Puck Drop! / Making Our Mark

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.

Just ONE wall in Horta with all the murals over the years (there are several such adorned walls).
The spot I chose with my white background painted and drying (red arrow).
Done! I actually enjoyed the process and found it meditative—reflecting on the passage as I painted.
In good company.
Just gotta have a selfie in this situation!

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.

I think that bananas are only bad luck if they are outside of you.

This “Featured Image” for the post is from our sail from Horta to Ponta Delgada. The volcano Pico is to the left and (obviously) the sunset to the right.

5 thoughts on “Puck Drop! / Making Our Mark

  1. You have made your mark in the world.

    Dan Coate – performing vandalism in multiple hemispheres.

  2. Fair winds my friend! Thanks for the update and I’m thrilled you chose to create your mural. It would be a shame to allow a lack of 4th grade art supplies… or bananas, bring dark skies to your corner of the globe! Onward… K

  3. Dan, Fairwinds and following seas my friend. Hope your voyage to Lisbon is safe and and those awaiting your arrival also arrived safe. Peace to you.

  4. That’s probably the origin story for the bad-luck bananas: one sailer, no bananas, says to the other sailer, “Bananas are bad luck on board. But we can eat them and there won’t be any bananas or bad luck!” He laughed all the way to Horta.

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