After a great prize giving at the Volcano centre in Faial the ARC Europe fleet set sail for a week of cruising the Azorean archipelago, with stop overs in Terceira, San Miguel and Santa Maria.
In Terceira we all celebrated Cecile’s birthday at the yacht club with an amazing meal and a very pink cake. There was a trip to see traditional bull running which was well attended. The bull is tethered on a length of rope about 100 feet long and held by a group of farmers, local acrobats tease the bull and make it give chase it’s a bit of a crazy session but quite a social event with locals opening there walled gardens for spectators, many of whom were treated to beer and pork sandwiches. The bull running makes 7% of the tourist income on the island.
On Sunday a guided walking tour took place around the city and was enjoyed by all.
Next was the island of Sao Miguel we had over 60 people take part in a night of ten pin bowling match which was followed the next day by a half day coach tour of the island seeing the volcano crater and some beautiful scenery. The tour guide explained that you can do anything with the land on San Miguel so long as it is to do with cattle.
Onto Santa Maria where we were joined for our farewell dinner by Dr Filipe Frais representative of the tourist board and served a fantastic buffet of local food and wine.
Sadly Saturday 8th was departure day as the 14 yachts all lined for the start, Mad Monkey was first over the line closely followed by Amanda and the Ocean Magic a gentle northerly breeze of 10-15 knots took the yachts gracefully East heading for their final destination of Lagos.
After the start a lot of the yachts called over the radio to thank rally control for all their efforts and help throughout the stop overs and rally so far.
Salamander was the only yacht on the start to be heading off to the Uk and said fond farewells to the rest of fleet promising that they will be back on ARC Europe next year.