5th Report from TANIWANIís Summer Cruise:

Today is Saturday the 19th of July; Taniwani is moored in the middle of the large harbor of Ponta Delgada on the Island San Miguel. (37-44N; 25-40W).

A day after sending the last report we left Horta and sailed to the neighboring island of Sao Jorge. Off course not before finishing the wall painting on the Horta harbor wall. See the picture of the fish Taniwani, from the picture book after which our boat is named.

 

 

 Also the repair of our 3rd fridge was creative and successful.....

 

As a next stop we had aimed for a place called Calheta on the Island of Sao Jorge, a long, narrow, and steep island with no really good harbors. Calheta was one of the places mentioned in Jimmy Cornellís book on the Atlantic islands. With harbor wall construction going on and a barge and tugboat moored at the only sensible places this plan didnít work, so we started moving back west along the shore, searching for a good place.

 

The charts for other than the harbors or classic anchorages are rather vague, but we saw a steep cliff under which the depth didnít go as straight to the 1000ís of meters as usual, and a closer inspection revealed sand ground and a nice little niche to hide in. We anchored in 12m of depth and ran a 100m line to the shore. We liked the place so much, that we stood for two days. See the picture of Faja das Almas. For the first time this summer we charged our scuba bottles and inspected the area around our boat.

 

 

Sunday we left this nice spot to move on to the next island, the island of Terceira, with Angra do Heroismo, the oldest town in the Azores. On that day we had absolutely no wind and had to motor the whole 45 miles.

 

Angra is a really beautiful town, which shows all the different cultural influences, that the ships brought to this mid Atlantic junction over some 500 years. The town is also just the right size, quite a bit larger than Horta, but not so big that you canít cover most distances by foot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since one year, Angra also has a small but nice and quiet marina and we had a nice place at the T-end of a finger. Only downside was that there was still construction going on, on the shore, but this didnít bother us much. So far this was also the cheapest marina we have ever been to, costing around Ä7 a day for a boat our size and water and power are free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed Angra so much that we stood for two full days and explore town and surroundings. A nice hike is up to Mount Brasil another crater type of peninsula forming the eastern part of the bay of Angra. Several pictures attached.

 

The only bad thing to report from Angra is the Restaurant we had dinner at on our last evening. It was very expensive, not good at all and we all suffered from mild forms of food poisoning the next day.

 

With all the bad food we didnít sleep well, so it was easy to get up at 3 am in the morning to sail the 100 miles to San Miguel. Unfortunately there was not much wind, but a huge dead sea running. That, combined with the food poisoning, made all of us not feel very well.

 

We didnít want to go straight to the next marina, but anchor out and do some swimming, so we searched again for a suitable spot. We had to go explore the chosen area by dingy, using the hand held sounder and goggles to find sand. All that worked out fine, except that with shifting wind in the morning hours the anchorage became quite rolly.

 

So we left soon after breakfast and went the short distance of 8 miles to Ponta Delgada, the biggest town and harbor in the Azores.

 

From there we explored the island on two days in a row, by means of rental car. Indeed another very pretty island, with impressive landscape and nice little towns. Most memorable is the big crater at the western end of the island, which inside has four lakes and some additional smaller baby craters. We drove along a spectacular dirt road right on the rim, maybe twice as wide as the small road, framed by hortensias, a softer slope down to the sea, and a steep slope down the crater. Later we drove down into the crater and had picnic at one of the lakes.

 

 

Tomorrow we plan to sail to the next and most southeastern island of the archipelago, the island of Santa Maria. This will be our last stop in the Azores, before we move on to Madeira. It seems that our two and a half weeks in the Azores are way to short to fully explore this wonderful sailing area. Still, we probably spent a lot more time here than the average boat that just stops at one or two places on a long passage.

 

Our next report will be from Madeira where we expect to arrive on Friday.

Report 6:  Azores to Madeira