Faja Coffee

There is a hidden gem on the faja of Vimes on Sao Jorge; one of many, I’m sure, as we continue to unearth the wealth of this island.  We took a drive out to the faja, sat back and relaxed in the quiet scene, while we sipped on luscious cups of home grown, hand processed…

“People, Let’s Go!”

Sao Jorge had quickly become our home away from home.  Bill (s/v Calico Skies) stayed for an entire week before returning to his wife and boat in Lisbon, and together we visited Sao Jorge’s highlights.  Between excursions, we enjoyed the company of Filipe and his extended family.  Around the harbor and downtown in Velas, we…

Faja da Caldeira de Santo Cristo

We began our exploration of Sao Jorge by visiting the remote Caldeira de Santo Cristo, which can be reached by foot or by ATV.  We began at Topo, down the mountain on the north side of Sao Jorge. Phillip planned to pick us up at Faja dos Cubres so that we could hike through, Cubres…

Arrival of Twins

Urzelina, the town neighboring Velas along the south coast of Sao Jorge, had an energetic buzz in anticipation for the arrival of a new boat!  We were also excited because our friend, Bill (s/y Calico Skies), was delivering this new boat from Portugal.  We hadn’t seen Bill for over a year, since our shenanigans in…

“Not today!” said the windlass

It took a bit of tacking upwind, but we had a lovely day sail from Horta, Faial to Velas, Sao Jorge. Anchoring is free at Velas, and we obtained a reliable report that good holding could be found in sandy areas between the shoreline and the marina’s breakwater.  We were looking forward to swinging on…

Sailors’ Graffiti

We had a few, very small projects to complete after our passage to the Azores but for the first time in our cruising history one of these projects was actually FUN! The walls and sidewalks that encircle the harbor of Horta, Faial are decorated from top to bottom by the thousands of sailors who pass…

Pico’s Vineyards

  We’d watched the many phases of Pico Alto (clouded/clear/rainy/clouded) from our slip at Horta; the highest volcanic peak in the Azores at 2351m (7713ft).  We’d pondered whether to hike Pico Alto.  The trek requires an early start because the mountain only allows a certain number of people per day.  Without a great anchorage for…

Caldeira at Faial

I wouldn’t have imagined that a caldeira hike would really be entertaining, ’round a circular trail keeping the same view for the entirety, but the caldeira at Faial proved me wrong.  The view was not only stunning, but it did change as we moved ’round the caldeira; shapes morphed as if we were flipping through…

Faial Highlights

We began our Faial excursions on foot, venturing into the local marketplace in the city of Horta.  We found a small exhibition in the lobby of the tourist information center and admired the work of several local painters.  We browsed two shops specializing in Azores products from the “triangle” islands group of Pico, Faial, and…

The Famous, Peter of Horta

Our first steps on solid ground at Horta, Faial led us instinctively to Peter’s Cafe Sport; the world renown sailors’ bar. This year celebrates 100 YEARS during which Peter’s Cafe Sport has been serving sailors, not only the most delicious gin-with-a-hint-of-passion-fruit & tonics, but also assisting sailors with money exchange, receiving/sending mail, general information, and weather forecasting. …