April 12, 2012
Lajes do Pico
Its said to be difficult and dangerous. It´s NOT, not any more. If you fit in with your draught ist no problem at all.
Entry is straight forward with caution by day and night in a buoyed channel. Aproach to the end of the breakwater by 90 degrees, turn right into the channel. Not all of the buoys are lit.
Attention: The last buoy in the row on port is unlit an is, surprise, the port side buoy of the channel. So you have to take a sharp left turn after the last lit red port side buoy. Process between a rock to the left and the kai on the right. On the right side there is a floating pontoon where you can tie up on arrival.
There is place for one yacht around 14 meters and enough space in front to turn the boat “on the plate”. The depth there is around 3.0 at low water.
I arrived at midnight in calm weather and there was someone waiting in his car to help and take the lines. Thanks very much. Whalers are always on outlook, are they ?
The next morning the always friendly GNR asked for the papers and shortly after the harbour master came for a welcome, it was easter sunday (!), and presented the access card to the pontoon and pointed out the last place on the first, most outside pontoon. This is important as the harbour is very shallow and there around 3 m on low tide only on the outside places. Just enough for me with a draft of 2.1 m.
Be prepared that the harbour maybe full as there is very limit space (3-4) for boats like mine with a draft of 2.10 and a length of 14 m.
Wifi in the hotel/restaurant Talassa with good food and cakes.
Wifi also at “Moby Dick” when the kiosk is open.
The village is friendly and has a relaxed but touristic flair.
It´s reported that in the bay off Lajes do Pico there are whales and dolphines. I was able to watch on both of my two visits.
With north winds on the island there is a sever wind down from pico and into the harbour. This will hit you straight stern or bow depending on your mooring preferences.
As I had to move the boat in strong winds I chooses the outside of the hammerhead, bow in and feeled safe all the time.
Its a very nice place worth a visit. The center of whaling in the past and worth for whale watching today.