Despite it being April the Azores was ‘hit’ last week by a ‘typical winter storm!!’
Louise, our hard working shorebased administrator, joined us this week for our Azores Island hopping. When she rang from Lisbon to say her flight had been delayed and then cancelled, we were disappointed but not surprised, as it was fairly windy in the marina in Horta.
SATA the Azores airline looked after Louise and all its passengers very well, booking them into a 4 star hotel in Lisbon and paying for all meals and transport. Meanwhile we were in the harbour watching the wind speed increase, we had a steady 40 knots with gusts over 60 for 48 hours. Louise’s flight was delayed a further 24 hours.
She had no need to worry about us sailing without her, we were firmly attached to the harbour wall with as much mooring line as we had on the boat. The local chandler was doing a very brisk trade in fishermans mooring line. Just as suddenly as the wind arrived it stopped, and when Louise arrived there was a blue sky and sunshine.
We have been in operation just over a year and this is the first time we have experienced such a delay at the start of one of our trips. Wherever we go, we always build into the itinerary time for unexpected occurrences just as this and still have enough time to reach our destination.
We spent our first day sailing motoring in light winds to Sao Jorge, and spent the afternoon on deck in the sunshine. The volcano on Pico managed to peek out from behind the clouds, it is so high here that there is still some snow on the top.
The wind continued blowing for the rest of the week and with very few sheltered anchorages we returned to Horta for a second time. We ended up leaving Horta at 4 in the morning for a great 150 mile downwind sail to Ponta Delgada. Despite missing 2 days of sailing early on we still managed 230 miles in the week,
We are now ready for our long sail 1200 miles from the Azores back to UK, the weather is looking favourable for the next 5 days at last and we are looking forward to coming back to UK. There is nothing like making a landfall on your homeland after a long time away.