OCC AZORES RALLY
18 June 2018 | Faial Island – Horta Harbour - Mid Atlantic
1st to 17th June – sailing in light winds and adverse current.
IMAGE – various images from OCC Rally
We departed Bermuda on the 1st June for our passage of 1800 nautical miles to the Azorean Island of Faial.
We experienced light winds for the majority of the passage, AND adverse currents – so not a quick trip. We sailed as much as possible – carrying on when the others we were travelling with went to their engines.
The night sailing with 10,000’s of stars and a little moon – all alone in the mid atlantic was wonderful.
We arrived into the harbour of Horta at 1st light on Monday 18th June– on the opening day of the OCC AZORES Rally 46 yachts from 11 countries attended – what a wonderful atmosphere in the VERY busy harbour. Most of our ‘buddy boats’ from Bermuda had arrived ahead of us – but those yachts taking the PURSUIT RACE seriously crossed the finish line at 12noon.
LET THE PARTY BEGIN – the next 5 days were full of fun, activities, shore-side events and evening drinks and dinner parties. Our good friend Malcolm flew out from London to join us for the 5 days – it was great to have his company.
The famous Peters Café Sport quickly became the hub for all the OCC crews, where the evening drinks flowed and the meals of Azorean specialities were excellent for every evening dinner.
The final dinner – (a sit down, posh affair) and awards presentations was held in a palatial Masonic Hall in the centre of the old town. We enjoyed the evening with some of the sailors we had met in Bermuda and had maintained SSB contact for the passage from Bermuda to the Azores – Ken & Ulliu from Antares, and Sue & Bill from Camomile.
Every yacht skipper was presented with a memorial plaque. Line honours for the Pursuit Race, longest passage, a seamanship award and an award for the Japanese skipper and his crew were also boisterously acknowledged by all the sailors present.
For ocean sailors the island of Faial and its port, Horta, is one of the great destinations, crossroads and meeting points around the globe. When we purchased La Aventura in 1995, there was a plaque on the nav area bulkhead dated 1989 when Jimmy Cornell and his family were on board, and it was always our goal to visit here.
This OCC Azores Rally was a great finale for us on our return to the UK. 2018 is our 23rd and last year of our wonderful voyage.