Ponta Delgada

760 miles west of Portugal and on the same latitude as Lisbon to the East and Washington DC to the West lie the Azores. Our final port is Ponta Delgada.

Has anyone actually been there? It’s an elusive place, but I am pleased to say that I have now seen the port and the island.

This morning in fact. I woke late at 7.30 am and looked out to see the Pilot boat approaching. It was rough and very windy.

When the Pilot boat was about 100 yards away from us she turned as if to return to the port. She dallied a little, but then disappeared back into the safety of the harbour. I knew then that we were not going to visit Punta Delgada in 2016.

Back in 2014 we were due to visit this very port on our way to Fort Lauderdale on the first leg of our epic voyage. The ship was the same, the Captain was the same and the result was the same. Too much wind and too rough.

Today Captain Philpott spoke to us at 8.10 am and announced that the forecast was for stronger winds and bigger seas and that the safety of the ship and those aboard was paramount. One has to ask why Cunard choose the Azores as a port to visit at this time of year.

During our 2014 trip, while in a South American port, we met a couple from the ship, who lived in Ponta Delgada. I presumed they had had to fly to Fort Lauderdale to join the ship as we had not berthed at their home port. They told me that they had joined the ship in Southampton knowing that there was a very good chance that it would not stop in the Azores!

What all this means is that when we get to Southampton on Friday we will have enjoyed 9 days at sea since leaving St Maarten. Although we enjoy the sea days, we would have loved to see this island. Jane and Kim had sorted out what we were intending to do, including, a visit to the Botanical Gardens.

In the light of the change of plan, today we decided to have lunch in the Britannia Restaurant. We don’t usually have anything other than a snack in the middle of the day, but Kim had not experienced a formal lunch before.

Tonight is the last performance of the singers and dancers in Hollywood Rocks. Their 9 month contract finishes at the end of this voyage. We will, of course, be sitting near the front. Most of the spaces for the wheelchair are at the front of the theatre, you understand!

Our love and best wishes to Rob Gordon, Abi and their children in Melbourne. Rob recently had an adverse reaction to an anaesthetic prior to a standard appendix operation. He was on life support for a time but is now slowly recovering. A very scary time for the Gordon family.

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