Boating & Biking Adventures

Category: Portugal Page 3 of 24

…sunset @ PDL…

It wasn’t Champagne but with fond memories over a Pina Colada based on BB Rum from Dominica we started not only into the weekend but also look forward to celebrate Porugal’s National Day, the 10th of June.

Fair winds…

AZAB- Azores and Back

Yesterday this IMCOA 60 came in next to us and I had a chat with skipper and crew raising my attention towards the ongoing AZAB Race. Very interesting! 37 boats will arrive in PDL over the next couple of days to fill up the marina. Correction of the extremely diverse contenders  will be by IRC rating rule.

Fair winds…

SY Superbigou, what a beast!

Jardim Botânico A. Borges

There is a magnificent garden here in Ponta Delgada, which we explored today. It is less than 2km walking distance from the marina and entails a nice little coffee/lunch bar. Although the park is relatively small, it offers great variety on trees and plants.

A visit is highly recommended in case you are in town.

Fair winds…


There are no major damages  reported within the Azores caused by Storm Oscar. A fellow sailor came in yesterday with ripped foresails. Looking at the conditions of the sails a bit closer, I would not have left A Coruña with the same. Both foresails rotten and porous. The main sail does not look very encouraging either.

Clearly, Madeira has been hit hardest. Many flights cancelled, walking trails closed, roads blocked, etc. Maximum rain with 604 l/mˆ2 in 24 hours has left its stamp. The brutality of forces can be seen in the video showing the Ribeira de Santa Luzia in Funchal, a downtown river stream I have crossed many times.

The marina entrance in Funchal is blocked! A river stream piled up rocks & sediments.

While we have to write off three fender socks only, Porto Santo has lost its main tourist attraction. The golden sand is gone and with it the scenic beach! I have cycled this unique island in October 2021, when it looked like this. Very sad. Climate change is and will be changing landscapes as it always did.

Normality is back here in Ponta Delgada. Some boats have already left Azores yesterday heading East, either towards the Channel or Gibraltar. The ARC Europe is going to leave today, some of them having a short stop-over in Santa Maria before finally heading towards mainland Europe. We have a bit more time, which will hopefully bring the North Atlantic weather system back to “normal”.

Fair winds…

Storm Oscar

The current low pressure system dominating the eastern part of the North Atlantic got more attention over the last couple of days and is even dubbed “Storm Oscar” by now. The talk is around an “Atmospheric River” pouring extraordinary rain. I believe hardest hit sits on Madeira, where statistics with 5 times over the last 60 years illustrate the exceptional weather situation. Soon it will also affect the mainland peninsula. With record high water temperatures in the Atlantic reported by NOAA for 2023 this “Atmospheric River” just seems to be another sign of global climate change.

As sailors we have to cope with it or stay at home. Overall I think we have been lucky again on various aspects. We picked a perfect weather window from St. Martin to Bermuda and were relatively lucky on the passage from Bermuda to Azores. While following the sailing recommendations from Jimmy Cornell it becomes apparent, that his big disclaimer is justified in nowadays obviously happening climate change. While the risk factor has changed, I believe, available weather information has greatly improved to compensate for the same.

The expected swell pushing into the marina at yesterday’s afternoon high tide did not happen. My guess is, that the stronger winds gusting 45kn from North and the constant pouring rain were dominant over the swell pushing it back and down. Right or wrong, good for us! The night was peaceful, wind down to 25kn only and no further line checks needed during the night.

Under the given conditions we had a pleasant quality time in our cosy 43ft – 5 star – nest but are relieved that it seems over, for now!

Fair winds…

NOAA / Disturbance #1 – 2023

…half way through…

After 6h deep sleep last night with earplugs, we woke up around high tide, 3:36am. While wind was not the determining factor, it was the swell shaking the boat around dragging the lines. From Waltz to Rock’n Roll. It was not the worst swell ever but for sure significant. We checked all lines.

After adding two more lines of defence (nine in total now) and adjusting the others, it was time for a cup of tea before we went back to sleep, earplugs in. Nothing else we could do. Others were busy on their boats same time.

The wind peak is going through right now, gusting 40kn, but my concern remains the swell at the next high tide, 15:59pm. Once the water starts falling the swell shall start to ease a couple of hours laters. Looking forward to that moment.

We shall be alright.🤞

Fair winds…

PS: SY Beagle with Alice and Ulli are fighting their way from Bermuda towards Azores since 8th May! I feel sorry for them and hope for the best on the final miles and landfall being close to Horta now!

PPS: SY Christina with Elke and Ulli are fighting swell in Calheta/Madeira being in a similar situation like us.

…stormy weather…

The peace will be over in PDL for a while with a low pressure system passing through over the coming 24 hours. All lines of defence are in place, let’s get over it. My concern is less the wind but rather the swell. Cross finger!

Fair winds…

…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…

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