Tuesday, 11 October 2011


Mater Dei - the best view over Ponta Delgada since 1500
We're enjoying the fine autumn weather in Sao Miguel, while waiting for a good bit of weather to sail to Madeira. When we returned here from Pico, the wind was boxing the compass almost daily. Then it settled on south easterly (the least useful wind for Madeira), where it has remained since. No matter. We're not in any rush and there's plenty to keep us occupied here.

We have been back to Furnas for cozido with Marco and Marcia, this time with bacalhao (cod fish) instead of meat. Considerably lighter on the stomach but equally delicious. After the meal, we were up for a visit to the Poca da beija - a very tastefully developed hot spring - where we soaked away a delightful couple of hours after dark.

We've also helped a friend with some heavy landscaping work and done several boat jobs, including the installation of a set of permanent mast steps with Thomas of Boat and Sail Service, who had the steps made specially at a local metalworking shop. I can now climb the mast comfortably any time without setup - should be very handy for maintenance and lookout purposes.

Mast steps! They're made from patterned
(treadmaster) aluminium sheet, cut into strips
and folded to spec.
Now we're off to help with the setting up of a mighty (22 metre) mast on a big American boat that arrived here, sans mast, about 18 months ago. It's taken this long for the owner to organise the replacement, which he ordered from the USA. It was delivered, in one piece in a very long box, to the American base on Terceira and then forwarded here. Delivery cost: 30,000 Euros. Ouch.

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