29th March

We start the day in Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel, the largest in the Azores archipelago.

Our passage is due to be from here to Southampton. We spend the day motoring about 12 miles along the south coast and anchoring in the lee of the small island of LLheu da Vila, just offshore of Vila Franco do Campo.

The Island is a nature reserve with strict rules about fishing and the use of outboard motors. About 20 of the ship’s crew went to the island to preserve the peace and quiet, also to stay on the right side of the law, in which we did so by paddling there in the DOTI boat. Several spare paddles were found so almost everyone could do their bit, and of course, there was much mirth and banter from on board watching the first run ashore and the initial, somewhat unsynchronised, attempts at making forward progress in something approaching a straight line. Not an easy task with the wind and current, but little mercy was shown by those smugly observing from the rail. After a couple of runs a more coordinated effort was mastered.

If the weather remains calm we intend to stay here at anchor overnight and return to Ponta Delgada in the morning.

FS Watch