Exploring Faial, and Leaving Paradise

Yesterday we rented a car and explored the island. It’s just such a nice place, I can’t recommend it enough. We went up to the top of the original volcano and walked around the rim, then puffed and panted our way to the very highest point on the island. The view up there was amazing. Blue sky, blue water, you could see the rest of the archipelago scattered round, and the curvature of the earth was clearly visible on the horizon.

We brought the handheld VHF radio with us, and from the top we were able to speak to Andy Petty on Jemima Nicholas who was still well offshore. He had a good giggle at how out of breath we were, and how surreal it was for us to be standing on top of a mountain speaking to him out at sea, having last seen each other a few days out of New York just off Georges Bank.

We then headed over to the West-most point on the island, where the most recent volcano erupted in 1957. Very strange to drive from lush green vegetation to what can only be described as a moonscape. Volcanic ash everywhere, and very little left in terms of civilisation. We also found the amazing little beach we had been told about and sat there for a while watching the world go by. Andy Petty sailed past, and we headed back to Horta via the only supermarket on the island. Armed with a trolley full of food we were ready to head offshore again.

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Last night the crews of the three Ostar boats present, Dinah, Flamingo Lady, and Jemima Nicholas, all had dinner together and a very pleasant few beers in Peters Cafe. We said our goodbyes, and went to bed relatively early.

This morning with heavy hearts we left Horta, bound for the South of Ireland. The forecast looks quite interesting. Having managed to avoid all the bad weather on the crossing from New York, it looks like we have finally run out of space to dodge the depressions, and we will have to navigate through two full on North Atlantic Lows over the next week. At least it should make for a fast passage, even if it is going to be a bit wild. If we have time we may stop in one or two places on the South coast of Ireland before heading into Cobh on the afternoon of August 2nd.

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For now, myself and Andy are getting used to life on the wave again. With Aileen gone we’ll get less sleep, so we need to be much more conscious of resting whenever possible. The wind shadow of the islands stretches for miles, so we’re still motoring to get out into the clear air, but this looks like the last of the light airs sailing for the whole trip. Dinah is in great condition, and hopefully the next 1,150nm will be just as kind to her as the last 2,200nm were.

I’ll continue to post here every day, so keep an eye out. The adventure’s not over yet!

Barry

At 1500 UTC: 38 deg 47.059N   28deg 23.447W   COG 065 SOG 5.7.

Motor sailing. Island dodging. Sunny and hot.