Faial

Faial is small but a very beautiful island, total population on the island is around 15000. Historically the life on not only Faial, but on the whole Azores have been very harsh. The main activity has been farming, fishing and whaling. The last whale was killed 1986 by old whalers from Pico, the neighbouring island.

Faial offers a lot of varying nature, very well kept with excellent roads with very little traffic, making it easy to explore, but first about Horta

Horta

The main town and port is Horta an old and legendary port for sailors during the history. First settlement was 1467 and 1498 it got the status as a village. Ca 1200 sailing boats clear in here during a year, and I think all the crew visit Peter Café Sport, a meeting point for sailors and cruisers since 1918, now managed by third generation “Peters”.

A very convenient location for cruisers

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Many cruisers have left pennants etc to contribute to the atmosphere. We were there frequently enjoying the very good fish soup for only 2 Euro, good value for money.

The view from the harbor is stunning with the top of Pico in the background. The top is the highest mountain in Portugal 2351 m.

All the boat-marks that traditionally are made by cruiser contribute to the very nice atmosphere in the harbor. Below you will find a few examples

 

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Of course, we had to make one as well

Kerstin is painting under full concentration

Not so nice writing and some misspelling as well, we laugh and said that Virginia our grandchild 4 years old soon to visit us would have made a much better job.

The next day when we should correct our misspelling someone had taken our paint even though the paint was standing right at our boat, we went around and found it and claimed it back so we could correct the spelling

No misspelling we hope. We wanted to fill in some of the text once again, but the next day the paint was gone again!!!!

The harbor is an active and lively place with a lot of activities especially for kids with sailing school, and school holiday activities such as canoeing, windsurfing, one of the more popular activity was jumping from the quay into the not so warm water (ca 22 degree C).

Kids jumping into the water, but note the sign swimming forbidden, but no one bothered not even the Police. Rules not so important?

Just a short walk from the harbor one has nice nature to walk, one is the hill in the background on the photos above, and there is another hill not far away and from both of them one has a very nice view on Horta. Well worth to do.

It is a steep and hard climb.

But a rest with a cup of tea and a sandwich tasted good while we admired the view.

Going down was easier but slippery

Led us to this dramatic viewpoint on our way down.

The town itself is small and charming

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With a nice park

 

And a few good restaurants, here together with our daughter Emelie and her husband Axel.

Whale watching

From Horta we took a whale watching tour, it was a sunny and very nice day, very enjoyable

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This time with my son Kristoffer who visited us together with our grandchild Virginia.

We were lucky and saw not only whales, but also a large school of Dolphins

It was majestic to see these magnificent mammals in such a magic surrounding.

A whale diving down with the top of Pico in the background

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A Sperm whale mother with her calf, the calf can not dive yet, but the mother can dive to several 1000 meters depth, where they pray mainly on giant squids.

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We where lucky and saw 4 different whales diving.

But we did not only make fun things in Horta, we had to repair our worn-out sail as well

De-lamination on several places, do not buy laminate sails for extensive cruising!

Strangely at least for us, was that along most of the original folds there were tears.

We got a lot of practice in applying pre-glued fabrics on the sail, we used almost 3 sqm and that was not enough but mend the most damaged parts, now we have to see if it last until we get back to main land Europe a trip of about 900 Nm.

Some of the patches can be seen.

Faial

Traveling around on Faial one sees a very varying and beautiful landscape

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Billowing agricultural landscape

Beaches, black from old lava. There are volcanos on all the islands in the Azores

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The old volcano of Faial

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Moon landscape from the latest eruption 1957 who covered part of the old lighthouse on Ponta Dos Capelinhos on the western tip of Faial

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Forest with some impressive trees

And impressive ferns I believe

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An old harbor, only accessible in very settled weather

With a very impressive stairway down

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Small villages

Were one…

….can have a swim

And a LARGE

Glass of wine

It is very green wherever one looks

And magnificent Hortensia all-over the place along the roads

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Horta is and outstanding beautiful Island highly recommended to visit.

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Arrived Horta

Tuesday, we arrive in Horta after 13 days and 1861 NM at sea. 1374 Nm by sail and 487 by engine.

At the beginning we had wind well forward of the beam occasionally exceeding 20 knots and sometimes close to 30 kn , resulting in good progress, our hydrogenator gave good contribution to our batteries but after a day or two in service I noticed that it looked strange, shit it was falling apart. I brought it quickly aboard and concluded it was not reparable by me. I was really upset about this but after a while I calmed down.

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I thought I bought a high-quality product, but obviously not. Will be interesting to see how the manufacturer SWI-Tec handle this complaint. I mailed them and said I lost confidence in the product and wanted to be refunded, reply so fare, they want me to send it in for inspection. I have to wait and see. Anyhow I cannot recommend investing in a hydrogenator even if the quality is good, to limited use, only useful on very long passages. Need to be stored when not in use, I guess a wind generator gives much more value for money, it has the potential to generate Amps to your batteries any days the wind is blowing at around 14 knots or higher (number one is of course solar as much as can be fitted).

 

A sorrow seldom came alone, one afternoon I saw a tear in the head sail, not good at all, we furled it in so the tear was not exposed and sailed so during the night. The day after we took it down and unfurled the stay sail that had never worked well before. I had made some changes to the sheeting attachments but not really believed in it so never bothered to try it out, not until now, and it worked rather well, very important now when the head sail was down.

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Taking the sail down we also discover that the sail maker who fixed our sail in Bermuda had made a very bad job, as the sail was tear just close to the repair. So not only the new tear to be repaired

Kate repairing sail 2

Katy working hard to repair with a piece of Sunbrella which we had aboard.

Kat Repairing sail 1

I’m looking whith great interest.

Kerstin repairing sail

And Kerstin assist after Kat showed how to use the speedy stitcher. It was a full day work and we conclude this sail is beyond repai,r the cloth is in very bad conditions, so from now, only to be used in very light conditions.

The forecast was not showing any light conditions, on the contrary the weather threatening to be rather rough during the last part of our passage.

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Forecast threatening with gusts close to 50 knots and waves up to 15 feet with occasional waves at 25 feet, but we did not see anything close to that. We had a few squalls that had +40 kn wind, we were conservative and during nights with risk for squalls we had the main reefed to be on the safe side. Else nothing special.

The seas were sometimes a bit confused and to sleep during this conditions was not always easy.

Try to sleep

Kerstin try to sleep on the salon sofa which is a rather good place with less motion than many other places aboard.

Our crew

Crewq kat and Jerry

Kate and Jerry just before we leave, they do not know what is waiting a mean Captain and an uncomfortable passage.

Kate and Jerry

Jerry looks a bit tiered but all in all I think they enjoyed the trip, it was good for us to have someone to share the watches with.

At the end of the trip it become much colder especially at nights

coold weather 1

Try to protect me with a cushion, but soon it is very cold

Cold weather 2

Still freezing

But finally, we saw Horta a grey and rainy day.

Soon on Horta

Imigration jetty Horta

After almost exact 13 days we where outside the customs jetty, we had to wait for maybe 20 minutes but all in all the procedure was rather fast and we could

HBorta Harbor 1

Tie up outside another boat.

Champaign in Horta

Of course, a glass champaign to celebrate

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Then admire this harbour with historical and ironical status among sailors

Where many sailors have painted their bookmarks

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And beautifully overlooking the neighbouring island Pico with its volcanic mountain top

Of course, we need to visit

 

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Peters Café

Peter

Where third generation Peter (Jose) showing his exhibition of scrimshaw carvings

Posted in Seglingsförberedelser | 2 Comments

the gale that dissaperad

The wind disappeared so we had to motor during the night, no excitement what so ever, a few squalls one with a massive amount of rain flushing all salts of Kerpa, but the salt will soon be back again.
I was looking forward a bit to have some rough weather to see how we and Kerpa handles tougher conditions, now we have to wait for another occasion to experience that. swell still rather large so ride a bit bumpy. The captain was tiered so I slept well, Kerstin took my watch so now I’m on again. just after dawn the wind picked up and now we are reaching with good speed towards Horta. I’m very pleased that our cutter jib now working well under this conditions, we have thought of take the whole thing off the boat but now decided to make sure it work in all conditions. The last nights have been very cooled so all clothes available have been used. Last 24 h 138 nM
Distance to go 280 nM after 11 days at sea, guess we will make landfall Tuesday at noon.

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Not to bad

The night was rather calm, we sailed with main and mizzen only. At daylight the wind picked up to +/-25kn quite joyful sailing, speed good, direction so, so, wind direction not very stable so we had to jibe a few times. After lunchtime we had the first squall, it was not long but for sure the wind was well beyond 40 kn, took us with surprise, my fault I should have seen it coming, blame my lack of attentiveness on lack of sleep. Boat motion has not been good for sleeping. Just now we are broad reaching with heavy reefed main 50%, and the cutter jib, speed 6-7 knots, occasionally exceeding 8 kn, sea not to bad yet. Autopilot steers OK, not the easiest conditions. According to Chris Parker The worst weather is expected Sunday early morning until after noon.
Distance last 24 h 120 nM another low mileage day, but partly due to holding back to avoid bad weather. I think it has been the American extra caution syndrome from our weather man, we could have sailed direct without putting on the break. Distance to go 410 nM, might arrive Horta Late Monday evening or early Tuesday

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Preparing for weather to come

Last 24 h progress are probably the slowest 24 h sail we ever have had, only 87 nM. As we do not want to reach W 38 to early that is just fine. The current kind conditions have allowed all of us to get some good sleep. I have observed that we are not doing to bad in low wind if it is not too far aft of the beam, at 7 kn just aft of the beam we do 3,5 kn with partly? Reefed genua. Recon a code zero would be very nice to have in current conditions, it has been on the wishlist for some time.
There are plenty of Portuguese Man o War on the water, the moon lighten up the night and everything is fine.
Today we preparing for the bad weather by lashing lose items fast, baking bread and prepare ready meals.
We have now been 9 days at sea and have still 520 nM to go, dependent on how long we have to heave-to I guess we will be at least 4 more days at sea.

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