The Eastern Atlantic Islands of The Azores, lies at just far enough north to catch the prevailing SW wind and carry sailing ships towards Europe and the English Channel. They have been a staging posts for square rig sailors and yachtsmen through the centuries, these mountainous island landfalls with lush vegetation are a welcome reward for any ocean passage, whether it is a short one from Europe or the Canaries or a Trans Atlantic from the Caribbean or Bemuda.
There is more to becoming a blue water sailor than swapping oilskins for shorts, but a winter suntan certainly helps. Ocean sailors happily adapt to a watch routine and the constant motion of the ship day and night. Experience all the ships moods from glassy calms to white capped swells launching flying fish from crest to crest.
The Azores has welcomed Ocean travellers and sailors for centuries, nowadays you can have a modern adventure sailing holiday on our traditional sailing ships. It is a unique place and will bring out the explorer in you. The ports on each island are fairly small and with ocean swell it is often too wearing on a wooden ship to be alongside a stone quay for long. Therefore the majority of stops will be anchorages so you need to be fairly agile with a sense of adventure for these voyages. Sea passages between islands like Sao Miguel and Pico are nearly 150 miles so you will be doing some night passages and watch keeping.
Fishing, green tourism and whale watching are an important part of their economy today . Whale hunting was historically a major source of income in the Azores. The local island communities continue to reap the benefits of being on the migration trail but now they have turned to whale watching replacing their bloodier past. A tall ship has a great advantage over island boats for cetacean spotting – A ‘crows nest’ vantage point. If you are brave enough to climb to the Royal yard (or a platform lower down) we challenge you to resist that tempting “thar she blows, Captain Ahab”
The Azores have been a staging post for sailors for centuries and several of our vessels are carrying on that tradition, as they stop in Horta or Ponta Delgada for a crew change (Sometimes other ports are used.). Why not sail to the Azores on a tall ship and combine with a holiday ashore in the Azores. Alternatively you could plan to arrive a few days early and then sail back from the Azores to Europe. Ships that regularly use the Azores as a staging post as they head from Southern Hemisphere, Caribbean or Mediterranean, Oosterschelde, Tenacious, Eye of the Wind, Grayhound.