Boating & Biking Adventures

Category: Portugal Page 1 of 21

…PDL delights…

It is still not the weather which makes these days perfect but glad we have time and are not under pressure to move on.

It was 4am in the morning when I got the ultimate idea, what the problem on our slow starting generator might be. The pre-heating relay not doing its job and thus additional crank turns needed, before it reluctantly starts?!? Got a spare relay from the onboard warehouse and the test after replacement indicated: symptoms eliminated, all good again.

Lemon honey pork ribs, J. Oliver.

These days also allow for some decent cooking and I opted for a “Simple One-Pan Wonder” from Jamie Oliver. The local ribs here from the market hall are 90% meat and 10% bones and not vice versa. After two hours slow cooking it is hard to resist any longer. Gorgeous.

Tomorrow we will look into the small leakage from the water maker.

Fair winds…

…right place, right time…

A random photo taken while myself strolling through town today, a public holiday also in Portugal.

Reading between the lines, I think we are lucky to be here in PDL already, although it is early in the season. Marina Horta is getting crowded and there is no more space in the marina now. People arriving from West are forced to anchor on questionable grounds. The anchorage was already jammed when I left 2 days ago. Even worse for people still on passage in the middle of the Atlantic, headwinds or no winds are being reported.

The weather on the Atlantic is playing dirty. Low pressure systems are coming and going far too much South, which is part of the trouble. They come and go without much notice. Difficult for sailors.

Similar here in PDL. Fellow sailors looking for a window towards Mainland Europe are getting mad, or at least frustrated.

I hope the dirty weather game will be over in a month time, latest.

Fair winds…

🙋‍♂️…Olá Ponta Delgada!

There is no doubt, we had better days at sea compared with the last 28 hours. Although the overall wind forecast was okay, it turned out slightly different. The dead zone behind the island of Pico has got its on challenges and is a long and wide zone. From gusts to no wind in seconds combined with wind shifts of more than 90 degree are not very entertaining. These were the first 50nm. The second 50nm, once we had left the dead wind zone, were okay but the wind increased steadily gusting over night close to 40kn, much more than predicted. Scattered showers gave the atmosphere the extra kick. Waves piling up. It was that very particular moment in the morning hours, when our newly spliced tackle blew off and the foresail flattered uncontrolled up in the air. Damned. What’s next?

Radioed my fellow sailors on SY Northstar, that I have to slow down to fix a broken sheet line. Not sure how, as it is out of reach on the foredeck with the bow jumping up and down in a chaotic sea state.

Back under the cockpit tent I made a plan. In the meantime the boat sailed under main sail only, in 2nd reef at 4kn only but on course. Not too bad but painful compared to the 7-8kn we had before.

The buoy-hook was the solution. A device I never used before but forms part of our inventory. Inventory of the category: you never know, better get one! We have plenty of that.😅

With the help of the buoy-hook I managed to get the sheet lines back fixed to the eye of the sail hanging up in the air and we were almost happy. Almost, because the weather was still disgusting and the wind and sea state at that time did not allow for proper sailing anymore. High sea with insufficient wind straight onto the stern. Predicted were 350 TWD and not 295 TWD! What a shame. Bugger off.

The engine took over, for the by then last 30nm, to get into PDL.

The welcome could not have been better. The Gorch Fock greeting SY Hullu Poro at the entrance of the harbour into Ponta Delgada and a cultural potpourri of German, Austrian and Israel fellow sailors accepting my lines at the pontoon.

All forgotten. Sailing is great!

Fair winds…

PS: I take some sleep now.

German Tall Ship Gorch Fock in Ponta Delgada.

…bye-bye Horta 👍

Faial lies in our wake now. Together with SY Northstar on the way East.

☝️…Horta & Faial…🙋‍♂️

We have nicely moored at the northern basin outer mole of the marina for the last two weeks, three boats in a pack, we are in the middle. Pleasant, well protected, quite and without any swell. Just perfect!

Every time I stepp off the boat I have to pass the logo painting from SY Piccolina, one of the hundreds here in Horta. It is just next to our cockpit. It were Steffi and Rolf, sailing this HR42 in mint conditions, who inspired me at the time we met in Póvoa de Varzim to sail Azores in summer 2022. The start!

Well, during that summer 2022 in Azores, we decided to return via Cabo Verde and Carribean but this time approaching Azores from the West. Here we are!

Horta & Faial were new to me. Crossing the ocean from West, Horta remains the #1 arrival port, no doubt. All sailors arriving here are relieved and relaxed and have to share stories. That makes it unique and very special. Nice vibe!

I am very positively surprised about the diversity of nature Faial offers. Unfortunately I missed a few spots, so have to return. We make a plan! 😂

For the time being we move over to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel, where Susan will arrive shortly!👍

Fair winds…

☝️…Crater Walk…👌

Obviously I had an open bill with the Caldeira do Faial and Mario, farmer and owner of Turismar, picked me up today to explore the inside of the crater, which I think is special compared to many other caldeiras. Two reasons: first, there is a smaller caldeira within the caldeira itself. Second, it incorporates a sump area, which gives this 2km circular valley a unique character including its flora and fauna.

The descent/ascent are steep, approximately 300 altitude meters at around 45%, but once you reach the bottom, it appears you walk around on another planet.

A short but tough hike with extremely high rewarding factor.

Definitely a five star highlight of our adventures so far!

Fair winds…

TO-Lossegler 2022

Enjoy & see you in Horta, sooner or later! 😂 

🚴‍♂️🛠…Horta: ALBike…🛠🚴‍♂️

While I was heavily suffering from my own stupidity, the bike got a super full service done by Décio and his younger brother Lucas, both running the local bike shop here in Horta. Two enthusiastic pros, very competent, reliable and sympathetic young locals.

Décio opened the bike shop about three years ago and has got not only well maintained rental bikes (Rainer got one here the other day) but also a smart selection of new bikes, accessories, and a state-of-the-art workshop. Highly recommended. Thank you guys!

Fair winds…

PS: The initial approximately 5km downhill from Caldeira do Faial in freezing conditions turned for me into a bloody cold, dismantling my body and brain for two days and nights without sleep. The second night, Cobian, our ships own kobold was back and the electrical autopilot was turning making its typical sound: sssst….ssst……sssssst…….ssssst…, unbelievable where no sleep can take you! Much better now but not back 100% yet.

🚴‍♂️…Downhill into Horta!

One hour after sunrise I was in the saddle to tackle the highest mountain on Faial. 17km ascent kept me warm but the initial phase of the downhill was freezing before it turned into a 12km final pure joy-ride. More to explore!

The Caldeira is impressive and invites to be deeper explored. It has got a 2km diameter and 400m difference in altitude, bottom to top.  It has got enough room for a mini crater, which you can see, if you zoom into the picture above.

There are certified guides, who can bring you into the heart of it, which must be another great experience to learn more about this fantastic island.

Fair winds…

…Nancy in town?!?…

At the time Kaos arrived today I got disappointed still believing that SY ADIX was extraordinary. Kaos has moored under the tiny little Mount Pico. It is the one next to the fishing vessel, if any doubt.

Another private toy, not for charter. What a pity but gorgeous to look at. 

Fair winds…

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