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. …

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…