One of the most iconic places for sailors on the Azores is the port Horta on the island Faial. Thousands of sailors arrive here for decades from Europe to cross the ocean to the Caribbean in November or return from the Caribbean in June, together with yachts from the US, just for my to see the arrival of many yachts.
On Horta is the famous Cafe Sport where all the yachties meet each other for drinks and food. Cafe Sport is run by the third generation owner bidding a great welcome to all sailors. Of course, I also enjoyed food and drinks with friends in cafe Sport, which was celebrating its 100 years anniversary.
Once arrived at Horta it is a tradition to leave a painting on the wall with the details of your ship, crew and destinations. So popular the tradition grew that hardly no space can be found to add a new painting. Nowadays paintings from crews can be found all over the place.
Due to the popularity the harbour is overcrowded and on the docks crews are busy with preparing and repairing lot’s of gear to be ready for the next part of the voyage. Next to ships ready to leave, there are ships never to leave. Apparently their crew have abandoned their ship after the desolution of a voyage not bringing what there where expecting.
Anyway, my friend Erik artived on Horta to sail with me to the Isles of Scilly. We did our own preparing and of course enjoyed the spirits from Cafe Sport to boast our confidence. However, just after one day sailing a depression came more west than anticipated, leaving us with the prospect of bearing 25 knots winds for days our divert our course to La Caruna.
The start of our voyage we had to motor couple of days to sail away from the Azores high pressure area with just light winds. Later we where able to sail, and sure enough even had to shorten the sails to beat the hard wind. During our sail over the ocean we both ran our watches of four hours up or down, looking forward to five a clock in the afternoon, where we celebrated our sailing existence with an alcoholic beverage, only one!
After eight days of sailing we arrived in Spain, La Coruna. Ready for a great shower and good food. We did some repairs for crossing the Golf of Biscay. Our sail towards Brest was a fast one with good wind. Unfortunately, but happily close to our destination in light winds, our Furlex, to roll in and out our genua, broke down. We where able to lower the sail and stuff it in the bag and went for anchor worrying how to fix this essential piece of equipment.
Next week we moored the boat in Brest and started to call for repairs, which was offered through a rigging specialist who replaced the Furlex with a new one within one week. During this week, France was celebrating! First the winning football match on Tuesday against the Belgians, Thursday the passing of the Tour de France in Brest, Saterday the national day of celebration of the 14th of July, and finally on Sunday the winning of the WK football! But I was sailing again! Erik went home and I started my journey to the south coast of England.