Cold Weather Sailing – We’re Not in the Tropics Anymore! (MJ Sailing -Episode 93)

Getting into harsher conditions in the north isn’t going to stop us from island hopping. We’re still ready to make the 95 mile open water sail between Terceria and Sao Miguel.

We’d been lucky to have many pleasure cruises between these islands in the summer and into fall, but now cold weather conditions are kicking it, and it’s getting harder to find windows of calm seas and no winter storms. So when we find the first usable window to Sao Miguel, we take it.

These colder temperatures have us completing a few other small projects, like finally inserting a plexi glass side into our door. Up until this point it had been a mesh screen, and things started getting a little too cold at night!

But, since we came back to this island to explore…we rent a car for two more days to visit a few more places we had not seen, including the highly rated hike of Lagoa do Fogo.

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

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Red Sky In Morning, Sailors Take Warning (MJ Sailing – EP 92)

Volcanic craters, hurricanes barreling down, and a bumpy ride with the most beautiful sunset we have ever seen. THIS…was an interesting few weeks for us.

We start out by trying to spend a few nice days at anchor next to a simply stunning sunken volcano. We wake up the morning after arriving, ready to explore…only to find out there is a hurricane barreling down on us. With 7 days until it hits, we have to decide what to do…and fast!

Back in Ponta Delgada we had given a detailed account about the approaching storm and our plans….but a few weeks later when we went back to review the footage we found out there was corrosion to our 3.5mm jack…and we lost sound! (You’ll see. And let this be a lesson to check new footage IMMEDIATELY.)

When it is time to leave Ponta Delgada we head out in the afternoon and have a wonderful downwind sail, although conditions build overnight and lead to a rolly morning. Thunderstorms surround us, BUT all that cloud cover leads to one of the most beautiful sunrises we have ever experienced.

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

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or

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Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica

Would You Swim in Coffee Colored Thermal Springs? (MJ Sailing – EP 91)

In the heart of Furnas São Miguel is the Parque Terra Nostra with iron rich thermal springs, which give it a nice coffee color. Would you take a dip in this milk chocolate goodness?

Back at the boat Matt is hard at work installing our new Autonnic wind sensor, since we have been without wind information on Elements. Matt goes over our new wireless anemometer and how it will be able to communicate with the other electronics on our boat.

Then, it’s time for more touring as we have a rental car at our fingertips! Our first stop was a set of botanical gardens that have been using their springs for wellness since the late 18th century. I even get in the coffee like waters to ease my muscles and find that it is an incredibly relaxing spot to be. Then we head off to lunch where Matt enjoys a meal of meats and potatoes cooked by the heat of the earth.

Day two has us giving Georgie a tour of the island, and finding all the green and grassy patches that appeal to her. We get lost in mountain mists and even take a look at the lighthouse on the far east side of the island. From what we’re learning, Sao Miguel could need months to be able to properly explore it.

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Autonnic wind sensor: https://www.autonnic.com/

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

To join the Patreon ranks, please visit http://www.patreon.com/mjsailing

or

Buy us a beer through PayPal!
https://www.paypal.me/MJSailing

Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica

São Miguel AZORES – An Island You Will NEVER Forget (MJ Sailing – EP 90)

You may have seen dozens of photos of this island online, but what it is like to experience it in person?

This week we make the 95 mile sail from Terceria to Sao Miguel. Leaving in the afternoon we plan for an overnight sail, which will have us arriving first thing in the morning. And having been to this island before, we found it quite forgettable. It may have been the constant gray skies and rain, but we didn’t care for it too much our first time around.

Since then there had been a social media boom showcasing all the highlights this ‘Green Island’ had to offer. So hopping on Yellow Bus Tours for two days, we thought we’d give in another shot. And we are not lying when we say this place has now jumped straight to the top of our favorite places in the world.

From quaint towns, to hot springs; lush green forest and crater lakes; many of the places we visited felt as if they had been staged for a movie or pulled from a fairy tale. Settle back as we take you on a tour of this unforgettable island nestled in the Atlantic Ocean.

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

To join the Patreon ranks, please visit http://www.patreon.com/mjsailing

Can We Extend Our EUROPEAN VISA to 12 Months? (MJ Sailing – EP 89)

This week’s episode brings us back to the harbor of Angra where we visit the immigration office to see if we can extend our 90 day visa to 12 months. Since we haven’t been finding the winds we need to get north we thought, why not winter here?

That weekend we travel around the island of Terceira to the port of Praia Da Vitoria where they were holding their annual festival of foods, where restaurants and shops from all over Portugal come to showcase their specialties. We try a few local treats and even get to hang out with our local friend Carlos.

Just another perfect week in the Azores!

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

FAILING At Cooking Fish Cakes – Even The Cat Won’t Eat Them – (MJ Sailing – EP 88)

Getting ready for a large festival in Urzelina, us and s/v Calico Skies move our boats down from Velas. The wind seems pretty non-existant, but that’s a good thing for us once we drop anchor. Because there were no sandy patches and we anchored on rocks, the chances of dragging went down and we felt comfortable to spend one night there.

While on anchor watch before going to the local festivities, I cooked up some of the fish Matt had speared a few days before, and tried to make fish cakes. Without any previous skills or instructions. They did not work out well.

Once on shore though, our evening was much improved as we enjoyed groups of locals dancing choreographed numbers through the street, each highlighting something special about the area.

The next day we joined Fillip’s family again for lunch at their man cave, before being shuttled out to his father-in-law’s house, where he also grows all kinds of fruits and vegetables. The best part is…all of it is done for family and friends!

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

S#*T….OUR STARTER BURNED OUT!…What Now?! (MJ Sailing – EP 87)

We’re in an island group 800 miles from Europe….and we burned out the only starter we have on our boat!

While immensely enjoying our time in Sao Jorge, our dragging anchor causes us to move ourselves and burn out the engine starter in the process. With few options, and shipping of a new one having a two week delivery date, we rely on some new friends ashore to see if they can help us out of this jam.

While our starter is being worked on, we hop in a car with Bill & Grace to do a little exploring of the coast. We come across hydrangea lined fields, magnificent viewpoints to towns down below, and take in the sights at Faja Orvidour. One of the most spectacular natural swimming spots we’ve ever come across.

After picking up our starter that evening, we join Fillip’s family friends for one of their nightly dinners, and an evening we won’t soon forget.

Much love from the Azores!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

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.