We left Velhas on Sao Jorge on Thu evening as the forecast had predicted about 10kn SW throughout the night and not much for the following days. The first four hours were fantastic gennaker sailing in calm seas with the sun setting behind us, Sao Jorge on port and Pico to starboard. As it got darker, the islands’s street lights illuminated the contours of the mountains. The sky was covered with stars. You couldn’t ask for more. When we neared the tip of Pico around midnight the wind died and we motored for 2 hours. As the wind picked up again, Teceira’s lights were clearly visible on the horizon. We hoisted the gennaker again.
Unfortunately, we only enjoyed this nice broad reach in starlight for only one hour, as the wind picked up faster and stronger than forecast. The situation quickly turned ugly, as we were not able to pull the gennaker sleeve down to get the sail under control. We needed Nick’s help (in only his underwear and life-jacket) to pull the sail back on board and settle down.
After that, we slowed the boat to time our arrival so that we got to the harbor after dawn.
Arriving at the reception dock, the first impression is deceiving as the cliffs are dominated by a modern hotel and the reception dock is exposed to significant swell. It did not help that the internet speed set a new record in “how slow can you go”.
However, don’t judge a book by its cover… – Angra do Heroismo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason! The cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful old houses, nice restaurants, boutiques, lot’s of churches, beautiful gardens, outstanding lookouts, etc – there is a fortress on either side of the harbor, which is dominated by Monte Brasil, a former volcano. Angra was first settled in 1460 and you can still feel the history wherever you go. A truly amazing place (it even has hotels with extremely fast internet access…)
After we got checked in by yet another extremely friendly harbor master, we were lucky enough to get a slip offered way into the harbor and close to the facilities. Tioga is clearly way to long for that spot, but we were happy to get out of the swell, closer to the action and to one of the two sand beaches of Terceira. With the scuba park on the other side of the seawall we’ll hopefully get the kids out for their first dive soon.