BV 7 (VIDEO): Christmas Kiting at Pensacola Cay

I mean, with the name “Pensacola,” we had to at least stop and see.  And then we decided December 25th it shall be!  Merry Christmas in blog time followers!  I hope you all are enjoying our Bahamas Voyage vicariously.  Fun video and blog post for you below from our   “holiday on the hook” at Pensacola Cay!

It is always so fun to go back through our photos and footage and share these stories with you.  Pensacola Cay.  We were destined for it, right?  And boy what a beautiful little stop it was.  Each island in the Abacos offered something unique and memorable.  Pensacola afforded us the first stretch of clear beach and enough wind for kiting.  So, it was the first time we kited on the Atlantic ocean.  That is not something I’m likely to forget for a long, long time.  This was our first kite spot!

For us, kiting is not just a hobby, it is a sort of freedom.  As with the sailboat, you are moving, propelling forward actually, by the sheer virtue of the wind.  You steer by skillfully working the kite and board together just as the boat does with the wind, keel, and rudder.  It’s a powerful, sometimes frightening, but more often freeing, exciting feeling to know you are harnessing the wind.  There’s no rumbling motor.  No stinking fumes going into the air.  Nothing but nature is moving you along.


Time for a jump-off!  Annie …

Man, did you see that mega-hop?!  I cleared like a foot and a half!  Okay, now Phillip …

I think we have a clear winner!  Man, Phillip can really fly.  I’m still working on jumping.  It’s just not something that is coming naturally to me.  So far I can either launch and land a mega-hop (yeehaw!) or launch a huge leap and yard sale it at the end.  I hate to say that kiting, just tacking back and forth and maneuvering the board without jumping, is so fun to me that I often don’t practice jumping as much as I should because it might mean I’ll lose my board, crash my kite, potentially end my session.  “Over a silly jump?” my mind screams.  “Nuh-uh, not this kiter!”   But, I love that I can push myself to that goal anytime I want to and it’s always there: a fun, challenging reward if I attain it.  This—the challenge, thrill, peacefulness, and simplicity, i.e., harnessing the wind to maneuver—along with, of course, the high-flying jumps and flips, is what draws us to kiting.  And to look out the opening of that beautiful little cove at Pensacola Cay to see the Atlantic ocean!  An enormous body of water that we crossed in a boat not much bigger than ours only one year ago, was a really cool feeling.  Like everything is connected together—time, places, and people—by water.  This was us on that same body of water, not so long ago!


The water in the Bahamas, however, while warmer than Pensacola’s mid- to low-sixties winter waters, was still a little chilly.  Likely seventy degrees if I had to guess, along with air temps in the high sixties and low seventies.  Definitely nice and cool for a day on the boat, but a little chilly to get wet and windy in just a bikini alone.  Oh, you’re right, Phillip doesn’t always wear the bikini – ha!  But we had brought all of our wet gear for this reason, so we donned what I call our “platypus suits” and didn’t let it stop us!


High fashion.

It was so “cold” there, Frosty came to join us!

I was kind of surprised by the landscape as well.  Many of the cays in the Abacos are formed solely on limestone, so in some areas the only walkable shore is a jutty, jagged patch of very unforgiving limestone.  Didn’t stop us from traversing it, but you definitely wanted to tread carefully!


We also often stumbled upon what we began to call “conch graveyards.”  I, a very naive and silly Bahamian cruiser to begin with, thought all those conchs must have decided it was “their time,” so they huddled together and crawled to shore, a heaving pile of shell and slimy innards drying under the sun.  I mean, how else would they all end up piled together in a collective, crumbling heap?

Yes, I know now (after the patient and kindly Phillip told me) they’re there because that is likely where a local fisherman harvested and cracked them.  Ahhh … that makes more sense.  A concher left them there.  Yes, “conchers” are real in Annie Land.  So is the blonde hair!  Phillip is rather nice to put up with me.  But, my very silly questions about all the intriguing things I always seem to find when we’re exploring definitely keep him entertained.  As do these beautiful views.  Just walking around the islands, making footprints in the sand, and picking up shells is one of our favorite pastimes.


I had thought about keeping this guy, but after holding him five minutes (which left a hand that stunk for five hours!), I decided he was never coming near our boat.  Do you see that little brown dribble coming out of the bottom?

Yeah, he seemed empty when I picked him up.  I mean there definitely was not a live squirmy conch in there when I peeked inside.  But every time I sloshed water in and swished it out, more of this brown goo would come out and I’m sure it was his poor decaying body, but my God that stuff was potent.  Sorry little man, but you’re staying with the other stinkies!  We do not bring stench aboard Plaintiff’s Rest!

With “dollars” everywhere, we felt mighty rich!  : )

It was also great to see our boat anchored out in the Sea of Abaco.  After all the planning and prepping and work it took to get her there, it was like you could feel how happy she was to finally be floating in these beautiful green waters!

And, just our luck, a few billowing, beautiful clouds rolled in and brought us a refreshing rain storm.  That’s right, for Christmas, we gave Plaintiff’s Rest a much-needed, well-deserved, indulgent freshwater rinse.  I listened closely and could hear her singing during the storm.  Do you know what she sang?

“Siiiiinging in the rain.  I’m just siiiiinging in the rain!  What a gloooorious feeling, I’m haaaaaapy again!”  (That’s what she always sings when it rains ; ).

It was a well-timed, rather-welcomed rinse for the boat and all of our kite gear stacked up on the deck.  And, the storm left behind a crystal clear sky for the sunset.  It’s happy hour on our boat.  Cheers!


And you know you’re living right when you watch the sun both set and rise every day:

I know, I know.  Sunrises.  Sunsets.  Cocktails and bikinis.  Yes, it really is just like that many days.  When we’re not changing the oil on the boat, or cleaning the dinghy, or on a gas and provision run.  It is paradise.  Dozens of times over with each little cay you stop at in the Abacos.  But, as I mentioned, each cay seemed to offer something unique that made it stand out in our memories and distinguish each cay from the other.  Do you know what our favorite thing about Pensacola Cay was?

That’s right!  The SIGNING TREE!!  It was something Phillip had read about before we even got to the Abacos, some big tree on the back side of Pensacola Cay where boaters leave old buoys, or life rings, or pieces of driftwood (all kinds of creative nautical trinkets) often with their vessel name, the crew and the date written or painted on it.

It reminded me a lot of the sea wall at Azores which is covered with colorful paintings left behind by cruisers who have been there.

Some of the items hanging from the Signing Tree were very creative.  One had a message in a bottle.  Another, a carved silhouette of their boat.  One, a toilet seat!  I’m not kidding.  And, from s/v Plaintiff’s Rest?  Your very own signed copy of Salt of a Sailor, another one of my “traveling books.”

Phillip and I like to occasionally leave a book behind in a port or place where we hope one cruiser will read it then pass it along to another and another and another, so that the book gets to meet a lot of different people and see many different parts of the world.  ”Go little book, go!” we often cry as we leave her behind.

“All you have to do is be a little brave and really resourceful.  Happy cruising!” I wrote inside.

Then we triple-bagged her and hung her from the Signing Tree.  I hope someone, somewhere, someday tells me they found the traveling Salt of a Sailor that we left at Pensacola Cay.  What if the little books is still there when we go back?  That would be fine too, but I’ll have to open it to see if folks are taking it to read, then putting it back!  I put a little log in the front where people can leave a note with their vessel name and crew.  So, it’s kind of like a “signing book” too.

We’re making some fantastic memories along the way.  Hope you all enjoyed Pensacola Cay!

Next time, we’ll take you underwater on our very first colorful snorkel in the Bahamas!  Stay tuned!  glug, glug, glug … : )


Why We Travel

“There’s something magical about the Azores,” Phillip told me well before we stepped foot on Andanza to cross the Atlantic.


When the idea first started to flick like a candle flame in our minds that we might sail across an ocean this year, Phillip immediately started to overflow with what little he knew about the places we might see along the way: Bermuda, the Azores, Peter Sport Café.  Now, this was long before we knew Yannick did not plan to stop at any of these places.  Not a one.  But it didn’t matter.  While Phillip and I love to see new places and explore new shores, we also love the journey in between.  Simply crossing the ocean was enough for us, but Phillip and I are both so grateful that things worked out the way they did and we had the opportunity to spend nine colorful, captivating days in that magical place known as the Azores during our voyage across the ocean.

Discovering new places, people and cultures by venturing off the main thoroughfare down obscured alleyways, in rumbling rickshaws lead by locals who have walked those roads barefoot since they were a child is why we travel.  I expect to feel the same kind of wanderlust awe as we traverse Havana, watching old Chevies putter by, following puffs of smoke from women on a balcony, wandering around with my mouth hanging wide open because I’ve simply forgotten all about it in my wonderment.  That sounds a little Alice in Wonderland but that is how I feel when we step onto a new shore: exuberantly overwhelmed and proud to be just mad enough to have embarked on the journey I did to get there.

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”


Where do you want to wander to?

As Phillip and I spend these last days preparing for our voyage to Cuba, my mind for some reason keeps traveling back to the Azores.  Probably because it, too, was a place where I could have never imagined myself because I simply could not imagine it.  I couldn’t see the colors, the lushness, the curiosity of the birds that ate my bread crumbs until I had actually been there.  It was even more magical than Phillip could convey and I thought I would take a moment to share it with you as I believe the culture and untouched parts of Cuba will strike us the same way.

Azorians wake every day to the sight of the Atlantic Ocean.


The peak of the Pico, basked in pastel looks upon us on the island of Failal.


Each day began at this colorful café over coffee,


and often ended with wine at the same table.  I love the ever-changing view from my office.


Cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings scale the steep hillsides.


I stumbled upon this while walking the streets one afternoon alone, a local wedding, held in the back patio of a home.



The sea wall, with its many ship’s badges and boats, is a nautical museum.

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Yannick, chatting with a French family cruising on their Ultramar as the father added their emblem to the seawall.


There is a feeling of connection when you find badges from fellow sailors who have come before you, s/v Testarossa which won the ARC Europe 2016 race and the infamous Pam Wall’s Kandarik which came through in 2006.


I found beauty everywhere.

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Final resting place overlooking the vast Atlantic.  I don’t think I would mind ending up here.


En route to the farmer’s market where we brought fresh produce each Tuesday, fresh fish on Fridays and a fresh baguette every day.

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Every meal was a delicacy.


But don’t get me started on the cheese.  I could a do an entire post about cheese in the Azores.  It was all made locally from the very cows you see roaming the hillsides.  Each island made their own special breed and blend of cheese and cheese came to your table, no matter where you went, moments after you sat down.  Ahhh … the cheese.


Voted, hands down, our favorite meal in the Azores: Octopus Salad drizzled in lemon, oil and fresh cilantro.


The best way to spend your day?  Simply go for a walk.  Explore.  See.  Soak it all in.

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You see?  Magical.  I don’t know if I will ever find myself again, in a cloud.

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This was a moment that stuck with me.  We often stopped at this little cafe on Porto Pim and this man was there every time, nibbling on cheese and bread and just watching, everything, everyone, quietly.  He was such a fixture at the place, the birds would come up and eat out of his hand.

Peter Sport Café.  What can I say?


Peter Sport Café was a destination all its own.  There is an energy in that place that fills your lungs when you walk in the door.  You know you’re breathing the same air a thousand other sailors drew in before you having themselves just crossed an ocean to get there.  Respect—for each other and for the ocean—resonates with every man’s eyes you meet.  And when you and your crew come in to the Café for the first time, having just docked your boat on the historic seawall, pulling off hats, wiping salt from your brow, slapping each other’s shoulders, you make a bit of a scene because you’re energized by what you have just accomplished.  The folks who come there every afternoon for a beer or the folks who have been in the Azores for weeks, likely having work done on their boat, can spot you instantly: the crew that just made it in.  But, once you stay a few days and have a few beers there, you will start to blend into the regulars and you’ll smile when you see the next motley crew of sailors, walking in for the first, slapping shoulders and pulling off hats.  Congratulating your crossing with a drink at Peter Sport Café is a memorable experience.

I hope the first drink Phillip and I have in Havana brings me the same air of comradrerie with people there who have rich stories and experiences to share.

ATL CRX Lesson: The Decision to Stop

“Do what you would do if the kids and I were with you.”

This was probably the best advice I could imagine anyone giving Yannick in the moment.  He was really wrestling with the decision of whether to pull out of the Atlantic and into the Azores to see if we could get the auto-pilot on Andanza repaired or to keep making way hand-steering toward France.  As it stood, we were about a day and a half away from the Azores and about eight or nine days away from France with four capable, albeit a little tired, crew.


This crew member, in particular, is a little crazy.  Dancing at the helm is the absolute best way to hold a hand-steering shift.  

We weren’t even sure, yet, whether the auto-pilot could be repaired in the Azores and Yannick was rightfully leery of docking his 46-foot catamaran.  That was one of the primary reasons he wanted to cross the Atlantic Ocean non-stop. And, now he was debating doing it in a port that may be of no help to him with a crew that had only docked the boat once before.

“There are less variables out here,” I remember him saying.


On the other hand, the crew was growing more tired with each two-hour shift and we were still many, many miles from France.  When Yannick reached out to his wife, who was “singled-handing” her own rather daunting journey—impressively juggling a move halfway across the world into a new home with two very small children in tow—Clothilde gave him the best guidance I believe any wife could in that situation and I will forever admire her for it.  Although she wanted Yannick home, she needed him home, Clothilde told him to act as if she were there with him so he would make the safest decision.  Hearty are the French.


While I would love to say this softened and persuaded our Captain, apparently the French are also stubborn as Yannick was hell-bent on getting his boat across the ocean as safely yet efficiently as possible.  While he did want to make the best decision for everyone, he also did not want to stop.  I believe even Yannick will tell you, what finally swayed him was a rather stern discussion with Phillip, ever the Marine, who felt it was time to step up and say something.


“You have no reason to risk the boat.  That’s what I told him,” Phillip relayed to me later as I was holding my shift at the helm when he and Yannick had their discussion.  “We have plenty of time to stop for repairs, the weather doesn’t look any less favorable a week from now and, by stopping, we’ll make the last leg of the voyage with a rested crew and, likely, a fully-functioning auto-pilot.  There’s simply no reason that justifies the risk.”

“But you guys said you could do it,” Yannick said.  And he was right.  We did.  Because we probably could.


“But that doesn’t mean we should,” Phillip told him.  And he was right too.


Phillip and I have experienced this phenomenon on occasion during a passage.  It’s usually not one thing that goes wrong that puts the crew and boat in immediate jeopardy.  It’s usually a series of events.  Mostly minor in the beginning.  Just a small failure or some system that gets finicky, requires your attention and must be monitored, adjusted or repaired more often.  Nothing major just something that strains you a little, and then another that strains you a little more.  Then the weather turns gnarly.  It’s hard to see or navigate.  Then another system starts giving you trouble.  And before long, you’re much more tired than you realized.  You haven’t been sleeping or eating as well as you had before and THAT is when something bad happens, perhaps because of a poor decision you made because your judgment has been weakened or perhaps just because it is the next bad thing that was set to happen and now things are more than you can handle, particularly in your tired state.  For Phillip and I, it seems this is how you find yourself in trouble out there.  Not usually from one catastrophic occurrence, but a series of them, one after another until you can no longer control the situation.  I remember discussing this recently with Andy Schell and he agreed.  As he has far more many miles under his hull than we do,  I believe it to be true.

Were we fine at the moment?  Hand-steering in two-hour shifts with a capable four-person crew?  Yes.  But it was the first in a sequence of events that could have occurred.  It was the start of a series.  And Phillip—wanting both himself to have a safe and enjoyable journey across the Atlantic, but wanting more to see his friend Yannick sail his boat safely across the ocean—took decisive action to try and stop the series before it began.  “There’s just no reason to risk it,” he told Yannick.  While we were essentially strangers when we signed up as crew for this passage, over the course of each blue mile, a friendship grew and I know Yannick appreciated Phillip’s honesty and perspective.  By that point, Yannick trusted and respected Phillip and I think, looking back, he will say it was the right decision, although that did not make it an easy one.  After the men emerged from what I was told was a pretty tense conversation in the cabin, the Captain decided Andanza would be stopping in the Azores.


It seemed fate agreed with us as it wasn’t long after Yannick made the decision that I was able to get the folks at Mid-Atlantic Yacht Services on the satellite phone and, without much hesitation at all, they said with confidence they could either repair or replace Yannick’s electric RayMarine auto-pilot.   They kind of chuckled at me asking so many times.  The crew of Andanza had yet to be awakened to the wide range of serious boat repairs MAYS tackles on a daily basis.  It makes sense.  It’s the first big marina folks come to after 2,000 nm across the Atlantic Ocean.  I now know we all underestimated their capabilities because we did not yet know the state many boats are in when they reach the shores of the Azores.  We met sailors there who had lost their forestay, cracked their boom, had two feet of water in the bilge, on and on.  Our auto-pilot failure was child’s play to them.  Laughable almost.  It’s no wonder the MAYS folks were chuckling at me.

“Yes, we can fix your auto-pilot.  Yes, I’m sure.”


“Okay we’re coming!”

While we hated it for Yannick.  None of us wanted his boat to suffer issues and for him to have to put his ocean-crossing on hold for repairs, but once the decision was made (through no fault of ours), I think each member of the crew will readily admit he was very excited to dock in the Azores.  Phillip told me before we left Pensacola he had heard other sailors say there is something magical about the Azores.  Sharing a drink with your seasoned, salty crew at Peter Sport Café, walking the docks littered with insignia from the hundreds of boats that have come before you and looking out in every direction at the vast blue of the Atlantic.  Now that I have seen it, I wholeheartedly agree: there is something magic about the Azores. Up next on the blog, I will share all that magical place has to offer.


But first, landfall!

“Is there a troll down here?” I remember Phillip asking me.  I was sleeping in my berth when we made landfall.  I peeked my head up out of the hatch and saw it on the port side.  Thick lustrous trees.  Mountains.  Houses with little red tile roofs.  A whole hillside looking back at me.  I instantly thought of what we must look like to them.  A weathered, salty catamaran making our way in to port.  Tired and weary we were no more, though.  The sight of land invigorated the crew!

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Phillip had the GoPro in hand and I’m so glad he captured this moment.  Yannick cracks me up.  Twenty-one days at sea, thousands of miles of nothing but blue, our first sighting of land and the Captain says …



Andanza Means Adventure

It truly does.  “Andanza” is Spanish for “adventure.”  The minute Captain Yannick told me this, I knew it was the perfect boat for me to jump aboard to sail across the Atlantic.  And, the entire adventure — from our breath-taking blue water days, to our troubling times dealing with equipment failure, even to the 3:00 a.m watches — have been truly eye-opening.  I find myself trying to answer a lot of big life questions during my night shifts, particularly those where we had to hand-steer.

While I mourned the loss of auto-pilot and sympathized with Yannick’s dilemma in having to stop his journey to replace it, as well as fund the project, I will never regret the fact that I had to hand-steer the boat for a short amount of time.  I know I would not have experienced that feeling otherwise.  Up until the point he gave out, we had been (rightfully, as he is far better at it than we are) allowing the auto-pilot to hand-steer the boat every minute of every day.  Had he not failed, I am sure we would have let him steer us all the way to the channel and breakwater in France.  If this had occurred, I would not have had the privilege to truly feel the boat diving into waves, skidding and careening across the ocean.  This feeling was only possible with my hands cinched on the leather of the wheel, guiding the boat gently left and right along our rhumb line.  It was a bit of a majestic feeling, particularly at night and it gave me hours of time to think about what this trip has meant to me.  I imagined one of the most common questions I would get (perhaps from Andy Schell during my interview!) when I returned would be: “What did you truly take away from the trip?”  As I pushed the wheel right to left, watching our heading of 110 degrees hour upon hour, I tried to formulate — for my own benefit and in order to share with others — a truly valid answer.  This is what I surmised.

Ocean crossing is simple.  Sailing is really very, very simple.  Cruising is simple.  You have a certain skill set — knowledge of your vessel and the things you need to monitor, repair and maintain to keep it healthy and capable coupled with knowledge of the wind and coming weather patterns (via the water, clouds and colors of the sun or information provided by today’s impressive electronics, either way) — which you apply to the situation at hand.  That is all you have to do.  That is all you have to worry about: your boat and what it needs to endure.  After that, there are no pressing deadlines, no people to please or disappoint, no due dates, no briefs to file, no bills to pay.  Many of those things will likely greet you when you make it to shore, but they cannot reach you out there.  In a vast body of blue, it is only the wind, your sails, your hull and your hunger, for food, books or philosophy.  Your only real stress is what you’re going to read or eat next and that is really a rather fun choice to make.  The simplicity of it is truly freeing.

While I am thrilled to be on this journey, savoring every minute, I am also excited to get back and begin trying (to the best of my creative ability) to capture and re-create it for you.  I have been diligently keeping a running log as we’ve been going, which recounts in mere clips and phrases (just enough to remind me) of the events, stories and mishaps we have experienced along the way, and that alone is already 60 pages single-spaced.  I have hours of footage and hundreds of photos.  It is overwhelming now to even think of how to begin, but it is an invigorating challenge as creating content for this website is one of my absolute passions.  I’m eager to begin scaling this creative mountain!  But first, I’m eager to finish this voyage.  More to come my friends.  We have many stories to tell!

Hello from the Azores!

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.