As we were closing on Horta on Saturday, the wind got weaker and weaker and by evening we were not moving at all. We then decided to run the engine as slowly as possible (1200 rpm), adding water to the rate of 1 quart every 30 minutes. We were doing around 2.5 knots and by morning we found ourselves 5 miles south of Horta when the alternator decided to break the support bolt, that sheared at the start of the thread, dropping nut and bushing into the bilge. Without engine and without wind, we decided to call the marina for help, but after another hour of waiting, Jean-Paul managed to secure the alternator with sail ties well enough that we could run the engine. We cancelled the tow boat and entered the marina under our own power, except for the last 20 seconds when the belt slipped out and we we lucky enough to grab a german boat and raft up with them at the customs dock. After the formalities, we then moved to raft up with two other boats on the outside dock.
We were totally exhausted and the folloiwng days were devoted to following up on the repairs, trying to catch some sleep, do a minimum of touring of the island as we are not likely to be back soon. Making an entry in the blog was pushed back at the end of the to-do list and it is only now that the boat is ready, we have done the provisionning, paid most of the bills, that I can make an entry in the blog.
The island of Fayal (and probably the other eight islands) is maintained continuously to look very neat and clean. While driving around the island, we saw almost everywhere workers trimming the vegetation on the side of the road, painting, repairing, and keeping the island beautiful.
We are leaving tomorrow morning with some 1710 miles to cover in 13 days, if we don't want to miss the beginning of the Armada in Rouen, which means an average of 131 miles per day. This is going to be a challenge as there is a powerful high pressure over the Azores and we can expect light wind at least for the first 4 days.
But I remain hopeful !