EW's 50th High School Reunion
I Have Been Liebster Awarded! (Thank you, Lynn)

Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

Edouard 15.50 9.16

 

Seriously? All last summer I haunted this NOAA website, worried about Hurricanes in St. Thomas – and now we’re stalked by Edouard?

Grrr. While we adore the Azores (you probably figured that out, already) the locals have continually apologized for the unseasonable rainy weather, and we are once again stuck in a marina waiting out wind and waves. Or that’s what I thought yesterday. In reality, we may get some wind on Monday, but not only of the 34 knot variety – no hurricane strength -- and there’s only 5% chance of that. EW and I are ready to be off the dock so we’ll be sailing a few miles down the coast to Franca do Campo. We can anchor in that bay, near the marina there and scoot into there if we need to. We’re getting good at that in the Azores.

IMG_5021This anchorage has been on my top ten list since we planned to cruise these islands. There is a little islet near the town (see left). One anchors just outside on a day stop and swims or rows in to “the best natural swimming hole in the Azores”. How can we miss it?  The plan is to finally leave the marina in the city today or tomorrow, anchor off the town and visit the little island on Saturday. Then, depending on the weather, we will tour a bit on that end of the island before heading to Santa Maria – the last of the Azorean islands for this cruise.

While here in Sao Miguel, EW and I took the minibus (0.35 Euro per person) to the big grocery store where we can get things like real mozzarella and parmesan cheese, motor oil for La Luna, and salad dressing. (They don’t use salad dressing in the Azores, offering oil and vinegar with every salad made.) In honor of EW’s 50th reunion and the Bills trouncing of the Dolphins, we had decided to have Buffalo Chicken Wings and for that one needs blue cheese dressing. It wasn’t good blue cheese dressing, but the wings were great. (We served them with carrots and cucumbers, because they don’t usually have celery here, either.)

Oh, hey! You haven’t heard about my most recent blond moment. It’s a biggie. Our American neighbors asked us how close we were to our 90 day limit, and how we were going to handle it. I, however was clueless. “What 90 day limit?” It seems that almost all of the EU countries, including Portugal, are part of the Schengen Agreement. They allow Americans and others to visit without a visa for 90 days in a six month period. I thought we had 180 days in the EU. Turns out we have 90, ending on October 4th. Oops.  Evidently, this is a fairly new issue and one that I missed because I was relying on research undertaken when we planned to cross in 2013. Big oops.

We think we may be able to get a 90 day extension. Three immigration officers told us we could, but won’t do it until we are within a few days of our October 4 deadline. Fingers crossed that we can get this done in Santa Maria (if Edouard allows us to go there) or the Canaries. We’ve decided not to worry about it. We will absolutely meet with immigration and talk with them as not doing anything will result in higher penalties. Part of  the issue, of course, is that we crossed Morocco, Senegal, and Gambia off the cruising route, which would have given us time outside of the EU. In reality, we just liked the Azores too much to leave until we were done.

IMG_4868While we were wandering side streets looking for the immigration office, I saw a guard sitting inside a small doorway at City Hall.  (That’s City Hall, above.) The guard’s post was the entrance to the bell tower and one can climb to the top at no charge. How cool is that? Even better, they play organ music with speakers at every level. Creepy. 

Yes, EW did say, “Sanctuary! Sanctuary!”

The stairs freaked me out as the stone slabs had broken at the edges creating open risers. I’m used to that for Maine porches and camp steps, not so much when climbing a stone tower accompanied by creepy organ music. I kept waiting for them to collapse. The last bit of the climb was inside a tiny circular stairway – so tiny that EW’s backpack and he nearly didn’t fit.  The view was awesome! This is the marina, looking toward where we will sail next; just around this point for a distance of 12 miles.

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IMG_5647Even in the Azores’ most populated island and largest city, we are still very close to country, pastures, and cows.

 

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IMG_5673 And finally, in this potpourri of a  post. I cut EW’s  hair today for the  third time since    we left Maine in  2010. The first  time, I used  scissors only and  cut his hair on the  beach in the  Bahamas. The  second time, at  his express  request, I used  the clippers he  had purchased  when left alone in  a mall in Puerto  Rico. It was  horrible. I wrote a  post about it, and Favorite visited shortly afterward. He looked at his dad, he looked at me, and he said, “The photos didn’t do this haircut justice. It’s the worst haircut I’ve ever seen.”

EW is a brave man and he agreed that I should try again, using scissors for the cut and  the trimmer just for his neck. This is not a horrible cut, though I hope to do better next time. There was one issue however. The electric clippers look harmless and as I was doing his neck I thought I’d just touch up a long spot in the back.

It didn’t help that I laughed so hard I cried. So glad this man is a good sport. Except for the spot, he likes the cut OK.

 

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So, we’re off  to Franca du Campo.

And then to Santa Maria. We’ll let you know if we end up in an Azorean jail.

EW already has a prison haircut.

Otherwise, things are good.

Comments

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Darleen

I love it! I should have given you lessons before you set sail on haircut 101. Nonetheless, its a good haircut and the spot was free of charge EW. What a beautiful place.

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