Hello HaveWind followers. While our stop in the Azores was unexpected and due to necessary boat repairs, Phillip and I have had an incredible time exploring and immersing ourselves in the lifestyle and lush greenery of this incredible island. Enjoy a few of the travel logs we posted to Patreon while rummaging around the Azores!
Posted June 19, 2016:
Hello from the Azores!
Patrons! Greetings from a tiny island two-thirds of the way across the Atlantic. I don’t have much wifi. I am trying to upload a new video for you all sharing some footage from our passage around the halfway mark (approximately 1,000 nm ago), so this will have to be short. But know that every day on this journey has been an incredible adventure for Phillip and me. We have had some very trying times, some very tiring, exhausting times and have also experienced some of the most incredibly rewarding moments that I know will stick with us for years to come. We saw a whale spout and wave a fin at us yesterday just after we spotted land and it was a breath-taking moment for the entire crew.
As you may know if you have been following the Delorme tracker, our auto-pilot went out the last few days of the trip. Upon disassembly, we found we had literally ground the bearings into metal bits and dust. Auto worked very hard for a very long time getting us as far as he did. But, once he threw in the towel, the crew had to pick up the slack and hand-steer two hours at a time to bring the boat safely into harbor in the Azores. Thankfully we have four crew members which made it easier (2 hours on watch, 6 hours on rest) but the crew was growing weary. We had no sense of time. There is no morning rise, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime. There is only “on watch” or “on rest,” and you find yourself snatching any small pocket of sleep that you can. That may not sound like a wondrous adventure, but you will also find yourself in the early hours of the morning, your horizon lit only by a brilliant moon river, your hands gripped around the worn leather of the wheel and you, and you alone, are in control of a very tiny boat that is sailing across a vast, mysterious body of water and THAT, my friends, is wondrous.
We do not yet know what the future holds for us on this trip. We suffered another significant failure with the starboard engine just hours before we made it into port yesterday evening. Thankfully, the port engine continued chugging and we were able to limp in to the Horta Marina where several deckhands graciously helped us tie up safely. We are inspecting the engine today, washing clothes (and our filthy bodies!) and assessing plans from here. We will update you all once a decision is made. But, for the moment, know that Phillip and I have definitely experienced more in the last few weeks than we will ever have time to tell or recount. There are not enough hours in the day for me to write my adventures, as I am too busy living them, and I consider that an exquisite blessing. Life is exceedingly full for these two sailors. We are grateful every day for your support and hope that you all have enjoyed following along on this adventure vicariously.
Posted June 24, 2016:
Set In Stone
Hello Patrons! Another quick fun post from the Azores while I have found a pocket of internet. Phillip said yesterday (and this kind of surprised me as he has traveled so much) that, of all the islands he has traveled to, this, Failal Island in the Azores, is his “favorite”! It does have so much to offer. We have been wearing out the soles of our shoes exploring this little town and so many things have impressed me. First, the many streets, sidewalks, walls, driveways, gates, facades that are handmade from stone. I’m not sure I have seen any concrete (other than the massive rip raff near the harbor). Everything feels so handmade and ancient.
Everything is also SO much smaller in the best way possible. Many people say the cruising lifestyle is meant to be a smaller, simpler, more rewarding lifestyle (in that you live in such a smaller space and consciously consume so much less than you do when living on land, often in huge, sprawling estates) and I feel that is true of every aspect of this place. The cars are smaller. The streets are smaller. The doorways, tables and settings are smaller. The coffee servings are smaller. And, the entire “small” experience has made us savor every aspect of it that much more.
The island also has a very connected, organic feel. The lush rolling hillsides are littered with cattle. Some of them sporting huge, hanging udders (down to their ankles almost!) and suddenly I know where the incredible cheese I have been indulging on every day comes from. The fish market boasts a huge, iced display of fresh whole fish every morning that I know have been harvested just hours before out in the vast salt waters of the Atlantic. The “new whaling” industry (they call it — watching as opposed to slaying) offers a majestic view of the magnificent creatures that grace us below the surface and you can see the passion and excitement, even in the eyes of our guide and driver who have likely seen hundreds of whales in their lifetimes, each time we had a new sighting. The industries here (agricultural, tourism, retail) seem to have more synergy and purpose. It is always enlightening to immerse yourself in a new culture and try to truly feel and understand their way of life. I have enjoyed that endeavor more than any other on this, our “favorite” island so far.
Thanks as always for your support and for making these travel logs possible.