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Today was the first day we were truly cut loose on the islandfor a full day, that is. A seven-thirty wakeup was followed by an optional granola breakfast. I indulged. However, many were eager to leave the boat and get breakfast on their own. After breakfast, I got some coffee and exchanged dollars for euros. The banks were closed yesterday by the time we were allowed onshore. Weather blessed us today as well. We saw very little rain. While I have not asked the group, I do not believe anyone took the ferry to tomorrow’s destinationPico. I spent my morning wandering, collecting laundry, and eating the freshest foods I could find. Peaches, nectarines, and plums were a more fruitful purchase than much else available.

I’ve included a map of the island we are currently at. We are docked at the Horta Marina. The leftmost point on the map is a lighthouse, reconstructed since the damage sustained in the last volcanic eruption. Several others and I took the liberty of visiting. The cliffs were quite dramatic, sheer drops topped in volcanic ash. The lava rock is quite literally everywhere. It makes up the entirety of the ground composition. Below the lighthouse, we found a small caf in a concrete environment more resonate than maybe anywhere I’ve ever experienced. This was the reconstructed lighthouse’s foundation.

From the lighthouse, I returned to Horta to eat at ‘Restaurante Athltico.’ I enjoyed a steak there the night prior in their calmingly garden-esque patio. Due to limited restaurant availability in Horta, we made the easy decision to return to Athltico. I had naively, the night prior, missed their entire fish selection, which is both not on the menu and freshly caught. I had a delicious serving of the Choupagrilled. I have also been enjoying sparkling water, which is obviously not an everyday commodity in this boat life. At the end of dinner, I witnessed a sailing couple interviewing a young lady at their table, adjacent to ours. Shoutout ‘Ryan and Sophie Sailing’ for entertaining a brief sailing conversation, of which I will always indulge.

Last to include, and I’ve nearly forgotten, but all of the sidewalks around Horta are ornately laid with lava stone of any number of imaginable designs. It has made for a truly enjoyable experience walking through town. That, coupled with the uncountable red-tiled roofs, has given us all a great new visual experience. If it was not previously mentioned, this is the entire crew and staff’s first visit to the Azores.

Love and miss you all family and friends,

Spencer Daniel