Wednesday, January 12, 2011

cruise at sea


A few days ago we were all set to go whale watching, but as the visibility was not that great and we depend on the vigia/lookout to find the animals, we instead altered the program and went for a cruise at sea.

As we first took off from the harbor of Ponta Delgada we crossed ways with the youths having lessons in sailing, it all looks a bit like mother duck and her ducklings, as one boat guards all the small quick and eager boats that dart back and forth.

We headed off to sea and the waves took us on their back and gave us a gentle push forward. We came across some bird aggregations consisting entirely of gulls (not one Cory's shearwater as they are south at the moment and usually return sometime in February). However among the yellow-legged gulls there were also some smaller gulls flying about.

When we reached the longitude of Ponta Garça we turned towards land and followed the coastline westwards. This way we got a good look at the interesting small weekend houses that lay scattered out in the terrain in the most remote places, making one wonder how anyone ever could reach them. And due to the rain the slopes were made even more beautiful by many small waterfalls.

Going close to the natural reserve of Vila Franca islet we got the opportunity to have a close look at one of its inhabitants, the red rock crab, that showed off its beautiful exoskeleton in black, red and yellow (in picture of a stamp above).

Along the shore and in the small ports we visited we saw Azoreans in the weekend mode, fishing off the cliffs and the dock. This is an activity that involves kids to old people and the small horse mackerel they catch will later be fried and enjoyed with potatoes and a sauce of chili pepper (you should try it, it is good!). Content with the cruise we then returned to harbour and had a good cup of tea.

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