Transatlantic Voyage  
  Leg II  
  The Crew
St. Georges, Bermuda to Horta, Faial, The Azores
  Welcome to Horta, Faial, of the Azores  

Horta is an international crossroads for yachters in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a Portuguese territory.  The people are helpful and friendly and...well...short. 

Some of the most beautiful yachts we've laid eyes on have berthed beside us,

Beautiful Sloop                                                                           Ranger
while some of the most interesting people have stopped and chatted with us on the dock or at the famous Peter's bar (so, some of them we brought with us...!).

Yesterday, on the same dock, we met John Ridgeway, a Scotsman, having just arrived from 61 days at sea (non-stop from the Falkland islands) in an effort to promote revisions in long line fishing practices that are believed to be endangering the albatross.

English Rose

Purported to be the home of Atlantis, Horta is an active volcanic area today, with small seismic events occurring almost on a daily basis.  Just under 50 years ago, this 700,000 year "young" island added a new chunk of waterfront real estate to its shores.  As it did so, it leveled a number of villages and homes which to this day are still lying vacant.  Makes you glad you live on a boat!

The harbor of Horta is stunningly beautiful. Above it are verdant hills and across from the harbor is the mountain of Pico.

In the center of the island is an enormous crater with over a mile wide circumference.

The Harbor also appears to be extremely well protected from the elements - a typical day in Horta is self-described as comprising all the seasons of the year.  I say it appears to be because the weather has been beautiful since our arrival - with the possible exception that we now need to wear sweaters or fleece vests for the first time in 7 months (I hear the violins now). 

While, the weather, given the islands proximity to the gulf stream and its latitude of approximately 38.20N, provides a climate that is not too cold in winter and not too hot in winter.  This allows for the growing of oranges, pineapple, and even palm trees.  The hills are a lush green and the volcanic rock has been made into stone walls tiered for farming making for some magnificent scenery.

Chris Abbott's family has a venerable history in the Azores - Horta specifically.  The family was involved in the shipping and trade business under the name of D'Abney.  At one point in Horta's history a blight hit the island and would have starved a considerable portion of the population were it not for the D'Abney contribution of shiploads of stores to help the islanders survive a long winter.  Below is Chris (D'Abney) Abbott on the grounds of the olde family estate overlooking the harbor.





Champagne brunch toasts our arrival!




The Annisquam and Manchester Burgees grace the rafters of Peters Cafe.


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