Loading Map...

Horta, Azore Islands

Written on: Tuesday May 27th, 2008

A journal entry from: Exploring the Baltic Sea by Yacht

After nine days at sea we finally reached land! Late in the evening, we arrived in the Azores, which are a group of islands in the middle of the Atlantic, belonging to Portugal. Horta is a popular place for boats crossing the Atlantic to stop over to refuel or get provisions. I had heard the Azores were quite beautiful, so I was excited to take a look around.

On our first night, the crew was eager to go out for a few drinks since we had been at sea for so long. We found the local watering hole for all the sailors who were stopped over in port. Looking around, it was clear there were only about 3 women in the whole place - apparently not there are not many female sailors around. The rest of the crew was keen to do some damage to their livers, but I decided to head home after a few drinks. Since we had the next day off, I wanted to get to bed at a reasonable time.

The next day, while everyone slept off their hangovers, I decided to explore Horta. Being a port town, it was not as beautiful as other places in the Azores, but it was still nice to walk around and take some pictures. There is a big volcano across the water on the island opposite Horta, which we could see once the clouds lifted. The town was pretty quiet, and most of the buildings were quite run down, but in a sort of charming way. There are a lot of references to whales around town, in old photographs on the walls of cafeterias, or in carved pendants claiming to be made of whale bone. There are lots of whale watching organizations, and a lot of businesses seemed to be named something to do with whales.

It is tradition for yachts stopping in Horta to leave their mark on the breakwater in the port, so we grabbed a couple cans of spraypaint and got to work decorating on behalf of our vessel. After admiring our handiwork late that afternoon, it was time to set sail again.

Next stop: Ireland.