We left Corvo at around 4:30pm and headed for Graciosa. There was no wind so we motored L but were soon enchanted by a group of dolphins that enjoyed playing in the bow wave – in the clearest water imaginable.
Graciosa lies some 150 miles to the east south east, so we’re in for an overnight sail. I decided that we should run the watermaker – to keep the membranes active and fresh, so started the generator accordingly – only to find that it was giving zero amps! Since we had nothing better to do, Mike and I set about reading the book to find out what might be wrong – and ended up diagnosing a blown capacitor. The unfortunate thing was that in order to get to said capacitor, one has to lift the generator from it’s sound enclosure, the fortunate thing: the previous owner had left a spare capacitor aboard… A couple of hours later, we were back in business and making more water…
Overnight the wind avoided us, allowing just a hint of such that we flew a headsail which added about .2kts to our speed – but the watch keeping was easy, if dull. Come morning the wind picked up a little, but we were unable to head directly for Graciosa – though Sao Jorge was in our sights… OK change of plan – we’re going to Sao Jorge and the boat was sailing again – peace and quiet!
Sighting land was interesting – our first sight was of the top of Pico – at about 4,000M high – a well impressive volcano, peeking out above the clouds.
We arrived in Velas, Sao Jorge and were able to secure a berth inside the wonderful marina which is new and equipped with laundry and excellent shower facilities.
Sao Jorge is a long skinny island, famous for its cheese. Velas is a very pretty little town and the night we arrived the town was holding a fishing celebration – and catered some wonderful food – free! How cool can this be? All the boats in the harbor were dressed for the occasion with flags and music was playing – though oddly sounded like Irish tunes!
We rented a car and toured down the island stopping close to the top of a hill so that Laurie and I could trek down (J). What wonderful views we had – all the way down to the Caldeira de Santo Cristo where a village, complete with restaurant and big church is accessible only by foot or by ATV. We met Mike and Jane there who had walked the 1 hour in from the other direction, had a great burger at the restaurant and then walked back to the car and then on to the boat.
We toured the island from top to bottom, visiting cheese factories, small ports, watermills and waterfalls. Sao Jorge certainly caters for walkers with magnificent walks in abundance. We also enjoyed a really silly climb on the edge of a caldeira – that was falling into the sea… impressive photos huh? Both of us got severe vertigo (ok, I really did!)
We left Sao Jorge yesterday and sailed to Horta – the famous harbor of the Azores and a really nice looking town that we’re anxious to explore.
Click on photos to enlarge. Having difficulties uploading images sensibly – as you can probably tell…