This is Barb's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Barb's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Barb
Somewhere in the Caribbean aboard s/v La Luna Actually, we are currently in St. Thomas -- until May 2014.
We lived aboard a Cheoy Lee Sailboat year-round in Maine for 8 years. In October, 2010 we set sail for the Bahamas and Caribbean.
Interests: travel, dogs, sailing, Maine, writing, sailboat maintenance, living on a sailboat, Bahamas, Caribbean, Cartagena, Grenada, Buenos Aries, photography, food
Recent Activity
Image
While we were wandering side streets looking for the immigration office, I saw a guard sitting inside a small doorway at City Hall. (That’s City Hall, above.) The guard’s post was the entrance to the bell tower and one can climb to the top at no charge. How cool is that? Even better, they play organ music with speakers at every level. Creepy. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Harts At Sea
Image
Instead of dancing to 60’s music on Saturday, EW and I toured an amazing garden, the Jardim Antonio Borges. I can’t find much about the history of this garden; everything briefly states that there are numerous “rare vegetal species” but no article discusses the stone work, caves, or tunnels. We were enthralled. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Harts At Sea
Image
Note that the cows are grazing in distant pastures. If the “cows” are beef cattle, steers, or too young to milk, then it’s not an issue. From our first glimpse of the pastures in the Azores I marveled at how they milked the cows on these tiny islands. Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
Last week I discovered a book on my Kindle – “When You Catch an Adjective, Kill it” by Ben Yagoda. I’d tell you how much I love it but I’d have to use a adjectives. To give you an idea, know that I read passages of this book to EW – and that he enjoyed it. (Seriously, I can think of maybe four people who would welcome someone reading from a book about grammar.) Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
We have been delighted to visit islands that aren’t visited by cruise ships. In fact the folks who vacation here are not like most of the tourists we met in the Caribbean.When discussing the islands with a local gentleman on Terceira I remarked on how friendly everyone is, including the tourists. He said that the tourists were friendly because they were different from the normal resort or cruise ship tourist. He’s right. Remember, there are three kind of tourists in the Azores (See this recent post for a refresher) and in the first two months, we hadn’t met an American who didn’t have Portuguese heritage or who wasn’t on a boat. Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
There is wind here, and sometimes it’s from the direction they’ve predicted and we’ve planned for; sometimes it’s not and we get skunked. We got skunked when we left Horta with the intention of sailing to Flores, and ended up in Sao Jorge, instead. The trip from Velas, Sao Jorge to Angra, Terceira took many hours longer than it should have and required us (well EW) to motor back and forth outside of the bay, waiting for daylight. I discussed this with Felipe, Harbor Master at Angra who suggested a local source for weather. He told me that Passage Weather and other such sites aren’t as useful here because, “We are just a tiny speck in the ocean, and they look at the whole ocean.” Using “tiny speck” weather sources, we left Angra for Graciosa on August 22nd and again ended up motoring much of the way with light winds and swells from the south. Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
In Horta, we discovered that the bus has only a couple of short routes from the city center to the Hospital and other important points fairly close to town. However, the signs at each bus stop are ingenious. On one side, you’ll find the route and schedule; turn the sign on the post and you’ll find a charming description of a nearby feature, building, or historic site. Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
Nothing prepared us for the glorious Numero Um hike one Monday on Sao Jorge with Leo. We three walked, talked almost non-stop, laughed, and took hundreds and hundreds of photos. The hike begins at the wind farm at Serra do Topo on a wide path or farm trail, and goes from mountain pasture to mountain pasture, bordered by stone walls and hedges of the beautiful hydrangeas, and separated by charming rustic gates. Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
And so I met Leo who introduced himself and his cousin, Manuel. Leo was born on Sao Jorge, and emigrated to California with his parents and siblings when he was 15. He said his folks planned just to stay long enough to pay off the land they owned in Sao Jorge and save up some extra money, but their kids grew up and had kids and they all became citizens and stayed. His folks are close to 90 and still like to return to the Azores each summer. Because Leo didn’t think they should be alone for three months he took three weeks of vacation time from his job as a U.S. Postal Carrier and brought his folks to the island. Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
Right now we are anchored in off of Graciosa the second smallest island in the Azores. There is a very small marina, almost full of the local fishing boats, but we don’t want to stay in marinas anyway. The anchorage was rolly when we arrived on Friday, but nothing we didn’t see in Prickly Bay, Grenada. Unfortunately this is the summer of “unsettled weather” as one European sailor said. Two of this island’s major attractions are small mountaintops and the views from them. We have west winds and low clouds; there are no views. Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
We had gone to Calheta on our Sunday drive because we were told they were going to have a Tourados da Corda – Bullfighting on a Rope --as part of the festivities. This tradition was developed on the island of Terceira and has spread to the other islands in the Azores. Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
One of the problems with writing about touring the Azores is that it’s hard to know when to stop. A blog post about a particular day is full of events, food, and people and leads to additional discussions about other similar events, more food, some of the same people and new ones. These islands are small with few inhabitants, and if one stays here any length of time, everything relates, so it’s hard to know when to stop and one blog post could go on forever. Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
After a few hours walking up one street, down another, and talking with ladies in the tourist offices, we were a bit parched, so EW suggested we duck into a corner bar for refreshment. There we met Vasco (pronounced Vash-co), a middle-aged gentleman from mainland Portugal who had moved to the island and opened a bar. (Sounds a bit like St. Thomas, doesn’t it?) Vasco’s English was better than our Portuguese and we easily ordered a beer for EW and a white wine for me. We had a second round when Vasco, who does not sell food in his bar, offered us a sampling of the 7 month aged Sao Jorge cheese. Sharp, yet slightly creamy. Delicious. Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
When people talk about the flowers of the islands, they really mean the hydrangeas. We’ve enjoyed wild morning glories, cultivated roses, the largest marigolds I’ve ever seen, and stately lilies. But I fell in love with the hydrangeas. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
We’ve moved our deadline twice and I’ve already decided I’d like to come back here again and again. I told EW once we complete this Atlantic circle, I’d come back to the Azores each summer and return to the Caribbean in the winter if he would agree. I love these islands that much. Their beauty is breathtaking and like nothing I’ve seen before. These volcanic islands have wonderful soil for farming, so the early settlers cut the forests, sold or used the wood and made beautiful pastures, broken up by stone walls and hydrangea hedges. Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
First, I learned to say “Bom dia” for good morning, and “Boa tarde” for good afternoon. I learned that “por favor” is please and blithely assumed that “gracias” must be used for “thank-you”. That brought a frown. “No ‘gracias’”, she said. “Obrigada!” “Really? OK, Obrigada!” I replied and she nodded and smiled. Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
Faial, Horta We remember each island by the sounds. In Faial, during the World Cup, a regatta for special Olympic sailors, and a general weekend, we could hear live music from two venues for a number of nights. Since it’s light until nearly ten here, things can rock until two AM. Young German sailors who were crewing on a boat returning from Bermuda, partied in the slip next to us until four. Sailors and vendors drove scooters, motor cycles, taxis, and delivery trucks onto the fixed concrete pier, and across the harbor from the marina is a quay and dock... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
EW and I are amused by small things. In Faial, I neglected to take a photo of a powerboat berthed near us. The name, It’s Fay-Al was obviously intended to help visiting sailors pronounce the name of the island. The Portuguese people here have a sense of humor and like clarity. We've noticed that while all other signs are in Portuguese, every stop sign is an octagonal red sign with with familiar letters: STOP. Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
Lisa asked a number of questions to determine our experience. I told her to consider me totally inept. I hadn’t ridden since riding Charlotte Gray’s ponies in Corinna when I was in fourth grade. It had been a long time. Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at Harts At Sea
So. We are in Sao Jorge. This harbor is lovely and 22 miles from Horta. We however took 28 hours to get here because we were trying to get to Flores and the winds changed to on the nose. I was ready to bag it but EW said it was a "nice sail" so we kept going hoping for a wind shift. No dice ended up going around Faial back past Horta and 22 miles more to here. Lovely island will stay thru Sunday unless the winds come from the south. Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
Sometimes that’s a bad thing for a sailboat – leaving a mark such as bottom paint on a rock, or gel coat on a dock or (horror of horrors) another boat. In Horta, when a boat leaves her mark, it means the skipper or crew have added their painted sign to the thousands along the quay and docks. And I do mean thousands. Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
The cruising life ain’t all rum drinks in the cockpit. We swim, fix the boat, snorkel, fix the boat, hike, fix the boat, provision, fix the boat, have rum drinks on the beach, fix the boat, play dominoes, fix the boat, well you get the idea. Often (not always, but often) Caribbean cruisers are ready to call it quits at nine or ten. This isn’t just due to our busy lifestyle (see above), or adanced age. You must also factor in early sunsets. Most of the Caribbean sailors are from the northern hemisphere where the sun sets later in the summer. On July 10, 2014 the sun set at 6:59 in St. Thomas and at 6:36 in Grenada. On the same night in Boston, the sun set at 8:22, and in the Azores it didn’t set until 9:17 – seventeen minutes after cruisers’ midnight. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Finally, I've been able to read the comments on our crossing. Loved Kate regarding the wind vane/auto pilot confusion. Loved Darlene's worry and best wishes. Loved that Pam got Rabbit Rabbit. Regarding the whisker pole, we were well off the wind, not quite down wind for much of the last week. We were able to have the jib poled out and that was especially effective in the light winds as it kept it from flogging as much. Actually, I loved all the comments and delighted to have so many friends, family and new friends following along. I would love the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at Harts At Sea
Image
That headline is the closest I got to shouting Land Ho, as EW was asleep when I first saw Faial through the clouds at sunrise. The wind gods played with us during our last 24 hours at sea, skunking us for much of the time. EW resorted to using the motor for about 6 hours, then we drifted, then we sailed very slowly, and finally, EW put 5 gallons of diesel from the jerry cans into the tank and we motored for the last three hours. (We can tell how many inches of diesel are in the tanks, but not how many gallons that represents. We had fuel in the tanks, but put in extra so there were no fuel management issues while docking in a crowded marina.) Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Harts At Sea
July 3rd and this is a great day. We have fewer than 400 miles to go. We are under sail and aiming exactly for Horta. We saw a pod of dolphins jumping and diving for breakfast. We have water and I am clean. EW thought about the water issue and decided that we must have 30-40 gallons of water in the port tank. Unfortunately, the water pump doesn't pick it up when we are heeling to port. I knew we had water in that tank as that is the tank with the hand pump and I've been getting water out... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2014 at Harts At Sea