Sailing trip in the Azores

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Ostatnia aktualizacja: 2020-04-22. Autor: Milena

When last year one of my friends, looking around in Terceira, told me that she would like to go for a sailing trip in the Azores – I smiled.

I thought it was a great idea – but who would organize it? The number of yachts charters is next to nothing and the Atlantic Ocean is not the most sailor-friendly. And apart from that – who would find a group of people wanting to cope with the waves and the ocean and get to know the Azores from the sea perspective? Who could do it all?

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

Tomas Piotrowski turned out to be such a person.

On a daily basis Tomas is a photographer, you can find him on his website and on the Facebook, and a few times a year he puts on the captain’s hat and goes with his crew for more and more interesting sailing expeditions.

One of them was a sailing trip in the Azores.

Tomas with his crew, including my friend Kate who had dreamt about the sailing trip in the Azores the previous year, got to know the Azores from a perspective that I don’t know them from. I was fascinated by their trip, I wanted to tell you about it. Of course the person who can tell the most about this trip is the captain. So feel welcome to the interview!

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

Hello Tomas! Thank you that you agreed for this interview. Tell me – are you rather a photographer or a sailor?

I’m a photographing sailor. I work as a photographer and I combine it with sailing at least a few times a year.

What is your experience as a captain?

Still too small. There are still so many seas to discover. Luckily every year I get to know new destinations and my “list” is getting successively shorter. The Azores were such a small step forward. In sailing usually you measure your experience in nautical miles sailed and hours spent at sea. I’ve spent so far around 100 weeks on the sailing trips during which I sailed 30 000 nautical miles in 6 000 hours.

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

What attracts you to sailing?

I’d like to say that it’s wind, sports and freedom. However, for a long time it’s been pleasure of travelling by such a beautiful means of transport as yacht on an uneven, uncertain, often unpredictable surface for tourism purposes. Sailing can be sports, tourism or a combination of these two disciplines. Lately I’ve been focusing on sightseeing and travelling, and a yacht is a perfect choice for that. Depending on a region, you can see another place every day, another port/city/bay from a different perspective than it’s available for landsmen. You can for example move e.g. between the islands on a ferry or a plane but doing it with a crew definitely gives much more satisfaction.

Why have you chosen the Azores?

The Azores had been on my sailing list for a long time. A few times I was sailing close to it (Madeira, the Canary Islands) but I never really visited this region. The decision about the sailing trip was taken on a previous trip with the same crew. Somebody said: “the Azores”. Everybody clapped their hands with joy.

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

The Azores seem to be far away, but close. Whenever you come across any mention about the Azores, everything is presented in a positive way. It’s probably the only “perfect” tourism-sailing destination in the world! 😀 At least the only one that I know. I’ve been to many beautiful places in the world. But there is always some “but”. A Polish person can always complain. Too many tourists, too got, too expensive, etc.

Here it’s perfect 🙂 Beautiful views, fantastic people, islands’ diversity, amazing cuisine (steaks are my favourite, but the sea food is at the highest world level), interesting places to see, not too many tourists.

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

One can say that a small downside is the uncertain weather. But this weather is changing. That’s why you can experience beautiful views, different every day, even every hour. Fog, rain, full sun. As you can read about the Azores everywhere – here you can experience 4 seasons in one day.

How did you gather the crew?

An old, proven team. It has almost gathered itself.

Which islands have you visited?

São Miguel, Terceira, Pico, Graciosa and Faial.

What were you taking into account when you were determining the route?

The crew’s preferences. A part wanted to sail and thereby visit the western island Flores and Corvo, but moderate sailing and a lot of sightseeing and activities have won in voting.

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

What are your and the crew’s impressions from the Azores?

Everybody was more than happy. After hearing opinions, reading travel guides, forums we had very high expectations. Nothing has failed. It was even better! Only positive experiences crowd in.

What has captivated you the most?

It’s hard to decide. Personally I adore nature – views and fauna and flora are a knockout. It’s a combination of the familiar forests from the temperate zone with tropical rain forests. Lush vegetation, everything green and the all-year-round growing season create incredible views. Each island offers something different, but the nature, people and cuisine is what connects them all. The community is very nice and friendly to the unknown tourists. Treats are waiting for us in restaurants with sea food and steaks. It’s impossible not to mention wonderful cafes with various pasteis.

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

And what has surprised you the most?

The weather. It was supposed to be often rainy and windy, and sometimes unpleasant for sightseeing or sailing. Almost all of these stories gave us a wide berth.

How did the Atlantic Ocean welcome you?

I’ve been to the Atlantic Ocean many times. Thus this ocean is familiar to me. Some of the crew members have already tasted this water region as well. That’s why there were no surprises. The sea has welcome us quite kindly. Only the first passage from São Miguel to Faial has rocked the crew a bit.

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

What do you have to take into account while organizing a sailing trip in the Azores?

A limited number of ports and places in these ports. The Azores don’t offer the full charter base. There are also not too many marinas. Each island offers one, at the maximum two shelters. It’s worth asking before/ calling from the previous marina if there’s a place for us. Bays can also be unshielded.

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

Do you prefer the sea or the land perspective? Why?

This and this. Definitely. As on each sailing trip. We enter the port by yacht. We enjoy the views from a different perspective. We often watch the sunrise and the sunset on the water surface. But sightseeing the land part with the cars give a lot of fun and a possibility of getting to know the Azores better.

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

What are your upcoming projects?

The Baleares at the turn of August and September. Cuba in December and Guadalupe and its surroundings for the New Year’s Eve. I have also some other ideas, but the ones that I mentioned are certainties. Slowly I’m also planning another sailing trip in the Azores. It seems that I will visit them one year after another. This time with people who envied the “pioneers” 😉

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski

If somebody wanted to go for a sailing trip with you – where can they find you?

I mainly sail with TheBoatTrip company. It’s a company run by my good friends. A sailing trip with them is a guarantee of wonderful sailing experiences.

I also organize sailing trips on my own. If you wanted to join the crew, the best way to contact me is on the Facebook or my phone number: +48508399184.

Thank you for the interview, I wish you successful future sailing trips!

Thank you very much too. Thank you also for your help in organizing the trip. Your blog and tips were priceless! I’m very happy that I met you personally in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!

Jachtem po Azorach fot. Tomas Piotrowski
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