Sailing brings some romantic images to my mind: A peaceful slow journey mainly spent on the open ocean working with the elements. But I guess this is not quite what it truly is.
Have you ever been on a sailing boat? Are you maybe a sailor yourself? Oh, how I would love to hear your stories! Please share some in the comments to give us an idea of this spirit.
If you are not a sailor, you can sniff some sailor’s atmosphere in the marina of Horta in Faial in the Azores and hopefully here in my story. Horta is where every sailor, who crosses the Atlantic ocean or is on a round the world sailing tour, makes a stopover. Every sailor.
They stock up on things, take care of repairs, and above all enjoy a beer or two and share their adventure-filled stories with fellow sailors.
They preferably do so in Peter Café Sport – a legendary restaurant world famous amongst generations of sailors and beyond. It was founded more than a hundred years ago in 1918 by the grandfather of today’s owner in third generation José Azevedo and sits right opposite the marina. Peter Cafe Sport is not only a meeting point, bar and restaurant but also a mailbox for the sailors and these days a scrimshaw museum. Scrimshaw is the term for a carving art made by seafarers and seamen. They used bones and teeth of animals to do so. I tell you more about it in another story. So much to share with you still from the Azores…
In the marina itself you find all sorts of yachts, some are very luxurious and others more adventurous. If you see one of those multimillion dollar yachts, google its name and easily find out who it belongs. Something fun to do while enjoying your lunch at Peter’s, I think.
Somewhen a seafarer must have started what has become a tradition. A must, actually. Every sailor paints something onto the concrete of the marina. It is not only the quay wall anymore, but the ground, stairs, the walls leading up to the road, even walls around the ferry terminal. Everything basically that is made of concrete and can be painted on :0).
There are hundreds of them and new ones originate almost daily. You will find art in progress with paint pots and brushes waiting for the sailor to return from his or her tours in town. And you may well spend hours admiring the existing ones and wondering what the creator(s) experienced on their adventures sailing the world’s oceans. You can only imagine.
Some of these paintings are loosing the colour and will be overpainted one day. For now, they still narrate us from sailors who visited Horta way back in 2000 or already three times. Does La Marie Ponponniere pass for a fourth time? Who knows.
Itchy feet to go sailing now? Wouldn’t it be awesome? Well, let’s keep on dreaming and imagining and looking for someone around us who exactly knows the feeling!
Please share your sailing stories in the comments, so that we can grasp some of the wonder and myth. Thank you heaps!