Any sailor whose been to Horta or anyone who has researched sailing there has seen or heard of the tradition of painting a mural on the seawall in Horta Harbor celebrating the accomplishment.
Frankly, being a singlehander with lots going on, I wasn’t motivated to do it. It seemed like one more thing that someone else was telling me what to do (I don’t react so well to things like that). However, my perception changed when I heard it was bad luck to not paint a mural.
Still, seeing all the other murals put my accomplishment in perspective. While I’m happy with what I’ve done, lots of others have done it. However, if I could somehow filter through all the yachtsmen who have done it singlehanded, in a 31’ boat, and without using the motor—I’m sure the list would be a lot shorter. Regardless, there’s a lot of wisdom in the phrase, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I’m happy for Hazel and me, and what we are doing and how we have done it.
One funny thing is that when I acquired Hazel James in 2017, I acquired her from the estate of the previous owner…unfortunately, he had passed away. Therefore, I never had the chance to talk to him about her history. Whenever I walked the walls in Horta, I was scanning murals just in case I saw Hazel’s name from the past—no such luck.
Enough about the past. In half an hour, I will slip Hazel’s lines and depart Ponta Delgada for Lisboa (Lisbon). I was back-and-forth on departing today or waiting a few days.
There’s a gale brewing in southern Biscay Bay, north of where we plan to sail and we will get some of the effects of it—I’d say some winds in the mid 20 knots with gusts to the low 30s. Not great but nothing crazy either. However, the wind direction gives me pause. I need to make an overall course of about 85 degrees (true) in order to make Lisbon (due east is 90 degrees). The wind is to vary from north-northwest to northeast during my sailing. It would be much better if it were from the west or south but we can’t have everything. However, as I looked at departing in several days instead of today, although the gale would relax and give me more mild winds, the wind direction will be a bit more from the east (bad)—so, I’m departing today.
Please keep an eye out for my upcoming satellite micro-posts on the home page of the blog.
Wish me Fair Winds and Following Seas! Thanks for all your support.
PS: In the spirit of the Hazel’s Horta mural and as much good luck as possible, I ate all the bananas on board this morning.