Anthem Adrift

01 August 2021 | Angra do Heroismo
29 July 2021 | En Route Angra do Heroismo
27 July 2021 | Velas, Azores
26 July 2021 | Velas, Azores
25 July 2021 | Horta, Azores
24 July 2021 | Horta, Azores
19 July 2021 | Azores
18 July 2021 | Azores
13 July 2021 | Azores
11 July 2021 | Day Fifteen to Azores
11 July 2021 | Day Fifteen to Azores
07 July 2021 | Day Eleven to Azores
06 July 2021 | Day Ten to Azores
04 July 2021 | Day Eight to Azores
03 July 2021 | Day 7 to Azores
02 July 2021 | Day 6 to Azores
28 June 2021 | Day Two to Azores
27 June 2021 | Day One to Azores
26 June 2021 | St. George's, Bermuda
24 June 2021 | St. George's, Bermuda

Up, Up, But Not Away

01 August 2021 | Angra do Heroismo
Angra and Marina from Monte Brazil

Friday 30 July 2021

Yesterday was a rare event as weather forecast was incorrect to give us a most beautiful beam reach in twelve to fifteen knots from end of Sao Jorge to Angra do Heroismo. VHF call to Angra Marina approved going ashore last night before clearing in this morning. By the by, read that full country paperwork and charges would be required each anchorage, but not so. Very easy and no more covid tests, at least so far. Everyone has been wonderfully laid back and friendly.

Slept in before venturing ashore for coffee and snack then a couple spasms of mountaineering. First the Duke of Terceira Garden, which seemed easy until in back where it's up a cliff to memorial for D Pedro IV, whoever that is. Great views of Angra and harbor. Then walked across town to Portao da Fortalezza de Sao Joao Baptista (except for water, not sure what the guy who popularized baptizing had to do with harbor defence) at base of Monte Brasil. Somehow, someone decided hiking to top of mountain was a keen idea. We each blame the other. Views were spectacular.

Sunday

Aggressively pursued sloth Saturday to include renouncing utilization of pants. Never left boat, went to bed early then slept late. Had nothing to do with getting rode hard and put away wet Friday - was entirely laziness. Now well into afternoon enjoying coffee and omelet at pastelaria. Hey listen, if we didn't do it, who knows if it would get done? Decadence becomes us.

Assuming ability to scrape up a modicum of initiative, will trek to Forte de Sao Sebastiao, other side of city from Saint John, but closer to harbor and at lower elevation - no mountain behind to tempt repeat of arduous self-actualization, which is occasionally good, but we like to explore bottom of Maslow's pyramid as well as top... except for transcendence. Hallucination is best left to users of LSD.

Jack & Jan

Blissed Out

29 July 2021 | En Route Angra do Heroismo
Mosaic Sidewalk

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Drove around Sao Jorge today, which was captivating although with limited visibility as it was quite foggy. Two-way roads are twisty, steep and one-lane with occasional turnouts, so attention is required. Best place was forest preserve which could have been an eerie, perfect setting for Hansel & Gretel. You could almost see gremlins in the tendrils of mist that swirled around lichen and moss covered trees. One two-lane road extends length of island near its top and narrower roads snake down vertiginous hillsides to the few relatively flat areas that allow towns, often by the water. Corn seems to be a popular crop with fields anywhere the land isn't vertical or nearly so where nevertheless forests are amazingly able to cling.

Thursday

And so as the sun climbs tranquilly into a cloud-streaked sky at the unconscionably early hour of 0800 (shut up), we bid adieu to Sao Jorge and our Dutch mates from SV Zanzibar. May see them in Terceira next week, but perhaps we'll be gone. Can't allow lichen or moss to grow on our trunks. The operative postulation is that if you don't move quickly enough buzzards begin to take an interest.

Although currently protected along south coast of Jorge, very light wind and calm sea should continue until arrival Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, around 1700 this afternoon. We have that rare condition of slightly cool temperature balanced by warm solar radiation that somehow seems perfect. Would be a thoroughly pleasant sail without growling from necessary operations of iron, internal combustion, propulsion device and watermaker. Alluring smells of frying bacon and brewing coffee, however, bode well for upcoming breakfast with eggs and toast, making entire experience hardly suck at all.

Jack & Jan

Appealing

27 July 2021 | Velas, Azores
Pico Vineyard

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Three major contributors to Azorean economy are fishing, agriculture and
tourism. Have yet to see a fishing boat, but there are many fields along
hillside slopes, typically as a patchwork quilt created from rocks piled into
walls from previously open meadows. Wine is an important product as we saw on
Pico, where grapes are grown within a maze of meter high rock walls that, being
black, hold heat at night and protect vines from occasionally strong and gusty
winds. Resultant grapes are tiny with often elevated sugar which can create
high alcohol content - highest naturally fermented wine in the world at over
twenty percent. Tourists are in evidence and numerous boats are available for
diving and whale watching. Azores is along a migration route for several types,
but sperm whales remain year round.

Against better judgment engaged this morning with Dutch crew in a nearly five
kilometer hike to top of Morro Grande volcano. Was promised caffeine to get me
to go, but was tricked as we had to come back down to get it. Fortunately rain
almost held off until return to bottom and slight sogginess was largely
alleviated by cafe con leches and banana muffins. Goal oriented, we usually
need something as enticement for observing shrubbery, which is euphemistically
referred to as a nature walk, (waterfall, coffee), climbing mountains (view,
coffee) and riding bikes (coffee). Oh sure, all this monkey motion keeps us
healthy, but lying about, turning into a sagging mound of inert protoplasm has
undeniable appeal.

Jack & Jan

Imagine That

26 July 2021 | Velas, Azores
Pico from Sao Jorge

Monday 26 July 2021

Clear in for Sao Jorge this morning was quite painless with no additional testing, then no masks at Cafe Sao Joao where we found coffee. Actually locating the shop was difficult part as once there finding coffee was pretty easy. Expect to 'find' dinner somewhere later relying on probability that a restaurant will be a good place to begin search.

Original plan to stay only two days on Sao Jorge has come a cropper due our wanting to view island by car and tomorrow is forecast rain. Tip for others in similar situations: bars are optimal places to endure dreary days with minimum discomfort... at least until next morning, but thinking too far ahead is a buzzkill. Pound down another pint and don't overburden your imagination.

Velas is a small village and harbor - very friendly. As in Horta, most sidewalks are in mosaic, but often with larger and more intricate artistic sections. Many buildings are stucco, but some exteriors are volcanic rock. Watching one house under construction, saw that pieces are chiseled into shape one at a time with hammers. All visited towns have been, besides wonderfully picturesque, well kept and clean. All islands are relatively recent volcanos, so hilly. Shorelines are often scarped and villages usually have steep, narrow streets. The few places on flat areas are often called Lajes (Flores, Pico, Sao Miguel & perhaps others) which means, according to a Brazilian (hey, they speak Portuguese too you know), flat or level. Yandex says 'slab' which seems close enough.

We go back ashore at 1700 for rental car (a person will be available then) and above referenced dinner. Might also force down the odd pint and give imaginations a rest.

Jack & Jan

Picture That

25 July 2021 | Horta, Azores
Wall Painting

Sunday 25 July 2021

Deviating somewhat from practice of eschewing, due laziness, blog photos, will now provide two in a row. Don't know what evil force has taken me over. Do not expect a reprise. Jan takes and publishes on Facebook many pics of our adventures, but only for friends. You may inveigle her to include you if interested. She's awfully amiable and may actually succumb to your entreaties no matter how obviously aberrant you are for reading this twaddle. She's remarkably tolerant of twisted personalities as has been abundantly clear over the last decade.

Spent some of yesterday putting finishing touches on magnum opus which appears, upper left and microscopically upper right, above. In future, art historians will no doubt argue finer points of this composition, but frankly it pales in comparison to the horsey drawing from age seven - that was magic.

Due excess wind genoa was not returned to forestay until last night after dinner and several glasses of wine. Oddly, it went quite well. Crew of Zanzibar also leave today for Velas, Sao Jorge, so may rent a car with them Monday for exploration before sailing on to Terceira in a couple. Jan has dozens of places to see on multiple islands. So many places, so little time.

Jack & Jan

Indulgences

24 July 2021 | Horta, Azores
Scrimshaw and Carving

Thursday 22 July 2021

Interpretive center and lighthouse at 1958 volcanically created west end of the island, caldera in the middle, a botanical garden near Horta then stop for pizza yesterday comprised tour by car of Faial with Dutch crew. Not much more to be said except they and a few others will return to top of volcano Saturday for hike around its lip. Sounds like a lot of work. We chill today then tomorrow tour Pico by ferry and bus. For geography buffs that island contains the highest elevation in all of Portugal, twenty three hundred fifty one meters - serious climbers only.

As one might expect in Portugal natives speak Portuguese, but virtually everyone also speaks English. Fortunately for us this is quite similar to both American and Canadian so communication is possible with a minimum of hand gestures. North American culture is also pervasive including music, but mercifully Azorean taste does not normally extend to hip hop.

Saturday

Sperm whales the size of Moby Dick are unlikely and white ones vanishingly rare. Despite being rather aggressive and having the largest brains on earth they are apparently not very smart or at minimum lack long-term memories. Natives of Pico, Azores, regularly killed two or three every week within sight of the island for well over a hundred years from boats smaller than the whales. The whaling museum in Lajes do Pico has memorabilia including harpoons and fully rigged whaleboats, but the most interesting exhibit is footage from an actual hunt in 1970. In later years boats were towed toward whales under power, but actual hunt was always conducted by sail and oar. For those of us who love these creatures the visual was more disturbing than say, the scream of a broccoli being severed from its roots, but if you eat meat or fish or understand the evolution of humanity it's hypocrisy to be outraged. Technology has now allowed humans better substitutes for whaling products and these magnificent mammals are happily making a comeback.

A rare and wonderful consequence of hunting toothed whales is the art of scrimshaw originally created by whalers from Nantucket and New Bedford to relieve monotony and to sell. Most whale bone is too porous so teeth are the primary medium with jawbones used for some larger pieces. Peter's Cafe Sport maintains a museum of hundreds of the most magnificent examples, some from the nineteenth century. Their collection must be worth millions and the virtuosity is amazing. At least one young woman on Faial still practices the art, but teeth are becoming harder to come by so walrus tusks and hippopotamus teeth have also occasionally been used. It's a labor intensive, several-step process that here is/was done by smoothing and polishing the bone, covering with ink, carving/scratching an image to make a negative, adding more ink to fill the indentations and finally polishing off the raised ink. How they get the intricate, fine detail this way is beyond my imagination.

And speaking of great art, we were not planning to make a wall painting, but finally gave in to compulsion. Much smaller than most, it's OK as we're not naturally ostentatious and finding a large empty space nearly impossible. Exploiting extent of highly limited onboard talent it fulfills obligation to leave our mark for the indulgence of posterity. Find it if you can.

Jack & Jan

Judgments

19 July 2021 | Azores
Horta

Monday 19 July 2021

Second and final (in this anchorage) covid test this morning, then breakfast at Peter's Cafe Sport with enjoyable crew from SV Polar Seal. After drizzle early, rain abated during hour and a half wait for near lobotomy. Heavier downpour forecast for later with strong wind tonight. After tomorrow it will be blue skies and chirping birds forever until it's not. We take rental car around Faial Wednesday with Dutch friends from SV Zanzibar and Friday, a ferry to tour of Pico.

Full clear-in required at every anchorage on every island, no matter that you are already legally in country or on island. Perhaps a money thing. Anyway we've already used one of thirteen weeks allowed in Schengen countries so need to move along. Maybe this weekend. Maybe to Sao Jorge, maybe Terceira. Likely able to revisit mainland countries next year after hiatus in Turkey, but not Azores so expect to spend extra time.

As threatened, you will now be accosted with insensitive, opinionated reflections on covid that will likely, in parts, annoy everyone. Please ignore with my blessing. First, no one should be required by their government to get vaccinated. It's a violation of your personal autonomy and an unconscionable attack on individual freedom. This does not apply, however, to private relationships. If you own a business you should be able to impose any restrictions on customers that you wish and they can decide whether or not to patronize. Same with personal relations. Private interactions are voluntary, government mandates are not and are delivered ultimately at gunpoint and they cannot make your life risk free. Having that said, however, covid is literally now only a pandemic of the unvaccinated. If you can get injected and don't it's on you. You are not cleverly avoiding a conspiracy to make you stupid, that would be redundant. The argument that insufficient time has been given to safety testing has traction primarily because in the US FDA traditionally takes an unconscionable ten years to allow use of new medicines while patients suffer and sometimes die. Many have been acclimated to think this is proper. You and, if you wish, your doctor should be the arbiters of your health. You pays your money and you takes your choice. Highest percipience to all.

Jack & Jan

Cavorta in Horta

18 July 2021 | Azores
Peter's Cafe Sport

Friday 16 July 2021

Soooooo, here we are. Negative test result Wednesday so cleared in and free to wander around at least until Monday when another test is required. Horta is similar to St. George's in that streets are narrow and buildings old. Virtually all sidewalks are mosaics of sailboats, anchors, geometric designs, etc. using light and dark rocks. Somebody put forth an amazing amount of effort. After Bermuda, prices are pleasingly low. Eating out is not expensive and food has been excellent.

Perhaps the most famous sailor bar in the world is here on the waterfront, Peter's Cafe Sport - one hundred two years old, where one may expect to see yachtsmen from around the world. Many we've met are European or North American, but some from as far away as the South Pacific and Malaysia. Restaurant has everything from breakfast to dinner and a fine cup of espresso or latte. The bar's specialty is Gin do Mar (gin of the sea), which is traditionally mixed with tonic and a lemon slice. Blended with Licor de Maracuja (liquor of passion), it's good. One may sit inside or on a deck overlooking the harbor. Having Wifi it's a great place to squander extended intervals of one's life. A bit of trivia: the place is named for Jose Azevedo, but the captain of a ship he worked on called him Peter because he looked like his son and the name stuck.

Horta Marina is completely full with boats rafted three deep on the walls and filling the harbor. This after many just left for the mainland. If able to find a blank space on any vertical or horizontal surface many crews leave a memento. Virtually every bit around marina is covered in thousands of paintings from boats passing through. Some are fairly rough, but most are quite artistic, typically colorful, averaging half to a meter square and usually containing pictures, boat names, crew and year. Like all of Horta, unique.

Saturday

Sailmaker scheduled to repair torn genoa Monday and Mid Atlantic Yacht Services checking on replacements for broken windlass parts and refilling propane tank (with butane). Fresh market this morning provided fruits and veggies. Supermarket supplies nearly everything else one could want except fresh milk... it's all boxed UHT or powdered. No cows? Also no local prawns (shrimp) so restaurants serve shipped-in frozen. On your next visit stick with local fish which has always been good.

Noticing water leaking from generator enclosure and assuming problem was raw water pump, discovered drip out of hose connection leading to broken impeller blade trap. Back pressure from restriction? Had procrastinated clean-out due difficult access... OK sure and laziness. Ah well. Also discovered leak around impeller access plate as seal had failed. Fixed both after wine and dinner with wounds to prove it.

Sunday

Thinking wind would be light waited until this morning to remove genoa. It wasn't. Taking it down was some fun, but getting it folded and into a bag on side deck for transport was a real hoot. Anyway, done and ready to take ashore for 1800 pickup.

Expended some effort a few years ago by replumbinmg water system with charcoal/sediment filter that hindered working on Yanmar diesel, always leaked, was precariously mounted in only semi-logical location and, while seeming a good idea at the time, was really unnecessary. After today it is no more, with wounds to prove it.

- Following dinner with several libations, so be warned.

Waited almost a week to send this load, so will end now and save further embarrassment for next dump. For that eventuality (huh?) will likely have comments about covid vaccines. Suggest you skip if, depending on political persuasion, you have a strong sense that you may disagree. Do not make assumptions, just eschew to be safe. If you don't know what eschew means, you should also eschew... whatever.

Jack & Jan

Requisite Rest

13 July 2021 | Azores
Monday 12 July 2021

After four attempts finally got good anchor set in Horta, Faial, Azores, Portugal (city, island, province, country), 1430 local. Harbor is crowded. Called marina (clear-in authority) on VHF CH 10 and 16 as published, but no response. Tried Google Fi phone, which works although data does not, to be told they changed to channel 9. OK, same guy from phone told us to wait until 0900 tomorrow when someone will come to boat for covid test. Another US boat crew dinghied by to say they were cleared in with vax cards, no need for test. Called marina back to be told only European vaccinations count, wait for test. We were on passage for fifteen days, quarantine without vaccine is fourteen. Bureaucratic nonsense rules. No worries. Gin, Bourbon and wine supply sufficient to carry crew beyond disappointment to happy place. Currently about half way.

Please do not hold anything that follows against me as the mind altering chemicals will be to blame. I will remain the adorable miscreant that everyone has come to know and love... or tolerate... usually. Thank you for your support.

Found several unencrypted WiFi sources, but Halo extender unable to lock internet. Bugger! Tomorrow or next day, once pointless hoops have been jumped through, expect to find free internet for catch-up. May take two days to wade through two week backup.

Tuesday

No idea what time we went to bed, but slept until almost noon with two interruptions. Feel like something the cat would be embarrassed to drag in. Usually this condition results from too much alcohol, but only had two Wild Turkey and gingers. Jan, G&Ts. Hardly seems likely the two subsequent bottles of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc would have had any effect, but you never know. Two weeks out of training does strange things.

Awakened at 0800 when boat with less scope bumped us so we shortened already smallish length. Rousted again at 0900 when marina guys came by with paperwork. Polizia Maritimo fetched us and crews of other three recent arrivals at 1300 for testing. The administering medical professional has apparently not been clued in that swab doesn't require lobotomy depths for effective sample. Understand it has taken up to thirty six hours for negative result. We are prescribing for ourselves bed rest and lots of fluids.

Jack & Jan

Not Ripping Along

11 July 2021 | Day Fifteen to Azores
Sunday 11 July 2021

And we were having such a good day. About 0700 genoa tack webbing (bottom front corner) broke and bolt rope began ripping out of furler and tearing bottom of luff (front of sail). After turning off wind to relieve pressure, cockpit crew wrapped several turns around extrusion while foredeck monkey held it in position then tightly tied wraps with line. Should be able to continue using partially furled, but will require removal and repair (we hope) in Horta. This happened with rather bad timing while pinching (very high angle of attack) to stay above Corvo Island. After fix, able to make it around, just. Probably now looking at afternoon arrival.

Close reach against current for duration. Wind not as variable as yesterday, staying generally sixteen to twenty, so able to keep up speed through water if not so much speed over ground. Not quite making rhumb so probably crank motor early morning to head directly in before wind veers even more and angle gets too large. Should be in lee of Faial by noon. Could tack over for better angle, but want to get in during work hours and have to motor along west coast anyway. Did anyone mention lazy?

Jack & Jan
Vessel Name: Anthem
Vessel Make/Model: 1997 Hylas 46
Hailing Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
Crew: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com
About:
Jack: Formerly productive member of the community as a Northwest Airlines Captain who retired to become a drain on, and embarrassment to, polite society. [...]
Extra:
While I will be delighted if anyone else enjoys these excursions into semi-intelligible foolishness, the primary purpose is personal amusement. This is not travelogue, cruising guide or philosophical exploration of anything in particular, merely random musing of a slightly twisted mind. Despite [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/anthem
Anthem's Photos - Main
5 Photos
Created 2 January 2017
Waterfall, etc.
5 Photos
Created 19 May 2009

S/V Anthem

Who: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com
Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
For a better map select "View Tracking" and click "+" below "Google" left lower of Sailblogs map. Download .kml file and open with Google Earth. See full profile for information on why this mess is being foisted upon an innocent world and for information on contact. Don't be a stranger.
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