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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Faial Sea Week 7 to 14 August 2012

Horta celebrated its annual Sea Week festival in fine style between 7 and 14 August. The boulevard was festively lit at night and restuarant marquees and other stalls erected

 The Club Nautica invited all sailors to a traditional fish soup supper
 and bands played traditional songs from two different stages at either end of town
 one evening was celebrated with Fada.
Unfortunately, after midnight the traditional music was replaced by very loud pop group bands till the early hours of the morning - the supply of earplugs from the festivities in Praia da Vitoria from last year came in very useful
 The town dignitaries made speeches
 and local bands marched through the streets

 one evening we were treated to folklore dancing
 A sailing race was held for any cruisers that wished to take part.
 As with all the Azores Island, the old whaling heritage is not forgotten and the local fleet of whaling canoes had a race between Faial and Pico
 zooming in ...
 and in ...
 Later they took of their sails and had rowing races in the Harbour

 During the week we visited the Horta Whaling Museum which is basically the renovated site of the old factory where they processed the various parts of the Sperm Whales which they hunted. Below are the boilers for producing whale oil from blubber - at the time this was liquid gold
 Other equipment produced bone meal for fertiliser
 This is the arch at the end of the ramp through which the massive whales were winched
 the ramp
 Between the whale museum and the town is Pim's beach off which we have had several good swims
 The other side of the museum is the volcano Monte da Guia which has a good walk to the end of its peninsular
 views of the small Caldeira do Inferno bay to the south of the peak which is a nature reserve

Our friends Riens and Ineke from S/V Zeezwaluw were very industrious
 and contributed to the yachtee artwork on the quay with their magnificent painting
Met up again with singlehander Chuck from S/V Reflections who we had last met at anchor off La Gomera in the Canaries 18 months ago. Chuck introduced us to the novel cooking method of Sous Vide - the steak he cooked for us had been cooking very slowly vacuum packed in a water bath for about 3 days at a precisely controlled temperature of 55 degC - end result - delicious. On Googling Sous Vide - see Wikipedia link below,

we find that this is a technique used by many top chefs.

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