platform to take bucket baths off the back of the boat. With only 60 gallons of water to get us through 30 days of showers and dishes, we need to conserve it everywhere we can.

Much love from the Atlantic Ocean!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie