Search This Blog

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sail Lajes do Pico to Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel 20-21 August 2012

Unfortunately the Grib Files indicated that , if we wanted to be have a chance of sailing to Ponta Delgada this week we would have to leave Lajes do Pico on Monday 20 Augustus as the wind would move to the East from Tuesday onwards.
So we started the lengthier than usual process of  removing our mooring ropes (15 in total). 
By 1130am were heading out of the harbour, following in the wake of Hurricane Gordon which, as can be seen on the below Grib File for 1200hrs, was at that time still roaring over Ponta Delgada
 Motoring in the lee of Pico

As we left the wind shadow of the island, the wind increased to a pleasant NNE4. The skies above us were clear with a band of low cloud on the Eastern horizon ahead of us - presumably the tail end of Hurricane Gordon which only 5 hours earlier was over Ponta Delgada, our destination 135 Nmiles away.
There was a residual swell of about 3 meter height but as it was a long swell it was not uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, after about 4 hours of sailing the wind became more easterly and variable so, not being interested in a slow beat, we motor sailed the rest of the trip.

Dawn is breaking 
 Beautiful sunrise over Sao Miguel
 Sao Miguel clearly visible
 After a pleasant but noisy (engine) trip, we arrived in Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel at midday on Tuesday 21 August  - total trip time just over 24 hours.
 Dutch Link safely moored in Ponta Delgada Marina
 Talking to yachts that had been here during the Hurricane, they all felt they had been let of lightly - there had been quite a swell in the marina but this had been reduced as the ferry had stayed in port which acts as an additional breakwater and the swell and wind turned from the East to the NEast - a much better direction for Ponta Delgada. Also the maximum wind speed was only around 50 knots - still a lot, but much more manageable than the 85 knots which the Hurricane was delivering earlier. One could tell they had had an anxious night, however by the spiderwebs of mooring ropes  to keep them off the pontoons.

(the marina is less than ideally constructed as the ferry jetty looks as though it should provide shelter from an easterly swell. However, the jetty is supported on concrete pillars with large gaps between which, unless there is a ferry on the dock, allows any swell to proceed into the marina more or less unimpeded)

No comments: