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Leg 5 - 2006 Tortola, BVI; Azores

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Leg 5, 2006, Update 1
July 5, 2006, 0630 hrs, 30.57 N, 57.03 W, Log: 103,024 miles, crossing the North Atlantic High Pressure Motoring at 7 kts, glassy seas Baro: 1024.0, Winds ESE @ 2 kts, Cockpit Temp: 77F, Cabin Temp: 80F

After our Leg 4 crew left Tuesday morning, we did a quick grocery shop and set sail for Peter Island, enjoying a quiet anchorage tied stern-to in Little Harbor until Sunday afternoon.

Here's a partial list of what we accomplished:
  • Removed all stanchions, lifelines and rub strakes. Sanded back the cap rail, dodger upright and eyebrow. Applied three coats of varnish. Reinstalled hardware.
  • Changed engine oil
  • Removed the watermaker to change its gear oil, flushed and biocided it and replaced the pre-filter
  • Replaced 23 deck plugs and a total 10 lineal feet of caulking in six different locations. (Caulking did not set and has been an annoyance)
  • Removed the old GPS and Iridium antennas
  • Mounted and ran the wire for the new GPS antenna (goes with the new Raymarine radar)
  • Changed the Maxprop zinc underwater, sponged the bottom clean
  • Hand washed all cushion slip covers, and sewed 3 new ones
  • Repaired three gelcoat dings
  • Replaced a patch on the Avon, twice patch was too small and continued to leak
  • Sorted through 5 CD's of images from last leg
It may not sound like much work, but we worked pretty much flat out, with a few hours off Thursday afternoon to take the dinghy and explore the post Peter Island Resort, located two bays south in Sprat Bay. Owned by the founders of Amway, this is a first class small resort with its only private ferry service from Road Harbor. We enjoyed walking around the grounds and beaches, but any thoughts of enjoying dinner ashore evaporated when we saw the price for the buffet was $75!

We worked hard Monday scrubbing MT down, going across the harbor to fill fuel tanks and making numerous trips to Bobby's Market, just four blocks away to provision.

Amanda enjoyed some shopping and exploring in the afternoon. We found the town (and country) surging ahead from our last visit in 2000. The twin engines of the local economy, tourism (mostly charter boat related) and financial services were both booming. The Moorings largest base in the world in Road Town has run out of slips and had boat rafted to moorings, at their base, even though many were out on charter. New banks, corporation and accountants offices were springing up all over town, and the manager of Bobby's Market said there is a competition among employers for workers. The excellent community college is graduating record number of students and many continue further studies abroad.

Probably the biggest change we saw were record numbers of well-dressed locals enjoying dining out. This was quite a switch from just six years ago when the vast majority of diners were tourists or ex-pats from the financial services industry. The BVI's really seem to have their act together, with low crime rate, good education and tons of opportunities. Sounds like paradise!

We met our goal of having nearly all chores complete by Monday evening and our treat was dinner out at Fort Burt, a hotel restaurant run by the culinary students from the community college, under the guidance of New England Culinary Institute. It was an interesting evening especially when the power went out in the local area (lights were still on across the bay) The Prime Minister was also dinning and started making calls on his cell phone, our waitress went around collecting all the candles from tables without customers taking them to the kitchen so the students could continue cooking. She explained that they cook with gas and were used to this kind of thing happening, our meal would still be coming. It was a lovely and romantic evening.

Tuesday morning we were on track to be ready one hour early (11 instead of 12) but as I topped up the water tank so that I could read the water and power meters and pay our moorage bill, the bilge pump went off with an unusual sound when the tank overflow flowed into the bilge. I shut the water off and read the meter and waited for the bilge pump to stop but it wasn't working. Simple, I thought, it's probably a small hole in the diaphragm; I have a spare, no problem! The diaphragm was fine, replacing it didn't help, so I replaced the entire pump as we had two new spares aboard. The new pump worked backwards, blowing bubbles in the bilge, so I reversed the polarity of the wires, but to no avail. Time was running out, as it was 11:50 and I was drenched in sweat, with tools everywhere. Next I tried unbolting the pump from the motor and rotating the pump 180 degrees. This solved the problem; the pump emptied the bilge in record time.

Amanda had had her own disaster in the meantime, knocking over the container of milk when she shut the fridge lid on her hurried way to answer a parting greeting from a friend. She'd tipped a liter of milk into the fridge, a major job to empty and wipe up and one that she'd have ignore until the next day. I hurriedly tidied up after my pump installation, had a shower on the swim step and greeted crew on the dock. It was 12:03, and for probably the first time ever, our crew had not arrived at the boat with their bags before noon. We sure appreciated that courtesy this time!

It often seems like a relief, or perhaps busman's holiday when our expedition members arrive, because then we get to slow down and catch our breath!

When given the choice of spending the night at Village Cay Marina or setting say immediately for Peter Island, our eager Leg 5 crew simply said in unison, "What are we waiting for?"

It was a very industrious four mile passage as Amanda explained hoisting and reefing the main, setting the headsail and trimming. We touched 7.5 knots in the early afternoon trades as Amanda scurried to make lunch, but before she had

Stern line ashore - Peter Island
finished, we were at Little Harbor. Up went the lazy jacks, down came the sails, out came a stern line which Mike swam ashore and tied to a tree once the bow anchor was down, and we gobbled up our sun baked soggy samies. I should probably have listened to Amanda and just cruised across under headsail alone, but there was such a nice tradewind breeze...

After lunch we put the awning up (what a relief!) and alternated between safety orientation and snorkeling in the crystal waters. We find the more we break up the orientation, the better our crew can remember the info presented.

Early Wednesday morning everyone was back in the water. We saw a stingray, busily hoovering the sand for food, a friendly barracuda that lives in the bay, clouds and clouds of tiny silver fish, lots of really healthy coral and more different varieties of fish that we have ever seen anywhere, anytime! It was hard to get out of the water, but more adventures were calling us. We sailed a few miles to the east so Amanda could get a picture of Salt Island for an article, then turned around and had great broad reaching conditions down to Soper's Hole, where we signed crew on and cleared out of the country while our crew explored the little shops along the harbor front.

To try something different, we set sail to Long Bay between Little Jost and Jost Van Dyke. We had heard about Foxy's Taboo, a newer, much smaller restaurant run by one of Foxy's daughters and we found a good spot to anchor slightly away from the new mooring balls.

Dinner was good, not exceptional, but we really enjoyed a last dinner ashore. On our way back to MT in the dinghy, we saw a huge black squall bearing down on us. No sooner had we boarded than the wind cranked up to 34 knots in a driving rain squall. We quickly started the engine, ready to take loading off the anchor if needed, and watched the depth under the keel drop to 3' as we stretched out 120' of chain. I was really glad we'd had taken the time to snorkel down 12' and double check that the anchor was well set. As soon as the squall settled a little our crew rigged and set our second bow anchor, a 44 lb. Delta with 50' of 3/8" chain and 180" of 3/4" nylon.

Perfect Sailing
This time of year in the Caribbean, tropical waves (vertical trough lines with a NE then SE wind shift) pass every 3-6 days, bringing up to 50 knots in squalls and generally rainy and unstable weather. Tropical waves are best described in David Jones's excellent book, "The Concise Guide to Caribbean Weather" available from or

We had been expecting a tropical wave to arrive that night, and take a couple days to pass the islands. I'd requested a forecast from Commanders Weather ( and the forecast mentioned that for a mellower start of our passage to the Azores, we might want to wait for a day or two for the wave

Michael gives the day's weather briefing

Mike takes a sextant shot
to pass. The only problem was, our weatherfax charts from NMG in New Orleans showed another closely following tropical wave due Saturday. We asked our crew what they wanted to do: leave now (Thursday morning) realizing we might have some heavy weather sailing experience in squalls created by the wave, or wait around and see if Saturday's conditions looked any better.

This is not a crew for waiting around. "Let's set sail now, that will mean more time for exploring the Azores!", so as soon as breakfast was done Thursday morning, we started getting ready for setting sail.

We were underway by 1010, and in a short time we were clear of Little Jost and had set a course north. Winds stayed in the 20-25 knot range and were just abaft the beam, so Mahina Tiare was in her element, charging northward like a race horse, shoulder down and spray flying! We saw 34 knots in squalls a couple times, so our crew got some excellent reefing practice. Only one succumbed to mal de mer, but we really tried to keep the boat speed down for the first couple days, often going down to a triple reefed main and deeply reefed headsail but we still covered 165 and 162 the first two days.

Ship on Radar at 2.8 miles

Visual of same ship
After five days at sea our crew are becoming seasoned sailors - working hard at getting trimming down pat, understanding VMG, sheeting angles, traveler trim and sleight of hand at the helm. Sargasso seaweed is our constant companion and clearing the fishing lines of weed is everyone's keen interest. Ships have been frequent and we're now well used to life on a starboard tack with our left legs definitely longer from our frequent tricks at the helm. Temperate is dropping a little each day as we sail north that it's a pleasant surprise to feel chilly.

Yesterday (Tuesday, July 4th) the winds dropped to 7-10 knots, but we had a gorgeous day with calm seas. By really watching sail trim and helm, we still managed to sail 132 miles before the winds really went light. The one good thing about light winds and smooth seas in the tropics is being able to swim every afternoon. Yesterday our crew set a record! Every one managed to dive down and practice freeing a line from the prop, WITHOUT FINS! That was a first, and is really worth practicing, given the frequency that we spot large tangled lines floating on the surface.

This morning we got an hour or so of lovely sailing in 6-8 knot zephyrs associated with some squalls, but it looks like we will be motoring for a little while longer to clear the edge of the high pressure ridge. We are using the calm time to make repairs (we tried patching the dinghy, again)

Barbara presents her 1/2 way story
yesterday and Amanda did a very thorough rig inspection class.

July 7, 2006, 0730 hrs, 33.59 N, 52.19 W, Log: 103,315 miles Closehauled at 5.7 kts, in 7 kt ESE winds, Baro: 1028.0, Cockpit Temp: 78F, Cabin Temp: 79F

The last two days have been similar - sailing much of the time in winds between 6-9 kts true, motoring occasionally when the wind drops below 6 kts. We've seen one sailboat and several ships and yesterday spoke with the Arctic Princess whose officer proudly told us that she is presently the world's largest fuel carrying vessel at over 300 meters long. We've caught just one fish, a tasty mahi mahi that ended up as sushi (roll your own), sashimi and cooked three different ways. In provisioning class yesterday Amanda showed how to build tropical trolling rigs and Barbara assembled a duzey which we are hoping will land another fish.

We had a halfway party after dinner last night where everyone told a story or a joke and enjoyed brownies. Our afternoon swims remain a highlight of the day. Each day the water is a little cooler, and Amanda and I especially enjoy the cooler air temperatures. For the first time since San Diego we sleep under a sheet and no longer get hot and sweaty while working or preparing meals.

Here's a contribution from Mike:

"I had some anxiety and was a little nervous about getting aboard a relatively small space with six or seven strangers, but I'm pleased to report we are now halfway to the Azores and as we all enjoy sailing and share the same goals we are enjoying new friendships. The first time we stopped the boat and jumped into the ocean for a swim, I was mesmerized. Wearing a dive mask I was instantly overwhelmed by the color blue. The was bottom, 18,000' below and I dropped a coin, watching it slowly tumble through the water with visibility of nearly 300'. Later we estimated that it must have taken three hours for that coin to hit the bottom."

Barbara, Michael, Marilyn, Mike and Maurice
Here's our Leg 5 crew:

Barbara Melson, 56 from El Dorado Hills, near Sacramento, CA
"For the past three years my husband and I have been learning to sail our Catalina 22 on San Francisco Bay. I needed to make a crossing with experienced people before I would feel comfortable doing a crossing with my husband. We have just purchased a new Island Packet 440, which we have named Wind Whisperer and will retire to Oriental, NC in June 2007. We want to said the Caribbean extensively (we're scuba divers) and then on to far-away places having great adventures."

Marilyn Jackson, 74 from Poulsbo, WA (near Seattle)
"I love to sail and this is a great trip with a wonderful crew. I plan to sail as long as I can where ever I can. The motion of the ocean, the song of the sea makes me so very thankful for God's creativity."

(Marilyn sailed from Honolulu to Friday Harbor aboard Orange Coast College's Alaska Eagle a few years ago and became hooked on passage making!)

Mike Jackson, 51, also from Poulsbo, and Marilyn's son
"I've cruised extensively in the Pacific NW and Alaska aboard our Endurance 36 and a larger boat with greater range is the next step. This ocean passage is the ideal way to "test the waters" without the substantial investment of a new boat."

Mike was a commercial crab fisherman who was swept overboard in the Bering Sea and founded Stormy Seas, a company that builds work-flotation gear for fishermen. He is really enjoying sharing this passage with his mom who also is the book keeper for his company.

Michael Yates, 58 from Spokane, WA
"I am a recently retired police officer who has longed to go back to sea since my king crab fishing days in Alaska. My wife Brenda and I sail a Cal 34 on Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and plan to cruise when she retires.

Maurice Hollingsworth, 50 from Lethbridge, Alberta
Maurice sails a O'Day 25 on Flathead Lake, Montana and trailers it home five hours for the winter. In his youthful days he was bareback rodeo rider and a chuckwagon racer, competing in events like the Calgary Stampede. These days he is involved in teaching IT at all levels from elementary to university and has been involved in an interesting project setting up computers and training teachers in Dominica, in the Caribbean. His wife Deborah yearns for a warmer climate than Alberta, at least part of the year, and they are considering buying a boat and basing it in the Caribbean.

Leg 5, 2006, Update 2

July 9, 2006, 1130 hrs, 36.06 N, 46.26 W, Log: 103,629 miles, crossing the North Atlantic High Pressure Broad reaching under full sail with winds NW @ 20 kts Baro: 1021.8, Cockpit Temp: 79F, Cabin Temp: 81F

The last several days have passed quickly with the miles really ticking off since the winds have moved aft and increased. Our crew is getting some surfing practice as the seas build and they are keeping MT right on track. I had wondered how

Mike teases his mum with a flying fish
Marilyn, aged 74 and challenged with arthritis, would manage downwind surfing conditions but she is on the helm now with a big smile on her face, doing an amazing job of steering, although Mike often tries to distract her.

A low pressure cell with attached cold front has dropped south on us, headed to the middle of a 1034 high pressure center. We are experiencing the start of the frontal passage now, with 100% overcast, a few sprinkles and an increase and backing of wind direction. It's hard to know how much over 25-30 knots this cold front will produce, but the stronger winds should be on the beam, so that should just send us rocketing on toward Flores, now only 750 miles away out of a total distance of 2300 miles. Crew are ready and have now mastered reefing and rope work.

Crew taking a reef

Maurice & Mike get knotty with Marilyn

We have a rotating duty roster and our navigator always plots our noon position and measures how far we are ahead of our position in 2000 on the same passage. At one point we were 60 miles ahead, but yesterday it was down to only 30 miles. It's amazing how close our tracks and day's runs have been.

July 12, 2006, 0430 hrs, 38.16 N, 37.53 W, Log: 104,056 miles, gorgeous days and nights! Closehauled at 4 kts with 7 kt NNE winds. 322 miles to Flores, Azores Baro: 1026.8, Cockpit Temp: 75F, Cabin Temp: 79F

The frontal passage produced little rain, but confused seas and winds gusting in the low 30's. As the wind was from nearly astern we ended up with the headsail poled out and then reefed down. As the front passed, the wind moved forward and we were able to get the pole down before the strongest winds passed. At the peak we were double-reefed on the main and had only 50% of the headsail showing. Still our crew had surfing competitions. Marilyn held the record at 8.7 kts until Maurice surged to 9.0 kts on the face of a wave.

After the front passed (it just disappeared into the high pressure!) our wind came forward until we were close reaching, then close hauled, and became lighter and lighter. We have had to motor again, but

Loggerhead Turtle
every few hours the wind increases to 6-9 knots, we shut down the engine and sail for 6-8 hours. These are normal conditions for this passage and to be expected when skirting the large, stationary North Atlantic High.

We had a fabulous swim stop yesterday afternoon. The sea was glassy - we left the main up to keep the boat from rolling in the slight swell and everyone got a good workout swimming laps around. On my watch while motoring I spotted a small turtle ahead. I shut down the engine and we ghosted up to and around it. The turtle was curious and unafraid as we took pictures drifting past. In the calm conditions we were able to sight seven turtles and had our first visit of dolphins. Just before dinner we

Michael receives a cold bucket of seawater
were surrounded by North Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, dozens of them - jumping, diving and really putting on a show!

The days are getting longer, with first light at 0420 and twilight lasting until 2040. You'd think we were in the Arctic by the way our crew bundle up for watches and sleeping. Even though cabin temperatures haven't dipped below 79F, sleeping bags and fleece blankets have started showing up, along with jackets and fleece tops on night watch. The water temperature is also dropping and when the sailing conditions are too good to give up for a swim, bucket baths are the go.

This has been an exceptional crew - lots of stories and jokes and good times. Normally when we are within a couple of days of landfall some people start getting antsy; checking their watches frequently, talking about what they will do as soon as they reach shore. Not this crew. They are enjoying every day to the max, not wanting the passage to end.

July 16, 2006, 2130 hrs, 39.13 N, 30.17W, Log: 104,452 miles, gorgeous days and nights! Broad reaching @ 5.9 kts with 11 kt NE winds. Corvo and Flores Islands visible astern in the sunset, 90 miles to Horta Baro: 1026.4, Cockpit Temp: 76F, Cabin Temp: 80F

What a magical evening this is! We're gliding along over smooth seas, a fabulous sunset with two of our

Pilot whales
favorite islands astern, and there is a small fishing boat a mile off our port bow that must also be headed to Horta.

Our last three days before landfall at Flores were under power with only zephyrs of wind as we traversed the spine of the North Atlantic high pressure ridge, but the bonus was that the calm water allowed us to see a couple of sightings of Long-finned Pilot Whales and several sperm whales. We took advantage of the calm weather to get ahead on our teaching schedule so we covered sail repair, winch servicing, storm tactics, making turks heads, electrical power systems, watermakers, communication systems and boat maintenance all in four days. Our goal was to have everything except going aloft for rig check completed before landfall so we ended up having class twice a day instead of just in the mornings before lunch.

Michael instructs Maurice on sewing

Marilyn & Barbara deploying the Galerider

"The Mikes" concentrate on their turks heads

Sunrise over Flores

Just before sunrise on Friday a breeze came up, we shut the engine off and watched the sunrise over an incredibly verdant and rugged island.

Flores was discovered by the Portuguese in 1452 and early settlers came from Holland, Madeira, mainland Portugal as well as from Terceira, another of the Azores islands. Until fairly recently the islanders lived a subsistence lifestyle with whaling and the export of honey and cedar the few ways of obtaining cash. Only about 5,000 inhabitants remain, many having immigrated to North America. Tourism is very low key with only a handful of small pousadas, or guest houses.

It always seems like we go from suspended time on the ocean to fast forward when we reach land. As soon as we anchored in Lajes, a lovely little town with a breakwater, Amanda and I went ashore with passports and boat papers. We had barely landed the dinghy before the town's young maritime policeman met us and checked us in on the hood of his car. Cruisers are no longer required to go to the main customs office in Santa Cruz, a 15km taxi ride away and paperwork has nearly been eliminated.

Anchorage at Lajes

Lajes breakwater and anchorage

Jorge, the customs officer, told us that we were in luck! Then annual Festival of Immigrants started that evening with music, speeches and dancing. Everywhere we walked we saw final touches of paint being applied, gardens being fussed over, and generally people very happy and proud of their little town. As a large percent of the population of Flores has immigrated to the US and Canada, every summer a festival is planned to honor the return (during their summer vacations) of these immigrants. Many of them maintain old family homes which they return to with their families for few weeks every summer.

Our crew hired a taxi van and went off exploring the dramatic and beautiful island while Amanda and I

A typical house
tried to cycle 15 kms to Santa Cruz and back, within 2 hours. The hills were humbling, but at every turn we were rewarded with flower-lined lanes, white painted house, friendly people in little isolated villages, waterfalls, cows in paddocks, and more splendor than we could imagine. We saw several homes where people were drying salted fish in the sun, an old tradition in these islands where electricity and refrigerators are a relatively recent commodity.

Salted cod drying on a balcony
We all arrived back in town in time for a local traditional dinner of salted fish at a local cafe. The view from the outside terrace where we dined was of the lighthouse and coast and was spectacular.

After dinner we watched the start of the festivities before heading back to Mahina Tiare.

Saturday morning Amanda and I headed ashore at dawn to try cycling the opposite direction. We cycled up a continuous hill for an hour before blasting back down to town if a few minutes. Back through town we came across the baker delivering bread plus a store selling fresh locally produced cheese so we grabbed some. Before breakfast we asked crew if they wanted to see Faja Grande, a bay that we had to anchor at upon our arrival in 2000 as heavy swells made Lajes Harbor untenable. These guys are up for any adventure, so we up anchored and had fresh bread and cheese underway whilst admiring the dramatic coastline.

Amanda displays our fish dinner

Crew enjoying the fesitval

Clown entertaining children

In our minds, Faja Grande and the west coast of Flores is the most beautiful place on earth. Thousand foot waterfalls, terraced fields and paddocks and picturesque villages dating to the 1700's paint a wonderful peaceful scene where time slows down. While crew hiked to the waterfalls and then out along the coastal cliff trail, we again took off cycling, up mountains to discover hidden little villages of orange-tiled white-washed houses and some very friendly people who kept trying to get us to join their Sunday-after-Mass village feast.

Mahina at Faja Grande

West coast of Flores

We had briefly met Jake and Judy, an English couple in their mid-60's cruising aboard Acquest, an older 35' Falmouth-built wooden sloop, in Lajes, and they had mentioned they also were considering sailing to Faja Grande. When they showed up Saturday afternoon we were delighted that they were keen to join us for dinner at the local café located at the campground-beach. What a wonderful evening we had. New friends, excellent food, wine and desert for only $10 each!

Amanda and Judy discovered they share a love of Irish music, sewing and fabric design while Jake told of having both the US president and British prime minister in his captain's cabin of his warship while at anchor off Martinique!

This morning Judy and Jake raised anchor and headed to tiny Corvo, the smallest of all of the Azores. Visiting Corvo wasn't in our plans, but after Marilyn did the navigation and told us it would only add 20 miles to our passage to Horta, we eagerly set off even before breakfast. As we passed Acquest Judy showed off the hammock she was knitting of recycled plastic grocery bags, and then played a tune on her accordion, which Amanda danced to. Jake has been asked to update the superb RCC Atlantic Islands

Judy and Jake on Acquest
Cruising Guide (which we use daily) so was making a point to visit every island and as many anchorages possible during his two month cruise of the Azores. In a few weeks he sets sail back for Falmouth, England with friends and Judy will fly back.

On Corvo, the northernmost and smallest island in the Azores we found a compact and historic village of Vila Nova, founded in 1548, clinging to the base of a volcanic cone. A small recently-built breakwater provides a landing place for dinghies but the anchorage is exposed and rolly so few yachts visit. This was the last of the Azores to receive an airport and the very short strip went from one side of the small plateau to the other with a steep cliff and village at one end and the ocean at another.

As soon as we landed the friendly local policeman checked us in on the hood of his jeep and we took off to explore the village. Amanda had it in her mind that we should climb to the top of the highest mountain overlooking the harbor to take a picture, so we did - taking one hour up, and running down through bushes, grasslands, over rock fences and hydrangeas hedges in just 20 minutes. What a view and what a rush!

Checkin in on Corvo

The village of Vila Nova

That brings you up to date. We are hoping our 10-11 knot breeze holds through the night - at dawn the islands of Faial and Pico should be right off our bow!

July 17, 2006, 2200 hrs, 38.31 N, 28.37W, Log: 104,533 miles, gorgeous days and nights! Tied up in Horta Marina Baro: 1024.6, Cockpit Temp: 71F, Cabin Temp: 78F

Our wind did hold through much of last night and this morning and at dawn Faial Island was right where it was supposed to be, on our bow. By noon we had tied to the customs/fuel quay and within a half hour we had cleared in, been assigned a berth (SHOCK!) and moved to it. We were happily surprised too see that the yachts weren't rafted five deep to the breakwater, as was the case during our 2000 visit. The harbormaster explained they had recently added 120 new berths and this was why he could give us a slip. We had to promise to vacate the berth by August 4, when nearly 200 yachts from two different races, one from Portugal and the other a mini-Transat race from France would be arriving.

Horta Marina and Town

MT in Horta Marina

Soon after lunch aboard MT our crew checked out the laundry facilities in the marina, and the wonderful paintings yachts have left on the sea wall before heading off to waterfront Café Sport, famous worldwide among sailors for it's hospitality.

Cafe Sport

Barbara, Michael and Maurice enjoying Cafe Sport

Tonight we all took a stroll to the far end of the waterfront for a fun meal in an upstairs restaurant. The view across the channel to Pico Island was fabulous. In the long twilight and we enjoyed watching three restored gaff-rigged whale boats out preparing for the "Sea Week" sailing races starting in a few weeks.

Tomorrow we will complete the expedition with going aloft for rig check, cleaning cabins, sponging Mahina Tiare down, and signing the guest book. That's it for a very and successful and rewarding Leg 5!

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