Day 32 – 32 miles to Horta

We’re almost there! Within a few minutes, I expect to hear someone shout on the radio LAND HO!

Once we have arrived, I’ll upload pictures from our arrival to the website.

The arrival itself will be a bit of a challenge. I just spoke with our advance team in Horta who said that they have 25-knot winds at the marina. The weather report calls for this to increase to 30 knots. I’m confident we’ll make it in fine, but it will be interesting.

Last night was miserable. We’ve gone through 12 hours of sustained 20+ knot winds, with gusts to 30 knots. The wind, which was supposed to be behind us, was instead on our starboard beam. The waves were running 15-20 feet. Movement aboard the boat was impossible. I was very impressed with how Sans Souci handled it. There was never a time when we were scared, nor did the autopilot ever quit. My greatest fear was that someone would get injured trying to move around on the boat. Even simple tasks like standing up had to be timed to the movement of the boat. It was like being on an elevator. One second you would look out the window and see only a vertical wall of water, and then a few seconds later, find yourself raised to the top of the wave, staring down into the trough, only to fall back down a few seconds later. Normally we rose straight up, only to fall straight down, but about every 10-15 minutes we’d hit a nasty wave that would turn us sideways on the way down. With each fall, the prop would cavitate for a few seconds, with an accompanying ugly growl.

On the morning roll call, several of the other boats reported sick passengers. A reporter on one of the other boats was described as having not moved for over 24 hours, and looking an interesting shade of white.

Here’s a quote from the normally unflappable Bob Rothman on Emeritus – “When the bow goes down, it makes that cracking sound, and that’s a little unnerving.”

About 11:00pm, during Roberta’s and my watch shift, Que Linda reported that they had suddenly dropped in speed to 5 knots, without explanation. They thought that perhaps we had hit an adverse current. After being advised that the rest of the fleet was running fine, Que Linda slowed the boat, put it in neutral, put it back into gear, throttled up, and the problem disappeared. I’m sure they’ll be digging hard to determine what happened after we reach Horta.

We have now confirmed that Crosser arrived safely into Horta last night. We arrive at 4:00pm today. Strickly for Fun, Four Across and Sea Fox should arrive at daybreak tomorrow morning, and the balance of Division 2 should be in by noon tomorrow.

I’ve been doing a bit of research on Horta and the Azores. I’ve just realized that we will have nine days on an island that doesn’t have much to do. In all of my research, I’ve only been able to find reference to one restaurant. I’m predicting that within a few days, momentum will build for “going some place”. I will be very surprised to see the whole group sit still for nine days. Whether this means leaving early for Gibraltar or leaving port to go anchor somewhere, I don’t know. It’s also possible that we’ll fall in love with Horta and never want to leave. It’s too soon to say. It surprises me that I’m already thinking about heading to sea again when we haven’t even got land in site. Strange…

Horta has one fun custom I’m looking forward to. Tradition dictates that all arriving boats paint their logo on the sidewalk at the marina. It’s bad luck to leave Horta without having done so. I’ve already received emails from people who visited Horta in past years, wanting me to look for their logo to verify if it is still there. I’m looking forward to walking the quay reading the inscriptions from past mariners who have made this journey.
More later from on shore!


(re: Day 32 -32 miles to Horta-Sooo Envious!) Submitted 06/10/2004

Hopefully by the time you receive this you will be in the marina. I read where you are concerned there will be boredom after a few days there. I think you will find it not so! As I explained a few emails ago my husband Bob did the crossing in 2002 and I flew there to join him (because of medical (apendix) reasons). The whole crew spent almost a month there between Flores, Horta, Sao Jorge, and Pico (Bob & I were looking forward to spending the whole summer there this year (but for repair problems)). There are MANY local restaurants/pizza places/bars/breakfast/lunch cafes/etc. sooo fear not…lots to eat! Check out the restaurant that serves wonderful raw food you COOK YOURSELF on LAVA rocks! Ask around it is right next to the FERRY part of the Marina. Do rent a car and drive around the island…check out the RED windmills, the damage from the 1999 earthquake…the lighthouse destroyed by lava flows in the 1950’s…take the Ferrys to Pico and Sao Jorge (the anchorages there are not good…lots of wave action…exposure…commercial traffic)…rent cars again…check out the beautiful countryside (winery at Pico…check out the “clear wine” (read…moonshine))check out the whaling towns…museums…”Amazing Hydraenga (?) fields” (they use the flowering bush as fencing between ranches!…beautiful…some are 8 feet tall of Flowering blues,purples and white blossoms…all over the countrysides! Peter Cafe Sport has its own internet cafe…so you can catch up there also at a reduced rate…open until 10 pm local or so…stock up at the local supermarket…great wine selection…fish area is amazing…good European shopping in town…pick up a polished whale tooth heart from Peter’s for Roberta…I wear mine all the time and get great compliments…You will want to spend more than just a few days…for sure! As you said…check out the thousands of “Yacht Logos” around the marina area…amazing artwork! If you get a chance to check on “Moonraker” which should be down in your area of where they will put you…the “new” pier. Your emails have been fantastic…really makes me wish we were crossing this year also!

Tania Pleischl
S/V Saretta’s Dream
Pleischl, Tania

(re: Day 32 -32 miles to Horta) Submitted 06/10/2004

Ken. Just a note. It would be helpful when you send back your reports that reference a time if you would put them in UTC/GMT and local time or vice versa. Unless I get an almanac out, not sure if your on GMT or -1, -2 off for local time. Then we Walter Middy’s following your voyage can do the math and translate the time difference.

thanks and enjoy Horta. Never been there but have been to Lajes Air Base a 100 times on Terceira. I’ve always enjoyed the stay.

Steve Speer, steve

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