Saturday, 13 June 2015

Leaving Horta

The work on the rudder went well, and I made two halves that I could epoxy around the straightened steel post:

The workshop was a very pleasant place to be working. Sylvia would always run rather than walk, everywhere. Full of energy. She ran the office, and created the finer bits of woodwork. Her Dad usually worked in the building next door, slicing trees. Her mother, a 60 odd year old in a broad-brimmed straw hat worked in the area between, shoving beams through a thicknesser and planer. I once looked up and saw her pull a 10-12' beam 2" thick and 2' wide from the thicknesser, swing it round and shove the other side in. I think I'd have struggled to lift it. And here's a thing I found in a corner of the workshop, something Sylvia's Dad made in his spare time - a go-cart made from a cast iron bath!

On my last day at the workshop, I got a small pile of money from the hole in the wall to pay for all the use of all these tools and the space, and the help Sylvia's Dad have given me using his moulding machine to cut the round groove to take the steel work. But they wouldn't accept more than 20 euros!

Back at the boat, I glued the two halves of rudder round the post, with a layer of double diagonal glass in the middle. I then laminated it, painted it with hi-build epoxy, and once that was dry, put it into a black plastic bag and lay it in the sun to post-cure the epoxy.

I had time while the epoxy was hardening to stock up with grub. What a selection available here, and cheap, compared to Bermuda and the Bahamas! There was a large bag of strawberries too, but they tasted too good for their own good, and they didn't make it back to the boat.

I figured one thing Sylvia and her parents didn't have at the workshop was a decent brush and shovel, so I returned one last time to give them a present and show my appreciation of their kindness. Sylvia was delighted, and her mother stood in the doorway of the workshop in her straw hat blowing me kisses as I made my way out of the yard.

Sure, there are grand views in Faial, like the top of the volcano in the middle of the island - an 8 mile walk from the boat:

but it's the people I'll remember most fondly.

So, the forecast is fine, the rudder is re-built, food and water is loaded, and tomorrow morning, I lift the anchor and set off on the final leg of this journey. This last island has proved to be one of the most memorable of the whole trip. I'll keep my Azores pilot guide, and I hope to make it back here some time.

1 comment:

  1. Another warming story!
    Makes people want to get out there and Sail cruise!