wall art  of Ponta Delgada, Azores

Wall Art of Ponta Delgada, Azores

Monday September 22, 2014

wall art of Ponta Delgada, Azores

There’s one thing I noticed right away upon our arrival to Ponta Delgada.  There’s graffiti everywhere.  Except..I’m not sure I’d label it as graffiti.  Truly, what’s been plastered all over sides of buildings through this city are works of art.  Found on doors, walls, and even sometimes on the streets themselves, this town is brimming with artists ready to show off their work where it will get the most traffic.  On the outsides of buildings as you pass them by on the street.

Sometimes they’re small scale, just on one little door.  Other times there are a few modest separate works on the same building.  My favorites were the ones that covered whole buildings, wrapping around from one side to the next.  The only sad part was when you’d come across a work of beige pictures that you know someone spent a lot of time on, and some punk hooligan would cover parts of it in actual graffiti.

Walking down the streets of Ponta Delgada was always entertaining, making sure to keep your eyes open for any new piece of art that may be lurking around the corner.  I didn’t always have my camera on me to get all of them, but here are a few of my favorites that I was able to capture.

wall art of Ponta Delgada, Azores

wall art of Ponta Delgada, Azores

wall art  of Ponta Delgada, Azores

wall art  of Ponta Delgada, Azores

wall art  of Ponta Delgada

wall art  of Ponta Delgada

wall art  of Ponta Delgada, Azores

wall art  of Ponta Delgada, Azores

Orchestra of Ponta Delgaga, Sao Miguel

Open Air Orchestra

Saturday September 20, 2014

Orchestra of Ponta Delgaga, Sao Miguel

I’m so happy that it’s finally settled that we have a next destination now. Instead of wondering if we’ll be heading to the Mediterranean or back to Florida, and otherwise stalled until we had that answer. At least now we can begin looking to move forward again, and that next forward is Porto Santo, Portugal. No, it’s not part of mainland Portugal, we’re not going to travel 800 nm just to have to immediately drop south. Porto Santo is part of the Madeira island group, approximately 560 nm SE of Sao Miguel. We think it will be a nice stop before getting to the Canaries, and I have it on good authority from my new online cruising friend, Kitiara, that there are some beautiful golden sand beaches there perfect for laying out after snorkeling through it’s clear Caribbean like waters. Something that we haven’t been able to do since Bermuda, and something that’s sorely been missing from our lives lately.

So there you have it, our next step after spending muuuch longer in the Azores that we ever originally anticipated. Ha, what was supposed to be a 7-10 day stay only in Horta has now turned into almost six weeks in only two spots. That kind of seems to be a trend for us this year. Get to one spot and stay put for weeks on end. It feels like the only real cruising we’ve done so far was our five weeks in the Bahamas. But the Canaries should hopefully give us a good chance to do some island hopping and get back into the cruising groove. We think there’s a window to get ourselves out of Ponta Delgada early next week, and hopefully from there it’s only 5-6 days to Porto Santo where we can spend about a week soaking up sun and sand before moving on again.

Tonight however, we took advantage of the fact that we’re still in a big city with a lot going on. While doing some of my daily wandering earlier I came across a sign in the main square that there would be the town’s local orchestra playing that evening at 10:00. That is still one thing I have yet to get used to in this European culture. Everything starting so late. If it were the US I doubt anything would start after 8:00, probably coming to it’s close around 10:00, but hey, I guess that’s how they do things over here. You won’t hear any kind of complaints from us, especially since we have no kind of schedule.

Somehow we found ourselves arriving a little bit late to this outdoor concert, after squeezing in one last McDonald’s meal we assume until the US, and then guzzling coffee back at the boat just to make sure we could stay awake past 10:30.  When we did get there everything was already in full swing.  Crowds filled all of the folding chairs in front of the stage and spilled out into both sides of the streets.  We weaved our way through people until we were adjacent to the stage to enjoy the show.  Aside from the orchestra playing their instruments there were also a few singers on stage.  One had a Portuguese accent and must have been a local, and the other was channeling Amy Winehouse in everything from wardrobe to vocals.

The songs we heard when first arriving were all covers of hit songs in English.  While sipping from our little single serve bottles of wine, we listened to songs from The Beatles , Bill Withers (Ain’t no Sunshine), and Aretha Franklin.  Both the vocals and the accompanying instruments were beautiful, and I kept cursing myself for not getting out for some of the weeks earlier concerts that were probably just as good.

Some of the best parts of coming out to see the orchestra play were watching the kids that were dragged, quite willingly it looked like, by their parents.  All over we could see little ones under the age of 10, dancing around, swaying to the music, and clapping along.  The best part was when this little girl of about three or four years spent a good portion of the concert seated on a red carpet right in front of the stage, rocking back and forth on her legs as she listened to the music and then clapping loudly and long with everyone else at the end of each song.  Even better though was when her mother called her back over to the side of the stage we were positioned on, and this practicing ballerina was dancing along with the music, obviously in some kind of dance course and practicing her moves.  Boy was she cute.  If she didn’t have a set of parents and grandparents watching over her, she might have found a new home on Serendipity.  (Kidding!  We’re not actually into kidnapping adorable children.)

Once the music turned from English to Portuguese we stayed for a few more songs before making our way to the food tents that were set up about a block away, no doubt part of the evening’s festivities.  Scooping up a few of deep fried donuts from one stand, we wandered to the back of the pack by a reflecting pool and listened to a few more songs before calling it a night and heading back to the ‘Dip.  I have to admit, I do not like the gray skies that we’ve been cloaked under here for the past few weeks, which really has me wanting to get a move on to somewhere warm and sunny, but it will be sad leaving this city behind.  There’s definitely never a shortage of activities and events going on.

Ponta Delgada Orchestra

outdoor orchestra

Ponta Delgada Orchestra, Azores

shadow puppets

Ponta Delgada orchestra

little girl watching orchestra

view of crowd at orchestra

statue in main square, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores



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A Sunset over Ponta Delgada

Thursday September 18, 2014


I have an embarrassing admission to make. With all my love for photography, I pretty much know nothing about Pinterest. Sure I’ve heard the name thrown around a million and one times, but since it’s popularity mostly came up while we’ve been cruising and a lack of Internet at most points keeps me from doing anything besides updating the blog and trying to keep in touch with my friends, learning anything about it kind of fell by the wayside. That was until we were in Horta, and upon finding out that we’d be visiting the island of Sao Miguel, I started to do a little research on it. Research meaning that I typed the name into a Google search engine and immediately clicked on the Images link.

While scrolling through the gorgeous photos of Ponta Delgada, I stumbled upon (Stumble Upon….hmmmm, another media source I know nothing about) a link to someone’s Pinterest page of the Azores, and in there was a breathtaking photo of the sun setting over the marina in Ponta Delgada. Right where we’re sitting now. I vowed to myself that once we arrived, I too would capture anything as close as I could to this photo.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here almost two weeks already, and I’m not lying when I say that just about every night I’ve looked out the window to see if I’d be able to capture my beautiful sunset, only to be met with gray skies and gloom. I had an opportunity one of our first nights here, but of course I thought I had all the time in the world for this and that idea went out the window when I discovered I could purchase a 3L box of wine for 3,50€. Sitting with a constantly full glass of wine and a good book was a much more entertaining way to spend the night at the time.

But ever since then I’ve been looking at my hypothetical watch and thinking to myself, as soon as these clouds clear up it probably means there’s a weather window to get out of here and we’ll be using it. I need to grasp at any kind of sunset I can get. And lo and behold, after days and days of cloud cover, it finally decided to peak out just long enough for me to run up to the large amphiteather area next to the marina and sit in awe for the next 30 minutes as I watched the sky go from blue to orange to pink and then finally black.

I’m not sure if what I got was as good as the original photo that brought me to this spot, but since I can’t seem to choose just one of my own anyway, I’ll leave you with a little time lapse of my sunset over Ponta Delgada.

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*I’ve finally gotten into the swing of things and started my own Pinterest page! Make sure to follow along where I’ve been starting boards with images of our trip thus far.



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Anthony Borges Gardens

Tuesday September 16, 2014


While we’ve been sitting here waiting out a weather window and a few other things in the works that I can hopefully share with you shortly (like information on a new boat in Florida!), we’ve actually been trying to get ourselves off the boat everyday for errand running or even mindless wandering. The weather still hasn’t been great, lots of gray skies and sliding into fall temperatures, but normally the sun will pop out for an hour or two in the afternoon and we take advantage of that to get off the boat.

Since we aren’t always museum people, especially if everything is in another language, we normally take advantage of appreciating town squares, gardens, and architecture that is anything but the little suburbanite subdivisions we’re used to back home. Last week on our way back to the boat late in the afternoon we came across a garden that would have been fantastic to spend an afternoon in with a blanket, a book, and a picnic basket full of goodies (including wine, of course). But it was too late in the afternoon that day to give it the full attention it deserved and haven’t had a full sunny or warm day to get back to it since.

A few days ago I was getting a little stir crazy on the ‘Dip and talked Matt into going back to the park with me. We knew the sun would be a little hit and miss so we weren’t planning on spending all day there. After trying to retrace our steps backward of when we had passed it the first time, it was a lovely afternoon walk through the town until we stumbled on the familiar front gates and walked inside. We were also entering Golden Hour and the whole scene was beautiful. I whipped out my camera to start capturing the moment…only to realize my memory card was still sitting in my computer back at the boat. Ugh.

It was still a beautiful afternoon though and we wasted no time beginning our tour of the grounds.  We walked past the parents sitting on benches and watching their children play on a playground, past a mini bamboo forest with benches that would have been the perfect spot to camp out for an afternoon, past this ginormous tree with really knarly roots that come up to my chest, to a set of caves that were placed next to a small pond.  We have no idea why these little caves could be here, they definitely looked man made and not natural to the area.

By a light shinning through at the other end we could tell that the caves actually led somewhere and Matt didn’t hesitate to wander in to see what was on the other side.  That was, until we both heard a high pitch chirping noise and he came running back out, almost diving back into the fresh air, sure that a colony of bats would be chasing after him.  As soon as I picked myself up off the ground from laughing, we began to throw stones at the ceiling inside, making sure nothing was lurking and waiting to destroy us.  There was nothing of course, but that didn’t stop him from sending me in first the second time around.

At the other end we found a grotto with a few more caves that didn’t lead anywhere and had been gated up.  For reasons why, we have no idea.  It honestly looked like they may have had wild animals in there at some point.  Possibly a scare tactic to remind children to behave out in public areas.  ‘Oh honey, I know you’re upset that I left your cookies at home, but if you throw a tantrum I’ll be forced to bring you to that bear over there, and he doesn’t like crying children and will swallow you whole’.  Just a theory.

Since we weren’t planning on staying all afternoon we slowly wandered from area to area, taking in the serene beauty, and promising we’d be back soon.At the end though I was still so depressed that I hadn’t been able to get any of it on camera that I did the only thing I could think of.  I waited until the sun came out again today and then left Matt back on the boat to devour information on what I hope to be able to share with you in a few days, and went back to the park with my camera to make sure I could capture it in case that sunny day in the park never comes around.

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 Oh, and since I had a coin purse full of Euros and no prying eyes on me of how they might get spent, I may have also made a stop at the mall a few blocks away for a little ‘on-sale’ shopping.  Like my new shirt and shoes?  🙂

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Traditional Portuguese Folk Music

Saturday September 13, 2014


Matt and I wanted to try and give ourselves a bit of a night out tonight on the town. Any other time this would probably mean finding a nice restaurant to eat at after strolling the boulevard, but tonight it meant dodging rain clouds until the sky cleared up enough for us to walk the mile up to one of the major supermarkets with a cafe attached to get ourselves a cheap burger and fry combo. These forced marina stays are really killing our monthly budget. Getting back to the boat just before dark we settled in with a movie and our computers, proud that we had gotten out to do something.

Just before ten o’clock we heard a knock on the hull, and already changed into a lounging shirt and fuzzy pants for the night, I ran up to see who might be calling at this late’ish hour. Barbara from La Luna was standing there, eager to tell me about a music performance that was about to start in an area just next to the marina. She told us that it was going to be traditional Portuguese guitar playing by two brothers she happened to come across earlier in the day, and that we should come check it out.

Not only did it sound like it was going to be beautiful, I mean, everyone knows how great traditional Spanish guitar songs are and Portuguese had to be pretty close, but I figured it would be just the push I needed to pull out my guitar a few more times for practice. Letting her know that we’d be out in about 10 minutes, we both raced to throw on clothes and fill our Tervis tumblers full of wine. We’re all about class here and I don’t think bringing a cooler full of beer was going to cut it.

Walking the waterfront until we came to the stage that had been set up, it looked as if this was a popular event that we had arrived late to. The music had already started and we were forced to stand in the rear as all of the fifty plastic chairs that had been set out were already full of the tourists that come between the island in mini cruise ships. As the first song ended, one of the brothers went into a speech about the traditional music they were playing and the traditional guitar he was playing it on. During this break I tried to search out Barbara in the crowd to let her know we’d arrive and so we could stand together when I saw her moving back from the front row of seats. She motioned for us to follow her and sure enough, there were two seats reserved for us as well, front and center.

Just as we were getting settled in the music started again. Over the next hour we listened to multiple traditional songs, each one more beautiful than the last. The two brothers that were on guitar were sometimes joined by a cello player and also by a violin player. If you are a cello player check out the best cello cases to keep your instrument protected.

We were completely blown away by the music, it was not what we were expecting at all. It definitely lit a fire under my butt to start picking up my guitar more often in the hopes that one day I’ll also be able to play something as equally stunning. In the meantime I’ve recorded some of their playing so I can enjoy listening to it until the day I’m able to play it myself.

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Boat Buying Blues

Friday September 12, 2014


The skies here in Ponta Delgada have been gray just about every day since we’ve arrived, and they seem to be matching the mood on the boat. And for once, it’s not my bad mood. Let me just quickly say that I’m not always in a bad mood, but more than two days without sunshine can quickly put me there. Now you can see why we had to get out of West Michigan. It’s basically like Seattle but with snow instead of rain. The sun disappears from November until March and it suddenly makes sense of why areas like England that are constantly cloaked in gloom have a little bit of a drinking problem.

But I digress and should get back to the story. The last I left you with our new boat buying woes, we had just gotten ourselves here from Horta, and in that short 38 hour sail Matt decided he could not live without the 48 ft aluminum boat we’d been going back and forth on for two weeks. Even though it has some issues and the purchase of it would leave us broke for quite some time, it’s not every day you come across your forever boat within your price range while you’re still in your early 30’s and we decided ‘To hell with it, let’s still buy that sucker!’. So an email was sent out to the broker last Saturday and we eagerly waited til Monday to hear back.

Eagerly waiting brought us the news that just that day, other potential buyers had been on the boat and seemed quite interested. If we still wanted it, we’d have to act fast. The broker let us know that another offer would probably be coming in but if we raised ours just a little bit we might still have a chance. Hmmm, the whole reason we stepped away from this boat last week is because we didn’t know if we’d be able to afford it with the necessary repairs it needs, and now we were being asked to throw more money on the table. After taxes, fees, registration, and blah blah blah, we weren’t even sure if we’d have enough money to cover all of it. Buuuut, it would be our forever boat. A fact that we just couldn’t leave alone.

Since we had no idea what ‘just a little bit’ entailed and the broker could in no way give us a figure, we countered with another 5k on top of our original offer and hoped that would be enough. We waited a few more days to hear back, the incoming information being that there were now multiple other people out there vying for this boat and our offer was not yet high enough. No agreements had been made though, and if we could go a little higher she might still be ours. It seems as if we were getting ourselves into a bidding war. One that we could not afford to participate in much longer.

I gave Matt the go-ahead to up our offer by only $2,000 more, really the highest we could go at that point, knowing that it probably wouldn’t be enough but having to give it a try just in case. We were indeed right that it did not match the offers of the other interested parties and soon came to find out that bids were reaching the original asking price. As much as it pained us to acknowledge it we had to accept that we are not getting our dream boat.

The thing that ails us the most, especially Matt, is that we had it. It was ours for the taking and had we not spent so much time in Horta contemplating and speculating on if this boat was for us, the papers would already be signed and a flag flapping the name MJ Sailing would be staked in the hull, warning off any other potential buyers that even tried to look longingly at our new boat with checkbook in hand. Both of us had already gotten so excited at the prospect of this new boat, already assuming that we’d be moving into her in mere months, that it’s hard to get over the shock that we’ll still be cruising around on the ‘Dip for awhile. We love this girl but let’s face it, she’s not 48 feet. And she has no pilot house, which Matt desperately wants.

Comments keep floating through the air murmuring things like ‘If we were on the new boat we’d have our own separate shower stall with constant hot water….If we were on the new boat I could store a million kitchen utensils and have a coffee maker on the counter…If we were on the new boat I just look out the window from my seat and see what’s going on….If we were on the new boat I could sleep while you watched tv and I wouldn’t even hear you’. All of these ‘if only’s’ that we’ll never have the chance to experience now, we’ll have to keep on checking ListedBuy to see if another option comes up. 

So yeah, the mood around here has been pretty bleak lately and I don’t think it has everything to do with the weather. Maybe we’ll just head up to McDonald’s again, the American equivalent of drinking, and drown our woes in a few Big Macs.

Source: czy warto inwestować w kryptowaluty

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Wandering Ponta Delgada

Monday September 8, 2014

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It turns out there wasn’t a whole lot the two of us could do here in Ponta Delgada until we were able to check into the marina this morning. What we found out after arriving on Saturday is that there are locked gates to gain access from the shore to the docks and we were now left without a key to get back in until the marina office opened and was able to give us one. Saturday we still managed to get out and about for a bit after assuming there would be so many people around the docks to let us back in when we were ready to get back to the boat. We were wrong. After standing around for 20 minutes and then spending 15 minutes trying to hunt down a security guard, which we never found, we finally managed to grab the gate when a group of guys were leaving and we had to book toward the entrance from 100 feet away.

Yesterday we tried again when we found out the woman who runs a catamaran tour right across from the gates has a key and will let us in until she leaves her booth at 6 pm. We didn’t want to take too much advantage of her so we only went out once during the day, wandering toward the college campus where they had a flea market going on. While there we talked with a few of the locals that were peddling garage sale like goods, and found out that many more people than we expected spoke English, and have been to the US at one point. We also let ourselves get lost on some of the back roads while trying to get a feel for the town. Up at the top of a hill we found yet another abandoned church that would be perfect to turn into a summer home for the two of us. I’ll admit, the views weren’t quite as good as our dream abandoned-church-home in Horta, and this area has a bit more of an industrial feel to it once you’re outside of the town center.

Another thing I should mention is that as soon as we got into the marina on Saturday and and connected to the wifi, Matt must have seen something that reminded him of the aluminum boat in RI and immediately he was talking about how he thinks we made a big mistake in walking away from it and how he still wanted it. Honestly, this trying to gear myself up for the Med and then switch to gearing up to go back to the states for a new boat and then switching back and forth is getting a little mentally tiring…but again, this would be our forever boat. I told Matt to put in an email to the broker to see if the owner would still accept our original offer and right now we’re waiting to hear back on that. At least we’ll have moved ourselves to an island with a major airport, and if we sit around here long enough, Matt found 2-for-1 flights to Boston on October 5. We’ll have to see how this all plays out.  In the meantime, on to McDonald’s!

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It has been 3 months since our last McDonald’s fix.  Oh yes, I’m lovin’ it.



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From Dock to Shining Dock

Saturday September 6, 2014

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Just as planned, we left Horta on late Thursday after trying to time it just right that we wouldn’t arrive to Ponta Delgada before sunrise a day and a half later. All the laundry had gotten one final wash, last minute e-mails were sent out as if two days were going to be a terribly long time to be away from civilization, and all the last of the provisions that we had purchased for a two week crossing were shoved into every little nook and cranny of Serendipity. All morning I had been watching the barometer, my new favorite hobby, and became increasingly worried as the winds sounded like they were howling outside the marina in the early afternoon. Four weeks of sailing in winds rarely over ten knots still makes me queasy to think of going out in anything over fifteen now. Forget that we cruised the whole Caribbean in 25-30, apparently it’s still taking me awhile to build back up to that.

At 5:00 we tossed off the lines and headed back into open water. Both of us were hoping for a whale spotting out in the channel since we still see tour boats take tourists there every day for just this thing, but we were only left with a slight chop and dramatic views of Pico while nearing golden hour. The pharmacy brand Dramamine I had just purchased during our stay in Portugal seemed to be doing it’s job, and as we carried swiftly along at five knots under a reefed main and partial jib, I was able to reheat some pasta for dinner without getting sick from the motion down below.

All morning I had been worried that I’d slept in too late and wouldn’t be anywhere close to sleeping when 8 pm came along, but just like Matt says, something about being on a boat instantly wants to lull you to sleep. Just after the sun went down and I had finished cleaning the dishes I was happily falling asleep in my bunk. The rocking was fairly gentle and there was no trouble falling back into old habits.

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Sometime during my four hours of sleep I heard the wind pick up and Matt roll in the headsail. From what I could tell we were still moving along at a decent pace and since there was no cursing or frantic movements I assumed whatever storm might be coming up on us wasn’t too bad and I quickly drifted back off. When I got up for my shift at midnight I found out that what felt like moving swiftly along to me was us only powering along at 2.5 knots. Our old friend. After getting a rundown from Matt he told me that while we were in the lee of Pico the wind had been a little schizophrenic and was not only constantly changing direction, but changing speed as well. He had just gone from 15 to 30 down to ten all within an hour. When I came up they were hovering around 12 and the wind was coming from our beam.

Just as Matt was settled into bed and I was left on my own the winds decided to shift yet again to begin to come more on our nose and forcing me to point closer and closer to Pico. It was fine for awhile, but we wanted to stay at least five miles offshore, if just for the katabatic winds alone, and finally I had to point us directly south just so we could put some distance between us once more. During the rest of my shift the winds finally started to back more to our port side and I was able to put on on a course toward Sao Miguel. The winds had also picked up to the 25-30 range, with wild thunderstorms off in the distance, but as it looked like they were headed away from us and we were only working under a reefed main, I didn’t put too much worry into it. The constant drizzle of rain we did get though was a bit annoying and by 4 am I was more than happy to take my place back in my bunk.

By morning the skies had cleared of storm clouds and we were just left with puffy cumulus balls and winds hanging around 20-25 knots. Our pace was pathetic, holding at just over 3 knots, and I began to wonder if instead of getting to Ponta Delgada by sunrise the next day, if we’d even get there before sunset. If there’s one thing I can not stand (ok, there’s actually a lot, but this is a major one), it’s getting within just a few miles of port when the sun sets and having to wait it out until the next morning to get in. Nope. That was not going to fly with me this time. When Matt woke up from his shift I let him know that winds had died down to 20-22 knots, and I know we’d been super cautious since our storms off Florida, but maybe we could think about putting out the headsail to gain ourselves some speed. We used to sail in this kind of weather all the time, right?

When I asked I thought we’d just be putting it partially out, I still felt like being a little cautious, but Matt was fine with letting the whole thing out. He didn’t see any more storm on the horizon and since it was day we should see any new ones coming from far away. As soon as the sail was let out and trimmed in we set off like a rocket. Our speed jumped from 3.2 knots up to 6.5 as the ‘Dip heeled over at a nice 10-15°. For a moment I sucked in my breath. We hadn’t seen speeds like this in a long time and I don’t even remember the last time we had a nice heel. But then I realized…we’re fine. This is what the ‘Dip is meant to do. This is what she used to do all the time before we became too scared to let her get into her groove after one too many squalls on our crossing.

For the rest of the day she stayed in her groove, speeding along at 6.5-7 knots, and even though we’d definitely made up the lost time we wondered if we might still get to our destination a little too early. When the sun was going down we rolled the headsail back in and went to cover the last 50 miles at a steady 4 knots. With the nights getting colder I spent my 12am-4am shift comfortably settled into the settee below while running up for checks every 15 minutes. Being less than 40 miles from the island at the time I spent my shift using my MP3 player to scan for decent radio stations, delighted when I found them although each station seemed to have quite an eclectic mix ranging from brand new Coldplay to 90’s Mariah Carey to turn of the millenium techno.

It was me who was in the cockpit once again as we approached the island just after sunrise. The last 10 miles seemed to take forever, not bringing us to the harbor until 11 am, but the sights as I watched us come in were well worth the wait. The SW side of the island is edged with sheer cliffs while rolling green hills followed, turning into the white buildings with coral colored roofs that we’ve come to know so well. For the last hour into the harbor I was treated to one of the best and longest dolphin shows I think I’ve ever had in my life. Plus this was a completely new species that we hadn’t come across before! Pods and pods of saddle back dolphins swam alongside the boat and tried to get views of it’s newest visitors. The whole thing actually went on for so long that I went from excited jumping, to snapping about a hundred photos, to peeking my head over the side while I enjoyed my coffee, to completely ignoring them. They just would not go away.

Once we were about two miles away from the entrance to the inner harbor I finally woke Matt up and we tried to find this elusive entrance in the massive bay. Eventually locating the itty bitty red marker that stood on the breakwater we fired up the engine and began to head in. It was strange when we pulled up to the fuel dock that there was no one working it, but we just tied up and headed inside the building. After talking to the local authorities that have an office inside we found out that we’d just crossed into low season and the marina is not open on Saturdays and Sundays. They told us just to grab any open slip and come back Monday morning to check in. Parking Serendipity in the new part of the marina (anchoring is banned here too, argh!!), we took a slip that’s probably meant for a 60 ft boat, but as they’re currently at about 20% capacity, we didn’t think it would matter.

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Random Images of Horta

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.

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Picnic in the Park

Monday September 1, 2014

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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.

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