Finally the weather gods have decided that spring has started with associate weather. So far I lingered along in the Canaries because going north was out of the question. One depression after the other passed the Azores and Madeira, making it very foolish to venture north of the Canaries. But finally I was able to sail to Madeira and now the weather was ready for my sail to the Azores.
A most acceptable northeasterly wind of about 15 knots would make a pleasant sail. However, it turned out to be just a little more and later on a sail a bit close to the wind. Nevertheless, it was one of my fastest 500 miles covered so far. Not all that comfortable, but good sailing nonetheless. Just have a look at a small impression of my sail to the Azores.
Of course, I could not wait to see Santa Maria. So next day I rented a car to explore. Now, Santa Maria is not a big island, only 17 kilometres long and not yet 10 kilometres wide. So I covered a lot of ground. I hiked around the highest mountain Pico Alto, 587m high. Perhaps more a large hill, although with a dramatic history, about which I will tell you later. However, I had a beautiful hike there, I’ll show you later as well.
But the biggest surprise was my visit to the Gonçalo Velho lighthouse. I saw a beautiful picture is the tourist guide, so as a sailor, I found that I had to visit this lighthouse. Have a look at this small impression.
Earlier that day I started with hiking around Pico Alto. A hike of two hours well described in a leaflet of the tourist office in Vila do Porto. A small impression follows here.