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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hike São Jorge, Serra do Topo to Caldeira de Santo Cristo and Faja dos Cubres

0900 hrs Wed 29 June 2016, taxi picked us up at Velas Marina and took us eastwards to the Serra Topo (700 m ), arriving there at 0935 hrs. The weather was not terribly inviting as we and our friends prepared for the 10 km hike down to  Faja dos Cubres (at sea level)!
The information board at the start of the hike


Entering the low cloud - our elevation 700 m above sea level
Unfortunately, visibilty in the cloud and drizzle was very poor so we missed out on probably superb views

Natural shelter
Almost below the cloud
Many Hydrangers en route
Who's going to give way?
Luckily, they did!
One of the many rustic gates
One of the many waterfalls
A much larger one
Our first objective, Faja da Caldeira de Santo Cristo comes into view with its large sea lake
Awesome coastline


Jeannette feels at home - a dijk!

 Faja da Caldeira de Santo Cristo

Our lunch restuarant
Which was amazingly crowded considering there is no car access, only quadbike 

Our final destination, Faja dos Cubres
Arrived at 1550 hrs at Faja dos Cubres and called for our taxi to take us back to Velas Marina after a thoroughly enjoyable hike
On the way back, the island of Graciosa was clearly visible form the taxi


Hike São Jorge, Morro Grande Velas

Tuesday 28 June 2016 had a short walk from Velas marina to the top of the 161 m high Morro Grande hill.
The last time we made the walk was in 2012 - see below link :-

Morro Grande 2012

On the way we passed this rock arch
Morro Grande
The ruins of the old windmill on the top of Morro Grande
Looking back over Velas
Trail under the low bushes betweem windmill and cliff view

Impressive cliff




Monday, June 27, 2016

Sailing Santa Maria to São Jorge 25 to 26 June 2016

The Grib files indicated that we would have a NE 4 for the next couple of days,perfect for a fast passage from Santa Maria to São Jorge, 180 nMiles to the NW.
So at 0715 hrs we left Vila do Porto marina on Santa Maria and motored westwards for 1/2 hour until we were out of the wind shadow of the island 



At 0745, engine off and we were charging along at 60 degrees to the apparent wind in a NE5 Bft wind at over 7 knots on our course of 305 degrees with one reef in mainsail and two reefs in the Genny. 


Santa Maria still visible



Still had the AIS plot on line via 3G , showing our position and the positions of other ships in the area




Just before nightfall, at around 2130 hrs, an ominous band of black clouds appeared before us. So we put a second reef in the mainsail, and felt much more relaxed about the coming night




By 0720 hrs, São Jorge was clearly visible, some 25 nmiles ahead of us

As we approached São Jorge, the wind became a bit fickle and we motmored for a while then sailed then motored , sailed, motored

Sailing between São Jorge to Starboard and

Pico on Port


Getting close to Velas
1450 hrs Porto das Velas just ahead of us


We called up the marina on Ch 16 and were very pleased to hear that our very friendly harbour master was waiting to take our lines on the hammerhead of A pontoon


Total distance covered, 181.7 nMiles in 32 hours of which only 5 hours on the engine. Average speed 5.67 knots.