Location: Horta, Azores

Beatenberg’s “Rafael” took me back to my South African roots this morning as I walked past Tom, bopping away, making pancakes in the galley this morning. He’s an interesting cabin mate, kiwi as they come, but all about South African music. This suits me, though, Saffa as they come, and big into New Zealand films, particularly The Hunt For The Wilderpeople, an all-time favorite. The back and forth of cultures came out today as I played the same film for our un-inducted crew, who have now been brought up to speed on the Ricky Baker references always made in flawless New Zealand accents by those already in the know.

The scents from Tom’s busy galley made my job of waking everybody up far easier. A cooked breakfast is a major appreciation after a long passage of help-yourself brekkies! And these particular pancakes were, in fact, the best that Anna (who doesn’t like pancakes) had ever had! Ceci (aka Chickpea) asked what the day’s plan of attack would be. We learned that we were to have our brains tickled with a covid test and would potentially be transported by a local police launch….huge anticipation. Leoni’s leadership class was headed up by Darius today, where the class discussed ways of accomodating each other’s needs and finding ways to make the most of our time together while waiting for Azorian entry formalities to begin. After a snappy lunch, we loaded up into a bus (the police launch was predisposed) and made our way around Porto da Horta to get our tests done. This gave us our first real taste of this new country. What stuck out for me was that everybody I saw strolling about their day looked like the European travelers you would expect to see in other far-off parts of the world, based only on their hiking boots, khaki track pants, brightly colored raincoats, and hulking backpacks. The interesting thing, though, is that they were probably locals, or simply travelers from the European mainland, a stone’s throw away and far more at home here than anywhere else previously spotted. Driving through the classic European streets of narrow cobblestone roads and whitewashed walls topped by orange tiled roofs definitely whet my appetite for the place. As soon as we receive our results, we’ll be off on some major jaunts about the place. A group scheduling meeting with Tom this morning also had us settling on ways to best fill our time here. Stay tuned for updates on these adventures as they happen. Some snippets from the discussion, however, include great hikes, lava tubes, and plenty of time to just take it all in.

The afternoon brought an intro to Navigation Master during seamanship, which will carry us through to the end of the trip. The rest of the day was spent making pizza for dinner, checking eye-lids for leaks, and with that aforementioned screening of Hunt for the Wilderpeople. As I write this, a heated discussion about the demise of Harry Potter’s parents breaks out in the chart house. Where was Dumbledore, and what was the Ministry of Magic doing at the time, and is Godrick’s Hollow possibly in New Zealand?

For squeeze, when do you feel most alive?

1. Ines and Ceci at the rails, taking it in
2. Freddie showing Ben how to make a rope grommet
3. Alejandro waiting for dishes to dry.
4. Dylan pleased to be distracted by a camera while gophering
5. The deckie mob, l-to-r, Keally, Alexa Wyatt, Darius, and Josh
6. Cam can’t believe his photo is being taken while sweeping under a bench.
7. Rocco and Anna
8. Horta from the deck, so close yet so far
9. Kayleigh means business when cleaning the salon
10. James enjoying a solitary moment once his cleanup job is done.
11. The stewards, l-to-r, Jack, Courtney, Kayleigh, and Savanna
12. Brianne checking her chartwork
13. Fitz gophering