Ocean Planet Report
Ocean Planet Qualifier Update
July 7, 2002
Pos at 1257gmt:
Horta, Faial, in the Azores!
What an incredibly wonderful place! From the stunning green hills and volcanic mountains to the enchanting little town chock full of sailors from all over the world. I feel like this place has been waiting for me.
Approaching in the late afternoon turning to dusk, I pushed Ocean Planet on a tight reach (just off of close hauled) at 10-11kts across a nearly smooth sea, trying to make it before it was too dark. This was achieved and I dropped the main, rolled up the jib, emptied the water ballast, and motored slowly towards the unknown harbor as I dashed in and out of the boat rigging my anchoring system. I assumed I would have to anchor outside the harbor since my charts showed the marina was not deep enough for our 15 ft. draft. The light was fading, but a marina bristling with sailboat masts and the smells, music, and energy of a bustling little town beckoned me closer.
There was a particularly tall mast just past the main marina and I ventured in to see if it was a deep draft boat. She turned out to be Chippewa, a Swan 70 that we had raced against in Antigua! They assured me that the “water was fine” and we happily rafted up alongside where I was promptly greeted with a cold Corona by the friendly crew. The next few hours of sailing stories and discovering mutual acquaintances was a perfect ending to a wonderful trip.
Today I checked in with the port captain, customs, and immigration, which turned into a delightfully long conversation with the port captain who exclaimed as he read our ship’s documention: “Oakland? I just returned from there!” Turns out his soccer club was sponsored by the government to spend several weeks in California. He loved it and we talked of Yosemite, and the Golden Gate bridge for some time before some other sailors came in to register and we had to finish our business.
The are sailors here from all the world over, and they are already streaming by to see Ocean Planet. Most of today was spent meeting people and showing the boat. Tomorrow I will tell you more of the flavor of Horta, a centuries old port and meeting place for the sailing travelers of this ocean planet, earth.
The view to the east of Horta, the neighboring island of Pico:
Bruce and Ocean Planet