The grib files are indicating that tomorrow, Tuesday 18 October , would be a good day to sail the 50 nautical miles from Ponta Delgada to Vila do Porto on the most southerly Azorian island of Santa Maria
and the grib files for Friday 21 October and the days thereafter look good for the 480NMile trip to Madeira
So last weekend could be our last on Sao Miguel till next year. Although it is definitely the time to head south following the sun, it is with great regret that we say goodbye to our friends on Sao Miguel - you have made our stay here very enjoyable and memorable.
On Saturday , Manuel once more spoilt us with his superbly barbequed fish family lunch - the Tuna fresh from the market
Afterwards we were driven along the coast to visit the coastal town of Vila Franco do Campo
due to the configuration of the protecting harbour moles
Unfortunately, the inner harbour is usually full of local boats. However, it is usually possible to anchor and lie stern-to to some poles just outside the inner harbour - this area is still well protected.
The marina has a travel lift
Jeannette with Manuel & Leticia
Afterwards we visited the picturesque swimming/ fishing harbour of Caloura
and a nearby bay suitable for anchoring in the prevailing winds
The very pleasantly situated hotel in Caloura
There are many of these fine plants on the island - Yucca Filamentosa, also known as the Spanish Dagger due to the shape of its leaves
On Sunday 16 October Joao, Ana and Alice took us to the beautiful eastern caldera of Furnas where fumeroles and hot springs abound.
There we visited the Terra Nostra Botanical Park which is owned by and adjacent to the Hotel of the same name - owned by the Bensaude Group.
The park dates back to 1780 when a Bostonian merchant, Thomas Hickling built his summer residence here. Over the years, trees from many parts of the world have been planted here including indigenous Azorian species. The Azorian climate is such that almost anything can be grown here.
Jeannette & Ana are energised by this tree!
In one section there is a superb collection of many different types of Camelia. This one has a sticky card attached to trap insects.
Below is an example of Juniperos Brevifolia
Below the poisonous Prunus Insitanica
and the Laurils Azorica-Franco
In 1848, Visconde da Praia bought the estate and built this mansion in the middle of the park. In front of the house is what, at first sight looks like a rather dirty pool.
However, this is a very special pool which is fed by a thermal natural spring. The colour is due to dissolved iron minerals. The temperature is just cool enough to be enjoyable to swim and bathe in it.
So here we are, on a dull rainy day enjoying a very warm swim
We are now back on Dutch Link preparing to leave Ponta Delgada before dawn at 0600hrs tomorrow (Tuesday 18 October). We are sad to leave all our friends here and wish them all the best till we meet again - hopefully next year.