Azores to France – video

This video covers the 2nd leg of our 2015 transatlantic journey, ie the tour from Terceira, Azores to Brittany, France.

Our new crew, Peter & Sean Davis, John Fulghum and Doug Frauenholz, had flown to Terceira a few days before our departure and stocked up lots of fresh food, including a frozen piglet. Corinna and Lauren had flown to Germany while Nick and Philip continued on with the 4 new guys.
We left Terceira in late July and arrived in Roscoff about 10 days later.

While we did not have any significant storms to deal with, the challenges were initially more about sailing downwind as close to the rhumb line as possible, followed by low wind periods that turned against us and increased in strength.
Crossing the first traffic separation zone showed the value of our new AIS system and prepared us well for further crossings later on.
From Roscoff, our formal port of entry, we moved on the Isle de Brehat  and then St Malo.

Total distance sailed: app 1400nm.

 

 

For those in countries where this YouTube video does not run, the link below might be better choice (it takes a little longer to load, though)

 

Azores – video

This video is a quick summary of the various islands we visited on the Azores over 3 weeks in 2015. Each one had its own character and we had a hard time determining our favorite.

Our first stop was Flores, the western-most island and about 120 nm away from our next stop. While Flores is relatively small and provides only basic facilities, it has a lot to offer and we highly recommend a stop-over.
Faial was our next stop and with Horta clearly the center for ocean going vessels. Just across the straight was Pico, offering great vistas from Portugal’s highest mountain.
While our stay in Sao Jorge was brief, we enjoyed the quaint village and interesting public pool.
Our final stop, Terceira, had a lot to offer with UNESCO world heritage site, Angra do Heroismo, and lots more. It is also one of the few islands with a direct connection to Boston.

Distance traveled: just over 200nm

 

In case the YouTube video does not play in your country, try the link below:

 

Tioga slideshow and presentation at Dory Club

The number of chairs squeezed into our clubhouse last night might have broken a record. It was nice so see such as large and interested crowd during our presentation of this year’s journey across the Atlantic.

Given the close connection between our tour and the various people and places in France we visited, it was good to listen to Commodore Manny’s opening statements where he found the appropriate words to address the tragedy in Paris.

Manny handed over to Philip and we continued with a couple of photos summarizing the highlights of the tour, giving us the opportunity to explain the bigger picture in words and answering questions.

Fun facts:

  • preparation took about 5 years
  • 15 people sailed the boat this year, spread over three legs, supporters: many, many more
  • we sailed about 4000nm, roughly 1/3 of the entire tour
  • highest waves: about 45ft, strongest wind: low 50s kn, highest tides: approximately 40ft
  • sailboats seen between Nahant and Azores: 0
  • near collisions with whales: 3
  • time to paint mural in Horta: 3 days
  • number of significant storms: 3
  • highest number of concurrent AIS targets: 86 (North Sea)

After that, Corinna, Ellen and Peter presented the burgees to the Dory Club that we had exchanged at various places:

  • Peter  Cafe Sport, Horta, Faial, Azores
  • Guernsey Yacht Club, Guernsey
  • Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes
  • Island Sailing Club, Cowes

Videos for each leg followed, showing live at sea and the various places we visited.
Comments about Philip’s choice of music were minimal 😉

Photos we presented to explain overall route;

when you see dolphins jumping in deep blue water, life is good  our mark in Horta  Overall plan  Islands of the Azores we visited  Britanny and Channel Islands  Solent, Isle of Wight  A busy day on the Northsea  for 2 days we had to take every 90 min against wind in the high 20s  Kiel Canal (about 60nm)  crew of the first leg in Horta

Summary video of crew and this year’s highlights:

Where is Yahoodi?

As most people lose interest when watching hundreds photos of someone else’s trip, here is a very quick slideshow to get an idea of what this year’s trip looked like.
A teaser to our upcoming video night at the Dory Club…

Terceira

Terceira was the fifth (and last) island we visited on the Azores (there are nine in total). And as always, it had its own character and specialties. After the usual struggle to get a rental car, we finally got going and again were pleasantly surprised.
Angra Do Heroismo clearly is an obvious highlight, but Terceira has a lot more to offer. Items that stood out for us, included beautiful drives along the coast through stone-walled fields, dense green forrests leading up into the cloud covered mountains, winding roads to lighthouses  and lava rock covered coastlines (such as around Serrata), great restaurants (eg, Caneta or Tasca Das Tias), amazing natural pools (eg Boiscoitos), Praia da Vitoria and Monte Brasil overlooking Angra as well as great scuba diving.

Terceira

Terceira - Boscoitos  Terceira

Thoughts of the new crew

The four new arrivals look forward to continuing the culinary delights they’ve experienced on the island thanks to the attentiveness of the Azorean customs officials (who didn’t confiscate Peter’s precooked deliciousness). Lest the US officials claim to be more on their game, TSA let Doug through security with his HUGE sailing knife.

The new crew now feels accepted as part of the Tioga crew after having been initiated into club Lulu. They were tested by Lolo’s and Nick’s challenges involving feats of agility, artistic ability, physical strength and a good old fashioned baptism.

During their pioneering of the new island, the new crew tried to blend in with the locals. Having an incredible lunch where they were asked if they had reservations (at 1:30 pm on a Wednesday) and then fishing at a local spot perched high on the side of volcanic cliff more than 100 ft above the crashing ocean. Doug cast out but was immediately crowded out by some locals who apparently needed to test his conviction because after a couple of minutes, he was welcomed back in. He fished for about 30 minutes during which time the man to his right caught 4 fish and the man to his left caught five! Of course I’ll leave it to you to guess how much we caught… Following our fishing adventure, we decided to take a dip in some volcanic pools but forgot to take the keys out, shorting the electronic key signal. With some clever engineering (taking the key apart and wiping it with a wet t-shirt) and then pushing the car up a hill and doing a rolling jump start, we got the car going and made it back to the boat.

Cracas

With our new crew (John, Doug, Peter and Sean) in town, we decided to follow our dive master Sergio’s recommendation and had our first team dinner at Tasca Das Tias, in Angra Do Heroismo – just a few minutes from the marina.
Sergio had described it as a bar with tapas-style food.

What an understatement – this might have been the best food we had across the Azores!, and that in a wonderful setting at a very attractive price.
The owner of the restaurant put a very nice selection of appetizers together and followed that by even nicer varieties of main courses that we all shared. Of course the desert and coffee did not disappoint.
The wine, not local but from mainland Portugal, was equally outstanding.

While we enjoyed the first round of appetizers, we asked if there was anything special on offer that we should know about. The answer was “Cracas”. What is Cracas??

Cracas

Cracas is a sort of giant barnacle, common in the Azores and considered one of the most popular seafood. And we were lucky that we came here right in the middle of the sort season for these. After Corinna got a free Cracas to sample, we ordered three plates with giant barnacles and a couple of bent, rusty nails to pull them out of their shell.
What initially looked quite dubious, turned into a delicious appetizer after we got a short explanation as to how to eat them, drink the ocean water and have a shot of white wine out of the empty shell.
We were amazed and will not forget this experience any time soon.

A few impressions of our first night in town:

Tasca Das Tias Tasca Das Tias Tasca Das Tias Tasca Das Tias Tasca Das Tias Angra Townhall

Good to have a strong shore crew

Yesterday, our new crew arrived in Terceira:

John Fulghum
Doug Frauenholz
Peter Davis
Sean Davis.

They brought along quite a few goodies:

1. New, lighter windvanes – Peter built a varieties of shapes with much lighter woods as we believe that the current vanes are too heavy to steer efficiently
2. Cross bar & velcro – Peter also built these. They will be installed inside port storage, where all the canned goods are located. Goal is to install these bars in a way to keep the cans inside the storage even if the doors open. This had been a problem when the boat heeled over to starboard and the can open the door from the inside
3. Check valves and hose clamps – Peter also got those for us. We learned that when connected the starboard fresh water tank while heeling over heavily to port, that the water drained itself via the newly installed handpumps in the bathroom (on port). We will install a valve in all line to handpumps to control waterflow going forward
4. Two new LED domelights – John got those. They will replace the broken one in the bathroom and kitchen
5. New Genoa halyard – Built by Kevin and NorthEast Rigging to replace the one we broke during leg 1
6. Rotor guards – finally available for the Phantom 3 and shipped to MA just in time, they should make flying our drone while sailing a lot safer and hopefully reduce the risk of losing the drone significantly.
7. Phantom 3 backpack. This also came to market just in time and now enables us to actually bring the drone back home without breaking it on the plane
8. Protection filters for HD drone camera. DJI finally offered a lens protection for the currently quite exposed camera
9. additional goodies that Peter sent along, such as Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce or self built cork work to protect the cockpit cushions during out meals (corks were collected on the Azores)

Thanks to all that helped in getting these items and bringing them over to the Azores.

Parts of Leg 2