Faial (Azores)

38° 32 N 028° 37 W

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29 June 2002 - 23 July 2002

A view of Horta, the capital of Faial, and trans-Atlantic stopover for hundreds of years. Gilana was amongst the rest of the boats in the harbour to the right. The climatology here is very mild, never exceeding 33C max or 15C min.


After 18 days at sea, we found the Azores to be the most beautiful islands we have visited. Its no wonder we met a few ex-pat South Africans settling down here. It reminds me of Cape Town in the green season, or a little bit of Switzerland. See for yourself. Here Gilana lies in the marina, while Laura and I hose down on a hot day.

As we were in Horta, we had to make the obligatory pilgrimage to "Cafe Sport" which is famous as a meeting place of yachtsmen and sailors through the ages, and also for Scrimshaw (Whalebone and tooth carving.)


We went for many walks through the town of Horta, We took some photos of the architecture. The municipal building which contains amongst other administrative departments, a museum with a fascinating display of models made from the pith of fig tree branches. The Franciscans, Jesuits, Catholics, and numerous others had a hand in the architecture of the islands.

We hired a little car, (they are all little here) and went for a drive around the island. This was taken on the road up to the crater called the "Caldeira". Most of the island that is in excess of 100m Alt. is beyond the salt spray, the vegetation is lush and verdant.


Left. Scooters are a preferred mode of transport. Right. Pico the island closest to Faial a mere 5 miles away, boasts the highest terrain in the Azores. The extinct volcano towers 2350 metres above sea level. It is capped with snow in winter. Here viewed from Faial, it's cloud shrouded shoulders indicate wind.


Left. Two more extinct cones on Faial. Right and below. Looking down into the crater of this extinct volcano, one was confused by the lack of man made objects and the distance, so that judging the depth of the crater was almost impossible. The lip of the crater is at 1000m Alt and it is 400m deep.



Edna at the lip of the crater. (tempting) and cow at the lip of the bath.

A Church in typical black-on-white style.



At the Western end of Faial, in 1956/7 the volcano "Ponta dos Capelinhos" erupted for nearly two years. The village was smothered in ashes and pyroclastic flow. The lighthouse tower extends up from the podium, which was three storeys high, only half of the top storey remains above ground. A view westward from the top of the tower shows the new headland extending past the old. The staircase is inside the tower. The headland shows geologically immature features, freshly collapsed ridges and cracks in strata.

Jack goes Crab-hunting on the rocks


Mike & Liz doing our mural, we were not feeling particularly "Artsy" so just the name and date will do.





The harbour walls of Horta are world famous for the thousands of murals left by visiting yachts over the years. It is not certain when the practice started but it is rumoured that it is unlucky to depart without leaving your mark. We have photographed many paintings, some of friends, like Cid and Junia here, some unknown, but of artistic merit.