Sunday, July 19, 2009

So near and yet so far

After the last few overcast days, today's been a real treat; warm and sunny over a calm sea. After an uncomfortable start, I've settled into the passage and it now feels like it'll be a shame to arrive. It's also hard to believe that the whole trip will be over in a couple of weeks.

I've changed destination. I was heading for Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, but the forecast indicated I'd have strong head winds for the final day, so I've altered course slightly to Vila do Porto, Santa Maria. I save 20 miles from this morning's position and it's 60 miles south which should give me a little more time before the strongest head-winds arrive. The little information I have on Santa Maria sounds appealing:

"Santa Maria is often called 'The Island of the Sun' as it tends to be warm and dry and has many fine sand beaches. The Island's traditional houses have white chimneys and blue bars which are a heritage of the first settlers here from Southern Portugal. The landscape is either dry and limestoned or luxuriant with vineyards. It is the oldest Azorean Island as well as the only one resting on the African geological plate. Famous for its handicrafts and pastry!"

Particularly interested in the mention of luxuriant vineyards and pastries.

The new plan is to spend a couple of days in Santa Maria before heading north in time to meet Matt in Sao Miguel on Saturday.

As I'm keen to arrive before the onset of the head-winds, I've been making judicious use of the engine. It was on for a couple of hours this morning - long enough to warm-up the water tank so I spoilt myself to two hot showers. Amazing what a shower can do - I became a different person - one who actually enjoys cleaning. In the course of the major spring-clean I undertook, I discovered that a couple of cans in my store of cheap Spanish beer had burst. The cans share a locker with a large sack of Indonesian flour and bag of Thai rice. What a mess - I've dried everything out as well as I can but there remains a tide mark on sacks of flour and rice.

Position @ 13:20 GMT 19/7/09: N37deg08' W22deg41'
Distance to go: 119
Daily run: 139

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