With a delayed start from Bermuda, due to tropical storm Ana, formed ahead of the Atlantic hurricane season, the fleet arrival in Horta has been a bit different to previous years. However, the ARC Europe fleet is now complete in the Azores with the last boat, MAKA arriving this morning at dawn.
The health services in Faial are doing a great job coping with the current pandemic, but really are working at full capacity with the number of crew arriving by sea, as well as the increase of tourist traffic in the last week or two arriving by air. In many instances crew & tourists require an arrival test, and then tests 6 and 12 days later.
On arrival, the boats and their crews must stay at anchor until PCR tests are done and a negative result is received. However, the emblematic and world known Peter’s Cafe Sport continues welcoming yachts, by delivering food and goods in a COVID-secure manner. Horta Marina has also adapted and been coping exceptionally since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago; adapting to protocols and assisting boats on arrival the best way possible.
Several crew dinners with reduced numbers, hosted by World Cruising Club, took place at the Hot Rocks Restaurant with Skippers being awarded a welcome plaque by the Azores Tourism Board.
Some ARC Europe boats typically begin to say their goodbyes to the fleet in the Azores to head north to the UK and other Northern European regions, to return to work or simply be home for the Summer time. The remainder stay on the Rally route, within the archipelago and then onto mainland Portugal.