An overnight to another world

We set sail away from São Jorge in the early morning hours, ahead of the catamoron that rolled out backwards to set a main that they didn’t even use to blast ahead of us to Ilha Terceira. We sailed and sailed like we do to a place we’d never been.

Another home abaft
Dena sailing away from that home

Again the sailing was spectacular in ways that can not be understood by people who have never done this. There aren’t enough expletives, only images that can only be captured in the light of the sun.

The waterfall
The waterfalls of São Jorge

The sailing…was sailing… We gybed to a port tack about 45 minutes out of Velas and used that tack all the way into the open Atlantic flow and still didn’t have to gybe or tack, we just adjusted the sails for the wind and loved our planet the way you do.

São Jorge sailing away
São Jorge abaft

As the local star descended the horizon, Pico winked one last time from the stern of S/V SN-E Cetacea.

Pico at sunset East
Pico’s wink

The open Atlantic welcomed us with a darkness that would not allow a moment of laxity. The local fishers don’t always adhere to norms of lighting, so the radar was a guide of sorts. Like all technology, it lied like a rug!

We swapped watches all through the night and watched as the traffic came and went. Somehow we all ultimately missed each other.

Cetacea photobombs the riprap shot
We made it…we’re the tiny dot just left of center

This wasn’t going to be an extended stay. The anchorage is open to the south and we had some bad southerlies coming, but it was impossible to resist getting a look at the town.

Waterfront waterfall
A waterfront water feature

And a very good lunch that started with the bread and cheese board.

A very good lunch
Vinho da casa and Azorean cheeses

…at the fort that’s been turned into a hotel.

Angra harbor entrance
The Fort hotel…WTAFO?!

Like any good one night stand, it ended almost before it began. A jazz festival in the marina serenaded us on a night too rough to row back in, but we didn’t make it ashore again before heading to the east end of Terceira.

The Lungs
Ilheus das Cabras or rather ‘The Lungs’ from offshore

Praia da Vitoria is a mile-long harbor behind two long breakwaters. We anchored at the north end long enough to check in with the local officials and get some groceries, and then we tucked on down in the south end for yesterday’s and last night’s gales.

Now we’re chilling between go-rounds. Tomorrow won’t be nearly as bad, but still isn’t the kind of day where you want to increase the fetch and cope with big chop. We’ll go back north after that and get into provisioning for our next passage to mainland Europe.


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