Festa del Santo Cristo, Ponta Delgada

Yesterday , another interview with the people at Caterpillar [Rai 2 ] the Italian radio programme, here is the link to the podcast

http://www.radio.rai.it/podcast/A45640659.mp3

 Save the Nerd  forever at Ponta Delgarda -thanks to the artistic efforts of the Milanto crew.

Save the Nerd  forever at Ponta Delgarda -thanks to the artistic efforts of the Milanto crew.

By an extraordinary stroke of luck Friday was the very special day of the year in Ponta Delgada, The largest religious festival in the Azores is the “Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres”, (meaning the Festival of the Christ of Miracles). This  takes place on the 5th Sunday after Easter. A statue of the Christ is paraded through the city, and then returned to the convent at Esperança. There are street stalls, a fair, and a great crowd. Brilliant and the lights are stunning.

photo 2.JPG
 Magical evening!

Magical evening!

 The Captain and crew happy to be on terra ferma.

The Captain and crew happy to be on terra ferma.

Our last day in San Miguel.

Christopher Colombus , on his first crossing was caught in a storm to the North of the Azores which was a serious risk to his fleet. He made a promise to hold a mass for all the crew the first place that they could safely land. This turned out to be the Baìa dos Anjos on the NW coast of Santa Maria. Here they came ashore and held the ceremony is the small church of Nossa Senhora dos Anjos leaving half the crew on board as a precaution. This was a wise more as the Portugese authorities areted the Spanish sailors, accusing them of spying. Columbus had to sail to the larger San Miguel in order to get the men released. the little chuch still exists , you can see the porch, a  Gothic archway and the altar all exactly as Columbus would have seen that day.

Tonight we are leaving again and in the 'footsteps' of Columbus - having come out unscathed from a bad storm - we too will visit Santa Maria. Here in the Azores we have met  welcoming and kind locals and many have been interested in our project  'Save the Nerd'. We have managed to rest a little and restocked Milanto for the second section of the transatlantic to Gibraltar. Filippo has managed to stay off every device and it is amusing watching him staring into the window of an internet cafe! It should be easier in Santa Maria which is said to have remained  a traditional agricultural community and so a slower pace of life. In front of us the ocean waves are breaking on the rocks of this volcanic island ,bright green fields in the distance, vinyards which reach to the sea, the white houses covered in blue flowers and the important architecture , a gorgeous colonial Baroque reminisant of Jesuit Portugese architecture. I'll admit it here that going back to sea is not easy!