Saturday July 21, 2012
It was time to leave Horta behind. Chuck, our neighbor in the Horta marina came along for the boat ride to Pico, the next island to the east. The day was sunny and calm - perfect for whale watching. On the way we purposefully eased out south of Pico to the area we saw sperm whales during last week's whale watching trip. We had a nice encounter with a pod of Risso's dolphin, but it seems the larger whales (and whale watching boats) have moved on.
We anchored outside the marina at the town of Lajes, dropped the dink and Chuck and Mark checked out the marina. This one is similar to the marina at Flores: small but in nice condition with modern floating docks. But no room for Starlet! Chuck caught the bus to Madalena. From there he'll take the ferry back to Horta.
The historic whaling town has re-created itself as a center of whale watching. Six large RIB's make as many as 3 whale watching trips each. There's the Museu do Baleeiros and whale mosaics in the stone sidewalks. The large number of tourists support more outdoor cafe's than the much larger town of Horta.
A fast (and free) WIFI connection gave us a chance to catch up with friends and family through Skype.
Sunday July 22, 2012
After a long morning walk through town with the dogs, the calm seas brought on by the Azores high tempted us to run out and search for the sperm whales. In a fourteen mile loop we just saw two more dolphins. Back in the harbor we noticed that a slip was available (but after anchoring and dropping the dink...), so we moved Starlet to the slip and plugged in. With the light wind and sunny skies, this was the first time since we've been in the Azores that it was warm enough to make us want A/C.
Sunday July 22, 2012
We ran into four Danish divers over dinner who have been diving around the world together since 2002. They had been diving on the Princess Alice Bank 42 miles off Pico focusing on sharks and Mobula rays, a close relative of Manta rays. We shared stories about favorite dive locations for close to two hours. They were curious about Bermuda, we filled them in. We were curious about the Red Sea and Malta, they filled us in.
Monday July 23 & Tuesday July 24, 2012
We had planned to move from Lajes do Pico to Velas on Sao Jorge, but a low pressure system was coming through bringing more wind & rain. Soe with a fast internet connection in Lajes, we decided it was time to set up a real blog for Starlet's journeys. It took a good day, but you're looking at the results!