The distance between ports in the central the Azores islands is less than a day on the water. This morning we left the lovely seaside town of Lajes on Pico Island to sail to the famous port of Horta. Even the tiny fishing boats had left port, a sure sign of fair seas and perhaps good fishing. It is not uncommon for cruisers to let out a line as it take little effort to drag a lure behind the boat. A small sport fishing boat was loading passengers and was kind enough to give me recommendations of lures and let me know that 60-80 pound blue fin tuna were in the area. I’m not sure what we would do with so much fish but I was up for trying.
Before departing port we wanted to knock another project of the ever changing list and work on the wind generator.
On the R Heritage Too, the wind generator is conveniently located on the rear mast which is easily climb and doesn’t required being hoisted in a harness. After boat chores, were complete and a final swim the ocean were departed to Horta. It was a clear a calm day which required use of the engine. Sailing is more peaceful but safe transit is most important. After the rough seas the crew experienced on the last leg at sea steaming across calm seas seemed like a good solution. Goodbye Pico and onto Faial in our floating hybrid tiny home. Our approximate route is shown in green. The goal is to tour the island of Faial for a week and continue to conduct interviews and then depart to São Jorge (route in yellow) sometime in Mid November.
The transit from Lajes to Horta took about 3.5 hours. Unfortunately we did not see any whale or dolphins. Fortunately for the tuna but not me belly we had no bites. The time at sea with the wind in you face was certainly lovely.
Faial is know as the blue island and is inhabited by about 14,000 people, or about 6% of the population of the Azores and is about 1/3 the size of pico. The small size of the island a similar population gives Pico a more urban feel. Faial’s landscape is dominated by a central cone-shaped volcano and almost 20% of the island is a nature park. The island is also famous for its whaling museum, collection of scrimshaw art and hiking trails.
The largest town on the island is Horta, one of the busiest sailboat ports in the world. It is a place where cruisers meet to travel the seven seas together and it is know for the elaborate paintings sailor leave for luck. Even in the off-season, Horta seemed bustling after enjoying the sleepy town of Lajes. A few flashing lit signs seemed to me to detract from the town’s Azorian charm but there is great free wifi access in the town. My first evening was spent in the famous Peter’s cafe. A very charming place but a bit too busy with tourists to be ideal for writing and I find myself correcting many errors in this blog post this morning. Feel free to contact me if you notice them in my posts. I know I am prone to them and happy to correct them. Horta is a significantly calmer than Ponta Delgada and much safer than Lajes where we lost a number of dock lines and damaged a teak rail. Add fixing the rail to the list of future projects.
We look forward to sharing the stories of the people we meet on Horta and what we learn about the island. If you are in a place we are visiting or in the next port and are interested in an interview, feel free to contact us as we enjoy talking to people.