Faial: a meeting place in the Atlantic

    In the middle of the Atlantic, a geological plate somehow broke. And - hoba! - Azores grew up. Long. But the adventures are still going on there. For example, look at this lighthouse, which was once very important for all those who cross the Atlantic. He stood quietly by the sea until 1957. And then suddenly a volcano began to erupt around it, and poured lava so that it turned out another two and a half square kilometers of the island:

    Do you see how the lighthouse stood on the very edge of the cape?

    Azores is also an important transit point. And the island Faial - the meeting point of all sailors and aviators. Before the advent of jet aircraft, the main problem of the transatlantic flight was fuel. Needed a point to refuel, and the Azores approached as well as possible. Since the island is with the steepest flat platform (and there is an international marina there), somehow it turned out that a town was formed, where there is nothing permanent, and everything is for travelers. Amazing of its kind.

    Booklet about the lighthouse. Side of the map is the formation of an additional area of ​​the island, and at the bottom of the process photograph


    One of the tourist slogans is the Epicenter of the Atlantic. It means that all the interesting things in the Atlantic are happening here. Well, even you can kill the eruption, but this is unlikely.

    Here is the main part of the Bay of Faial, pay attention to how well it is protected on three sides by features of the relief. And then you can see the second bay through a thin isthmus - it is protected from three other sides. That is, in any storm, you can move from one to another.

    View from the other side.

    If earlier tea clippers went to Azores, then Panama clippers first flew. Here is a model of one of them in the still operating restaurant, where passengers were unloaded during refueling:

    But before they began to carry passengers, it is worth touching the story of one loser on a biplane (more precisely, a flying boat).

    Model, note that the engines 4, not 3, as it may seem: on the central screws in both directions.

    Characteristics of the

    route and photo, all shot in the local museum of Horta

    From Canada (Newfoundland) three aircraft took off. The military, with their inherent wit, gave the sides memorable NC-1, NC-3 and NC-4 numbers. Perhaps for the introduction of a potential adversary in error. NC-4 flew to the base from New York, and on the way he had two engines failed. For this, the expedition gave Captain Albert Cushing the call sign "Lamer". More precisely, "Lame Duck", which is even more offensive.

    While the “lamer” was being repaired, the NC-1 drowned near the island of Corvo on the Azores. First they ran out of fuel, then they got into a dense fog, and then decided to sit on the water. And they sat down. They were turned over by a storm, but the crew was picked up by the Greek transport Ionia, which, in turn, later picked up the warship Columbia.

    NC-3 landed south of Faial in similar circumstances, but was able to re-take off, fly to the next cluster of islands and land 321 kilometers from San Miguel (that is, roughly between the islands). The team used the plane as a boat, breaking off parts of it that would cause it to roll over. You can imagine the speed with which it was dragged by the wind, if after 53 hours it was already near the harbor of the island. And keep in mind that this is without a sail and at high waves. As I said, this is because the wind blows on the Azores, and therefore the Portuguese and Spaniards chose them as a transit point during the nascent maritime trade with India, China and Africa.

    NC-3, of course, was unable to continue the flight. It's hard to fly without wings.

    And in this situation, gloom exactly in the bay of Orta right in front of the pier sits our "lamer". At 1:23 pm on May 17, 1919, he touches water, and at 2:00 pm (it seems) he is already eating dinner and waving his hand to the NC-1 crew. After 3 days, he takes off, flies to San Miguel, waves his hand to NC-3 crew, goes to Lisbon on May 27, and lands on May 31 in Plymouth in England. And reports the epic phrase: "We safely flew over this lake, the task is completed!".

    Twenty years later, in 1941, Panama launches its clippers, at about the same time, Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa set up the message.

    Since the passengers were rich, the town, which previously served the sailors, suddenly began to meet people who were directly eager to shy away at the restaurant. So Horta became a tourist.

    The Azores became a transit point number 1 in the Atlantic. For the practical lack of others. It quickly became clear that there was still a need to build a military airfield (because the Americans sent convoys here with the help of the Allies in World War II). The first one was built on Terceira (this island is not far away), it turned out truly huge. Our Mriya can land on this airfield (and even get on). Grandfather-eyewitness ecstatically told:
    - Antonov is very, very healthy, he is like a healthy house, no, even like a healthy island! And so he got on our airfield, and he didn’t even have wings sticking out of the grass, so we have a nice big airfield!

    This is because a good large airfield was built with a strip of 3,314 meters and an epic width, so that full-fueled transport workers could take off during the day in the heat. This, by the way, is a spare landing pad for shuttles. The next transshipment airport (civilian) appeared already at Faial, but the runway there is about one and a half kilometers away.

    We drove cars through the Azores, and the locals got chic cars. And the rich from the continents, seeing that the place was gorgeous, began to take property like summer houses.

    A musical instrument that says a lot about the lifestyle of travelers

    In parallel, whalers worked here: the Americans taught the Portuguese to beat the whale, and a huge fishing industry was formed. 40 years as no longer beating, so you can go to sea and look at different whales. If on land there was nothing at all of the largest of the local mammals, then the ocean next to it is the largest in the world. In a wide range. But it is better to look in the summer, and not in the winter and in a storm, therefore the photo will not be.

    And here, first, the first telegraph relay station was built (because the signal went out), and then to World War II - radio communication repeaters.

    Submarine cable

    The telegraph device was unscrewed and carried to the

    Gravizapa museum.

    They are now building a cosmodrome nearby (it seems they haven't started the zero cycle yet), there is an observatory.

    Story further

    This is a biotech for the separation of pastures from hydrangea. In fact, this is a noble flower, which in Europe was then used to decorate the royal gardens. But this thing turned out to be surprisingly practical on the Azores: on sour soil it grew across the chest to a man, possessed the vitality of a weed, multiplied by sticking sticks into the ground and very quickly formed bushes through which an adult ladybug could not break. Even with a small run. This is how the second main wall material, hydrangeas, appeared.

    In 1957 there was an eruption here and 179 thousand people from the Azores managed to move out. This is almost a third of the archipelago population. The government fought for the remaining residents so much that it gave free homes to all permanent residents. That is, even those who rented a house here that was blown away by lava. One new home to the owner, a new apartment - to the tenant.

    Another earthquake happened on July 9, 1998, and houses were hit in the western part of the island. Here again, the municipal housing, this time more like our Khrushchev. Usually residents prefer private detached homes.

    By the way, the history of the construction of the very first seismic-protected house in Terseira is very interesting. They designed it, but could not test it. Then the architect ordered to build a model on a scale of 1: 3, all soldiers were discharged from the military unit and forced to march in the leg around the model.


    Transatlantic optical cables pass through Azores, but the fast Internet reached homes just a couple of years ago, before that it was via satellite jump to Portugal.

    Thanks to the network earned direct democracy, which, with 250,000 registered resident population, is not very technically difficult. Azor legislation is subject to Portuguese, but since the status of autonomy is in force, its own laws are possible. I did not fully understand this tricky system, but there are two important features:

    1. In incomprehensible global cases, direct democracy operates: it is necessary to hold something like a referendum on passing the law. The last example was the permission to build a large tourist complex near the center of one of the cities.
    2. In incomprehensible small situations do polls. An example was given by the following: “We have 50 thousand euros left in the budget of the municipality, let's think about what we will spend. Here are eight options, including a playground there, a new road, equipment for the hospital, and the arrangement of the main square. Come vote on the site of such and such or send an SMS with the option to the number of the mayor. " Immediately, I note - of all the people polled on different islands, each had their own political vision, so it’s far from a fact that I understood everything correctly.

    But what is important is that despite the fact that Terceira was the old capital, an actual new one appeared at Faial because of the transport hub, but the current one is at San Miguel, because there is the most population there. And this is important for democracy.

    A cafe near the international marina has become a meeting place for Atlantic sailors. Directly from the boat you can go to the bar "At Peter" and send letters. This is the only bar in the Azores, where stamps are sold and sending is done immediately (in fact, they carry postcards in the evening in the mail).

    Collection of flags after the regatta (fragment). Sperm whale sideways - Peter logo Peter

    himself gradually developed the business, and now it is no longer a person, but a brand. In the group of companies there is a souvenir shop, a whale bone museum, a couple of shops at airports (even in Lisbon on the mainland) and a marina area.

    Another feature of the Horta - one of the main for me - the marina, where all the yachtsmen of the Atlantic meet. Here and on the neighboring islands you can keep the boat in the winter, then you can just hide from the storm, and then you can stand for a week or two between the long Atlantic runs from continent to continent. The islands, of course, swing from tremors, but not as much as the deck of a sailboat. And here there is a Tradition. The crew before the exit can draw any picture on the marina.

    And this struck me as unbelievable. Because it turned out a work of art with its own rules. Because you can see the respect of people for each other. One can see diligence, one can see cultural traditions, one can see insanely cheerful people and serious ones, one can see just wildly positive feedback in each picture. It’s like going to the cemetery the other way round: instead of sadness, you feel the joy that such people exist somewhere.

    The names of the boats - a separate song. Here there is “Game Over”, “Serenity”, but the good old “Noname-1” from Scotland did not reach here.

    Little space, so draw farther and farther from the marina.

    Water washes away all this, the oldest distinguishable records - 2003.

    The length is wild. Now, according to my approximate estimate, there are about 10 thousand drawings there, that is, if you read each one for 5 seconds, you can just keep within the day of continuous viewing. And damn them to look at. Someone draws a route, someone leaves a motto, someone scratches a couple of lines (because he can't draw), someone works the picture for hours ... And all this is amazingly temporary. It washed away the drawing completely - in its place will be a new one. And crews from all over the world.

    In general, it is very, very impressive.

    Oh, and yes, of course, there were at least two Russian boats here:

    So if you cross the Atlantic, take the artist with you.

    Here are 30 photos from this marina, if you want to look at it. And here is my previous post on Habré about Azores -about the flora and infrastructure of the islands .

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