Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

Barbate to Gibraltar Bay

Although we only stayed in Barbate a couple of nights, it was none-the-less a pleasant stop.  Yet again, the marina was far from full (as you can see in the photo below) but it was interesting in that it was divided into a large commercial/fishing port and the yachting marina, which made for quite a long walk around them all to the town.  The fishing boats here were a lot.. Read More

Farewell Portugal, Hello Spain!

The last two weeks, since Sonia returned to Bordeaux on July 4, have seen us slowly move south towards Gibraltar. We had not intended to spend as much time in Faro/Culatra but starter motor issues dictated otherwise. In between visiting the only boatyard in Faro and having the mechanic visit us at anchor in Culatra, we managed to explore Faro and Olhau; both accessible by ferry. Faro had character and.. Read More

A Taste of Portugal …. And a Special Visitor

For a break from boat tasks, we rented a car and explored a little of Lisbon and some of the Atlantic coast further south.  The car was also very useful for taking our propane tanks to one of the few refilling stations near Faro …. and for collecting Sonia from Faro airport late on Thursday last week.  First stop with her was anchoring off Portimao, about 7 miles east of.. Read More


We have been in no hurry to depart from Lagos.  Our crew, Mike and Benjy departed the Monday after we arrived, as did many others from other boats once all the organized ARC events were over.  Somehow we managed to be awarded third prize for the last leg … but in a different division (still not sure how that happened).  Mike was awarded a bottle of Moet et Chandon champagne.. Read More

Mazu has Arrived in Portugal!

….And it feels so good!  As we approached the impressive Cape St Vincent at the SW tip of Portugal we found there were a couple other ARC boats nearby, one (Betelguese) ahead and the other (Jubilate Mare) behind.  The water flattened out but the wind remained so we had fast sailing along the coast to the finish line just off the entrance to Lagos.  The marina is up the river,.. Read More

Day 6 of Leg 3 – In the Shipping Lanes!

The northerlies filled in sooner than expected and gradually built in strength so we have had some great sailing over the past couple of days and have made good speed. I am appreciating more and more the value of the staysail. It is such a tiny sail in comparison with the genoa but since the apparent wind was forward of the beam, even in lighter winds we have been flying.. Read More

Day 4 of Leg 3 – Past the Half-way Mark

We have had mixed conditions over the last couple of days. The emphasis has been on maintaining a boat speed of at least 5 knots and keeping a little north of the rhumb line in anticipation of a current sweeping us south as we approach Portugal and northerly winds to fill in. Yesterday we had some periods of great sailing, including about 4 hours of flying the spinnaker, resulting in.. Read More

Day 2 of Leg 3 – Fish On!

So, after close to 3000 miles and Mike diligently running the fishing lines out almost every morning, trying different lures, bringing the lines back in before dusk, we have caught our second fish! The only problem was that he was sleeping at the time so Benjy is the one who landed the very handsome big-eyed tuna on deck, getting all the glory with photos to prove it, much to Mike’s.. Read More

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