Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

Santa Maria

Our sail from Sao Miguel was very relaxed as we had a down wind sail in winds of around 10-16 knots so, once we had poled out the genoa, we could relax and enjoy the sunshine along the way, occasionally passing another ARC boat, which always feels good. We arrived in the early evening, just enough time to make the uphill trek to the town of Villa Do Porto, take.. Read More

Sao Miguel

Sao Miguel is the largest and most populated of the 9 Azorean islands; approximately half the population of the Azores lives on Sao Miguel and half the population of Sao Miguel lives in Ponta Delgada. The island was one of the first islands to be discovered and settled by the Portugese around 1440.  Today it is known as the green island owing to the lush and varied vegetation throughout the.. Read More

Angra Do Herosimo, Terceira

Although the Sun was not much in evidence during our short stay on Terceira, we have none-the-less very much enjoyed the stop.  Angra Do Herosimo has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1983 by virtue of its importance during the maritime discoveries Renaissance period that allowed trade between  the Orient, Americas and Europe.  It was twice the capital of Portugal, would you believe!  The architecture is quite curious, clearly.. Read More

Failal

It’s hard to believe we have been in Failal for over 3 days; it has been very nice not to have to spend too much of it fixing things, for a change.   The focus seems to have been on getting to know a little bit about the island and the folks on the other boats, particularly those whom we have heard regularly on the SSB nets each day.  The.. Read More

Arrived in Horta

We are still pinching ourselves …. We made it over 1900 miles from Bermuda to Horta on Failal in the Azores!  It feels very good to have our feet back on dry land again …. and surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to be rocking. We met up with folks from the other ARC Europe boats at Peters Cafe, a sailors must in Horta that is celebrating 100 years this year.  Pete’s.. Read More

Day 14 – Approaching Horta

The anticipation onboard is rising…. Horta is now only 32 miles away … unfortunately almost directly into the rising Sun so we haven’t spotted land yet. We expect to make landfall this afternoon. A strange phenomenon is occurring with the AIS. Normally we only see other boats out to maybe 30 miles for large ships and around 4-5 miles for yachts as the signal is sent and received by VHF.. Read More

Day 12 – More Whales and Dolphins

As dawn is breaking on Day 13, I just had to jot down yesterday’s highlights. Not only was it a great sailing day but we also spotted whales breaching about a quarter of a mile away and there seemed to be dolphins all over the place, some that seemed to be on a mission, ahead of the whales, and others who were in a more playful mood, especially around our.. Read More

Days 11 and 12 – First Whale Spotted

I finally spotted my first whale! It wasn’t overly spectacular but so good to see the water spouts and the rounded beige-colored hump that was blowing the spout. No photos, sadly. Another boat reported having a whale breach not far in front of them earlier in the trip. Other wildlife seen has included dolphins fairly regularly, plenty of Portugese Man O’ War jellyfish with their pink-rimmed, crescent-shaped “sails” above the.. Read More

Days 9 and 10 – Picking up Some Speed

Having been somewhat frustrated that we have not been not making good headway towards our destination, we finally poled out the genoa yesterday morning and made much better progress , a passage record of 152 miles in 24 hours. The boat felt comfortable, even in building seas and with wind around 16-18 knots, our speed picked up to around 7 knots. The mood onboard was distinctly improved! Gradually the wind.. Read More

Day 8 – More Interesting Sailing

Another good day …. but with more varied wind conditions, still mostly from the WSW or SW. We put one reef in the mainsail overnight even though conditions didn’t seem to warrant it but just to be on the safe side. We also decided that we had gone farther south than we wanted to be so we gybed and sailed almost due north overnight. For me (Hope), the day began.. Read More