Na Marina da Horta existe muitas pinturas, deixadas pelos iatistas que nos visitam. Como é óbvio todas tem uma história para contar, quando andei pela Marina a fotografar as pinturas mais bonitas, nunca imaginava que um dia iria encontrar a história desta. Aqui ficam alguns excertos:
"An overnight sail of about 150 miles took us to the island of Faial and the large, safe marina in Horta. The Azorean Islands lie at the center of a web of different routes across the Atlantic, and in the few months of summer over 1000 yachts a year pass through Horta. Arriving in mid-September was a far cry from last year when we sailed into Horta in early June. Then, the marina was packed to capacity with boats from all over the world rafted 4 deep along the breakwater. Now, in mid September, there were just a few foreign yachts, most spending the winter here, and we had a pontoon all to ourselves."
"Horta itself is a bustling town built along the water's edge and up the steep hillside beyond. Whitewashed buildings with red rooves cluster around numerous ornate churches and narrow cobbled streets wind through the heart of the city. The marina is in a prime spot with easy access to a fresh produce market, cafes, restaurants, shops and even a cinema. Knowing that in the coming months we'll be far removed from such luxuries, we spoiled ourselves as often as possible! "
"In between working on the boat and planning the next leg of the voyage, we went on several long hikes. Outside Horta, Faial is a patchwork of fields separated by hedges of hydrangeas, with villages dotting the hillsides. The center of the island rises to 1030 metres where a large volcanic crater, often shrouded in low clouds, is testament to the volcanic origins of the island."
"We also visited the neighbouring islands of Pico and Sao Jorge by ferry, crowded with local people bringing their produce to market. We particularly loved Sao Jorge, a long narrow island with a high central ridge of mountains and precipitous cliffs most of the way round. Life revolves around the twice daily milking of the cows which graze in lush pastures all over the island. "
"By mid October we were moving into departure mode, focussing on the last minute details and monitoring the weather. There is a great tradition amongst sailors of painting their boat name on the wall of the marina in Horta and it is considered bad luck not to do so. Many crews take a lot of time and care over their designs and the entire marina is like a vast outdoor art gallery. We touched up our painting from last year and added some new details. The last task is always stocking up on fresh fruit and veg, and the farmer's market in Horta has a good selection of produce. Picking out 6 weeks worth of potatoes, cabbages, carrots, onions, butternuts and eggs took most of a morning. And so, at last we were ready and set sail at the end of October for the southern hemisphere.... "
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