Horta


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Horta has long been a stopover for ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Explorers and settlers arrived in the 15th century, followed by trading ships in the 16th through 19th centuries, and most recently, ocean-crossing pleasure craft. To accommodate the increasing numbers of these smaller boats, a large 300-slip marina was constructed in 1986. It is a tradition for visiting boaters to paint a mural celebrating their trip, and every flat surface in the vicinity of the marine is covered in them.

On our second day in Horta, we refueled in the morning and were cleared to come ashore with negative COVID test results. We spent the afternoon making our traditional exploratory walk of a new town. Horta is charming, full of centuries-old buildings lining the hillsides and great views back to the harbour. And of course, we spent time checking out the vast number of boat murals around the marina.

Below are highlights from May 7th, 2021. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Fuel Truck
We can’t go ashore yet, but we can fuel without doing that. A fuel truck arrived first thing this morning for our scheduled fueling. The driver setup a perimeter around the truck and the police arrived to inspect the site before fueling could begin.
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Bravo Flag
Hoisting a red ‘Bravo’ flag to indicate we are fueling.
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Lowering Q Flag
Lowering our Q (quarantine) flag. We’d received James’ negative test result last night and Jennifer’s shortly before we started fueling, so were cleared to come ashore. Because we are coming from Ireland, also in the EU but not a Schengen country, we only needed immigration clearance. The boat was already in the EU customs zone, and Spitfire can enter on his EU Pet Passport.
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Fuel Sample
The fueling in Horta was super-efficient—we took on 1,113 gallons (4,216 l) of diesel in just over an hour. We hadn’t drained the aft bladders on the run from Dublin, so only needed to fill the main tanks and the forward bladder. After the job was done, we received a sample for testing.
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Cranes
Cargo cranes parked at the port of Horta, viewed on a walk through town now that we’re cleared to come ashore.
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Police Boat
Modern Maritime Police RIB at the port of Horta.
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Dirona
Dirona moored on the commercial dock at the port of Horta. The bollards are spaced widely apart, so we are using our long 75-ft lines to reach them. The stern line is just visible running to the aft bollard.
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Maritime Police
The Horta Maritime Police building.
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Peter Cafe Sport
Horta has long been a stopover for ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean for centuries. And for the past century, Peter Cafe Sport has been a traditional watering-hole for visiting boaters. The saying goes “If you sail to Horta and you don’t visit Peter’s, you have not actually been to Horta” (similar to not being able to say you’ve been to Newfoundland unless you’ve seen a moose :-) ).
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Memorabilia
The walls and ceilings of Peter Cafe Sport are packed with memorabilia from visiting boats. The large carved eagle above the bar is from an American whaler. Horta was a major whaling station until the 1980s.
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Rua Vasco da Gama Angustias
Pastel-painted historic buildings facing the harbour along Horta’s Rua Vasco da Gama Angustias.
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Fort of Santa Cruz
The ruins of the Fort of Santa Cruz, built in the 16th century to protect against attacks by pirates targeting the valuable cargo of ships returning from Africa, India and Brazil.
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Horta Marina
Looking across the Horta marina to the harbour. Dirona is visible in the distance at center on the commercial dock.
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Marina Office
The Horta Marina office building, a welcome sight for weary boaters.
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Murals
It is a tradition for visiting boaters to paint a mural celebrating their trip, and every flat surface in the vicinity of the marine is covered in them. These are some of the literally thousands of murals we saw.
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Superted V
We were super-excited to spot the mural painted by our friends Matt and Jean Findlay on Superted V. We first met Jean and Matt in 2014 on their Beneteau 57 Superted V on Stewart Island in southern New Zealand and crossed paths an amazing number of times after, including in Cape Town. They now live near Plymouth, UK, where we visited them in 2017 while in Falmouth.
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Semano Do Mar
Some of the boat murals in Horta are amazing, such as this one for the boat Semano Do Mar.
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Zarifa
Another impressive boat mural at Horta for the boat Zarifa.
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Syllogic
The crew of Syllogic was in Horta in 2000, 2004, and 2005, and later in 2008, 2010 and 2015.
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Ferries
Ferry departing the Horta inter-island ferry dock and cruise terminal.
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Horta
Horta sign outside the ferry dock and cruise terminal. A steady rain has started falling, but we’re having a great time touring through town.
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Rua Juiz Macedo
Historic stone building along Rua Juiz Macedo in Horta.
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Rua da Conceicao
Looking north along Rua da Conceicao.
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Torre do Relogio
Torre do Relogio (clock tower) was built in the 18th century as part of a 15th-century church and also to function as the town clock.
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Jardim Florencio Terra
The beautiful Jardim Florencio Terra, one of the oldest gardens on the island, was created in 1857 as a tribute to the Horta-born writer and poet.
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Dragon Tree
A spectacular Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco) in the Jardim Florencio Terra. The species is protected by law.
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Imperio dos Nobres
The church Imperio dos Nobres, erected in 1760 memory of the 1672 eruption of Cabeco do Fogo on the island of Faial.
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Sociedade Amor da Patria
This striking Art Deco building was completed in 1934 for the private club Sociedade Amor da Patria, a Masonic society founded in Horta in 1859.
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Car Park
Attractive wood face on a car park in Horta.
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Convent of Carmo
The former Convent of Carmo, built in the 17th century, was one of several convents on the island.
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Cloister
The vaulted archways of the cloister of the former Convent of Carmo. The convent and its grounds are scheduled to be renovated into a hotel.
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Port of Horta
View to the port of Horta from Igreja do Carmo. Dirona is just visible along the far wall in the distance, directly above the chimney in the foreground.
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Rua Dr. Neves
Cobblestones and decorated sidewalk, a common sight in Horta, along Rua Dr. Neves.
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Legislative Assembly
The Legislative Assembly of the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, meets in this purpose-built complex completed in 1990.
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Observatory
The Prince Albert of Monaco Meteorological Observatory, that we saw from the water coming into Horta yesterday. Prince Albert funded the construction so scientists could study the atmospheric pressure of the Azores zone and its wide impact on the climate in the Atlantic. The station was completed in 1915 and connected via pre-existing underwater telegraph cables to major European centers and Washington.
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Port from Observatory
Looking back to the port of Horta from the Prince Albert of Monaco Meteorological Observatory grounds. Dirona is roughly at the center of the picture.
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Horta from Observatory
View to Horta from the Prince Albert of Monaco Meteorological Observatory grounds.
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Monte da Guia
The peninsula Monte da Guia is accessible on walking trails with fabulous views in all directions. Our agent, Delcio Silva of Bensaude Shipping Agents, took us on a drive up there en route back from the airport yesterday and we plan to hike up there tomorrow.
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Port Gate
The port of Horta is a secure area, so we need to be registered with the security office to come and go.
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Berth View
View at our berth on the commercial dock in Horta (clockwise from top left: forward, aft, starboard, and port). Some boat murals have been painted here too, visible in the bottom right image.
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Dusk
Dusk looking across the harbour to Horta, with the Fort of Santa Cruz visible at right.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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