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. …

Detour Sails Again

Brian and I said, “Farewell, Maine!” and set sail one evening from Portland. The forecast looked uneventful, and we headed east. There were only hints of a breeze as we crossed the Gulf of Maine; this being our third time through this area of ocean, each trip having had incredibly settled weather and glassy seas.…

Holbrook Island Sanctuary

Sometimes, a couple of necessary boat projects lead us to marvelous locations; maybe Detour has it’s own agenda. We’d made several attempts to refill our composite, 10lb propane tank; each time unsuccessfully.  This is nothing new.  For some reason, unbeknownst to me, in the United States people are terrified of composite propane tanks and refuse to…

Hint of the Arctic

On a particularly dreary day, sailing along Maine’s coast and shivering beneath two layers of clothing beneath foul-weather gear, nothing lifts morale quite like puffins! Puffins live their lives at sea; they return to rocky shoreline burrows on remote islands only during breeding season when they re-join their mates.  There’s a lot of catching up…

Damariscove Island

Brian and I enjoyed this little gem, all to ourselves, for the afternoon. Damariscove Island was one of the earliest settlements in Maine. The Abenaki Native American tribe were the first to inhabit the island. During the 1600’s, Europeans arrived and transformed the island into a bustling fishing harbour. Later, Damariscove became a family owned…

Jewell Island

Spring hasn’t sprung yet in Maine. Off-season sailing means that all the best moorings and anchorages are free for the taking and the islands are crowd-less, ready to roam! * Photo credit – Detour sailing toward Portland (above). Thanks, Dan! We had a fabulous sail from the Isles of Shoals, with a light southerly breeze…

Haven’t the Foggiest

We’ve cast off the dock lines! Detour motored out of the harbour on a sunny, yet chilly, morning bound for the Isles of Shoals. The fog never quite burned off at sea, offshore we had a grim view. Soaking up the solitude at the Isles of Shoals, Detour swung peacefully on a mooring ball and…