Welcome to the Stone Family Voyage Log - May 2004  
  Where are they?  
  We're in the Azores!  

"Got a question or comment?" Email us at:

  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.  When Deb and the girls boarded the plane to Horta it was apparent just how much so.  It was remarked to Kelsey, by a nice young man named Igor (no hump), that if she were to stay she might possibly become a King here because she is so tall!

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.


  So What Have The Stones Been Doing?

In truth, ....not a great deal...yet.  The girls have been getting over jet lag and everyone has been organizing and re-organizing.  The days have been spent going on walks around the town and finding parts and supplies.  The girls have been riding their scooters and our fold-up bike all along the pier.  One of the yachting traditions that is plainly in evidence in Horta is the painting of your vessels name and logo on the breakwater or dock wall.  The harbor is colorfully adorned with many works of art claiming rights of passage having made the journey to Horta from points all across the globe.  When the girls aren't reading (Hayden and Kelsey have finished one book each in two days and Meghan knocked of 10 easy readers) , they are bombing around on scooters and a fold-up bike which we keep aboard.  All the while, Hayden and Kelsey have been studying for a test on Monday and a report due on same...I guess it is I who hasn't been too busy.  In the interim, the girls and I have meandered along the many piers and quays finding names of boats we've met during our travels in the Caribbean


Today (May 15) we learned that Antigua one of the larger departure ports of the Caribbean, has only 5 boats left in Falmouth Harbor.  A month ago the harbor was full with literally hundreds of 5, 10, 20 and 50 million dollar yachts.  A quick calculation we did made the harbors net worth at the time near 5 billion dollars.  A dramatic change from the days I was first mating aboard charter yachts in the very early 80's. A great many of the boats are headed here to Horta enroute to Norway, Holland, Sweden, Gibraltar, London, the South of France, the Balearics, Italy, Greece, etc, for the European or Mediterranean summer.

One thing we have been doing well is eating!  For those of you who have been following our transatlantic passage (or who partook of the culinary delights aboard) you will be happy to know that Chef Pam has (until she finds a real job!) agreed to keep on creating dinner in return for room, board and our now much more civilized company!  Last night she served fresh Tuna (no Scotty we didn't catch it ourselves, we procured it at the fish market) with a light sesame seed oil and a pickled ginger sauce to accompany it.  The salad was a goat cheese and some kind of nuts...you get the picture ...it was brilliant!  We actually had a glass of fine Bordeaux that I was able to rescue from the clutches of the Leg II crew...yummm.  This evening we had a drop-off-the-bone-tender leg of lamb.  We like Pam being with us (even if she couldn't cook!).


  May 22, 2004

Horta, Azores

  We spent the entire day yesterday and today painting our logo.  It was a work in progress that progressed backwards at times due to tire tracks, footprints, turpentine, and unfortunately a 1/2 can of black paint which was spilled over the logo by a passing car.  If there's a next time, we'll choose a spot on the wall!!  

  May 23, 2004

Sao Jorge, Azores

Sao Jorge is a unique island in the Azores.  While most of the islands we have been to are stunning in their natural beauty, Sao Jorge combines a quaint European flair with a Beverly Hill Billy's populace.  We enjoyed breakfast in the warm sun on a cobblestone way at an incredibly good cafe .  We walked almost everywhere there was to walk in the village as we tagged along behind the church's "Festival Of The Holy Spirit" procession.  We then either scootered or walked around the village, or terraced fields, surrounding the harbor for the remainder of the day.  Our boat and our height make us an oddity here, and most of the locals are found visiting our boat during their morning, mid-day, and evening strolls.  We ate dinner "below".  We hope to tour more of the island tomorrow and head off to Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel on Tuesday which is about an 18 hour sail.

Whale Watching Tours                                                                        Cafe for Breakfast

  Quiet Main Street of Town on a Sunday afternoon

Viewing love birds in their own stone house at "the garden" park


















"Festival of the Holy Spirit" Religious Procession
  May 25, 2004

Sao Miguel, Azores

  Oh, you've really got to try the traditional food...especially the black sausage...really, see if you can get it at home in MA and dig right in....yummm.  We're not  quite sure what it was!  
  Sao Miguel is the largest island in the archipelago and is known as the 'Green Island'.  We rented a car for a day to visit Sete Cidades which has two lagoons (one sapphire blue and one emerald green) inside a 12 km crater.  The next day we ventured to Lagoa das Furnas where they cook local food in steaming volcanic vents.  It was a little eerie walking around these vents and feeling like you might get swallowed up into a bubbling pit!  
  June 1, 2004

Depart Sao Miguel for Gibraltar - 980 miles

  Back to Delphinus Home

Click Here for LEG III Crossing