With a high probability that the weather would continue in its current form of refusing to perform as predicted, refuelling was a must if we were to arrive in La Rochelle, France, on time to meet with our friends Anne and Cliff.
Winds and sea conditions having significantly abated over – night, after the first restful sleep in weeks, the following morning saw us up anchor and motor around to the Marina Lajes das Flores.
Sights along the way:
Here we discovered that all write ups were correct.
This was easily the worst anchorage encountered to date. Small, poorly designed, little area for manoeuvring, and not for large boats constant rolling swells entered, battering all within. Change of tide was the worst, as boats were forcefully sent rocking and rolling in a higgledy piggledy manner. (this link gives an idea of the marina set up: www.superyachts.com/marinas/marina-lajes-das-flores-2440/)
One evening, I remained on board whilst Bob joined some of the other cruisers for a drink. After a period of relative calm, all hell broke loose. Racing out I encountered upheaval taking place as fenders popped, pontoons buckled and mooring lines broke left, right and centre. Conditions dangerous, more than I could handle safely alone off I traversed to find help. Drinks and chat rapidly concluded as men raced hither and thither to return to their boats. This was part of what sailing was about as men with their brute strength worked together to ensure the community’s water homes were once more safe. In all, we lost three brand new mooring lines and a few old during our three day stay.
This was an island one would only wish to visit in perfect weather. In winter massive chilling storms regularly pass through. Only a few short weeks at the height of summer would provide the sailor with the most opportune window. As much as we would love to return for exploration, unless the marina is significantly improved this is most unlikely.