We are back in Sao Miguel. The spinnaker that was supposed to arrive the first time we were here is still nowhere to be seen. We start tracing it as it is now a week late according to the tracking info. It appears it got to Lisbon in 24 hours and then it has spent a few weeks on a ship. It seems to have cruised far and wide before ending up in Sao Miguel. Good job we didn’t continue to Lagos. The spares we had ordered from Sam for the steering a week ago actually arrived on the same day. This was good as we needed these packages before we could lift out to change anodes and anti foul.
Ethan inside the spinnaker box
We lifted out on Tuesday morning and went back in on Wednesday afternoon. The boys helped, no they really did! They helped clean the propeller and also anti foul. Ethan did a good impression of a smurf with his head protection of my shoe protectors from bowling. We had finished by mid afternoon and headed off to the hotel Lince for our night of luxury. I didn't fancy staying on the boat in the props which were strapped together using our ropes and a bit of wood found lying around the yard.
Our hotel was a short walk laden down with clothes and computers to make use of wifi. On check in we were asked for passports. I hadn't thought of this and the receptionist was not happy when we explained they were on a boat out of the water with no ladder to get aboard to retrieve them. We had borrowed Thomas the guy doing the steerings ladder and this was now locked as instructed, but we didn't have the key. She finally accepted me emailing the copies I had scanned before we left in case we ever lost them. Bizarrely Russell had to go back and get his trousers as I had forgotten to pack them. I noticed this early on so whilst we went for a swim he was finding a step ladder and clamoring aboard. I said not to get the passports now as it would only confuse matters.
We had paid £108 for a room inc dinner and breakfast. It was a 4star conference hotel and had a pool which was indoor and outdoor. This was factually accurate as it was the same pool which half was in and half out. They boys enjoyed the jacuzzi more than the pool as it was not the warmest in history.
We then headed up to the room for a bubble bath and a dose of tv. Unlike uk hotels there was hundreds of channels most English speaking. We found police academy and all sat on the bed staring at a black box. We ignored the sea view from our window!
Dinnerwas a buffet which was ok . The boys burger and chips off the kids menu was a relief. They didn't fancy parrot fish but it was actually very nice. Given we swam with these a lot it was odd eating them.
We enjoyed breakfast the next morning another swim and more Internet. Russ headed off to use up the last of the anti fouling and finish some other jobs.
It seemed our steering had been more trouble for Thomas than expected. The bearings in the wheel did not want to come out so he and his friend with a bigger machine had had to use more force. This broke the thread to screw it back to the wheel so they had to make a new one. This turned out to be a bit too long on fitting as they didn't have the boat to hand when making and then it had to be made the right size. This resulted the steering being fixed 5 mins before our lift in. Thomas charged us 120 euro for fixing the bit plus 50 euro for pressure washing. He thought we would be cross , but this seemed fine to us given the work involved and we were sort of stuck without it. Also it was the same cost as one tin of antifouling and we needed two.
We were back in the water and moored up by 5pm. The bill for lift out and ten days berthing was 300 euro. Not bad!
We spent the next few days catching up on school. We visited the nearby castle / fort and looked at the museum full of guns and some war vehicles. We spent a couple of afternoons at the mall buying anew DVD player as the second one had now died too. We treated ourselves to sky fall at €20 for fathers day plus other DVDs which for the first time seemed to be reasonably priced, especially some Disney ones at buy one get one free.
We enjoyed daily trips to the ice cream stall. The boys went on the Segway and the gokarts. We went to the open air pool and oli and Ethan dived off the high diving board. Very impressed I was too scared to jump. Also the place was full of teenagers and we had to wonder as they jumped in their skinny bikinis at how they stayed on. I think I was the only one in a one piece. I didn't want to be the old bird standing at the top with everyone looking at me.
Now this next bit is not politically correct and I know you should not laugh but we couldn't help it. There was a man who was a dwarf. He jumped from the high board, and in Ethan's words it was the funniest thing he had ever seen. It looked like someone had dropped an overgrown baby. He seemed to be enjoying himself surrounded by young girls in bikinis. He only came up to their bottoms. It started me thinking how they cope with height restrictions? How do they cope with theme park rides.
We hired a car from Carlos ( that really was his name) for 30 euro a day and then got stung for 9 euro per day insurance which left us 900 excess should we damage it. This time we had a little Suzuki. Annoyingly the boys have turned their attention to which car we will have when we get back and now every car we see they ask if we are going to get one.
The island is volcanic and full of bubbling stuff.
Terra Nostra park, Furnas, Ponta Delgada
There is a fee of 5 euro to go into the Terra Nostra Garden Park, but it's worth it. You can rent a towel for 2 euro at the entrance.
I have never been to a garden where you can swim in hot pools. The water is a natural fed spring and the metals in the water trun you orange. Do not wear your best costume - you have been warned!
We then travelled a few miles and saw some rather smelly bubling pools.
We went to a Science
People put food into these holes and cover with dust to cook food using the heat from the earth.
The net day we went for another day of sight seeing. They take religion very seriously here.
We visited a tea planation and learnt how tea was made.
We were a little surprised when this pool was freezing cold.
The boys enjoying some other modes of transport along the prom.
The military museum. Lots of guns....
It was time to leave for the second time. We filled up with fuel, every container, this included our spare water one as one of the fuel cans started to leak. The UV had obviously weakened the plastic. We had to act quickly and had to sacrifice our washing up bowl in the process. I guess better it did it on the concrete dock than our teak decks!