The grand plan was to return to the UK, via the Azores. We had always heard good reports of the Azores, and this seemed a good way of avoiding the battle against the headwinds up the Portugese west coast. It would scratch my itch to complete an ocean passage without committing to an Atlantic crossing, definitely off our agenda. We would head for Brittany and spend time there before heading back to the UK.
We enjoyed our time in the Azores, and visited all 9 of the major islands, Santa Maria, St Miguel, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Flores, Corvo, Faial (and by ferry, Pico), and finally Graciosa.
In the end we did not linger in Brittany as long as we had intended, as possible visits did not materialise. We had put our rental property in Oxford on the market, and this finally sold completing at the end of August. We returned earlier to the UK to find an alternative property as a home for the funds and to rent out.
Fuga was left in the care of Gosport Boat Yard, and we headed to New Zealand before the end of October.
We like to remember the highs and lows of the season:
We logged 3566 nautical miles, the most in any year
We spent 50 nights tied up in marinas, and one night in Braye on a buoy, at a cost of €905 and £45. This too was the most in any year. We were at large for only 105 days - the least barring hospitalisation in 2005. We ran the engine for 123 hours (about 370 litres diesel), and the generator for 115 hours (about 40 litres).
I started an article on our Azores trip, but it has not yet seen the light of day. Most of our observations were fed back directly to Ann Hammick, author of the Atlantic Islands pilot.