The Azores!

We have fallen behind on keeping our website up to date over the past week, for a couple of reasons: first, we took on the overnight sail from Flores, the western most island, to get to Faial and the town of Horta, which is in the center of the Azores. This was about a 16 hour trip, mostly sailing completely blind in good wind but very thick sea fog!

Once in Horta, which is a very developed town with many amenities, we had some medical issues (namely Steve getting through another kidney stone) which prevented us from prioritizing communication with friends/family through the website.

Add to that some spotty internet connectivity while we are on Alyosha and it has been difficult to keep things up to date.

So here is a quick recap of where we have been over the past week and we hope to have some video clips to share within the next few days…

The Butz Family arrived on Sunday, July 3rd and immediately got a great view of the island of Flores through a 30 minute scenic taxi ride from the airport to the port of Lajes. Everyone was tired but happy to be reunited and the kids got a kick out of riding on the seawall in the town. Lisa and Steve got to experience a phenomenal dinner at “Casa da Roi” (The King’s House) and a long bike ride back to the boat…

We spent two days in Flores before leaving for Horta on the 5th of July. But before we left, we went on an epic family hike (the Azores are known for their great hiking trails) which included a 5 mile uphill bike “ride” (we all pushed our bikes) and then a great downhill hike to the sea. Just spectacular…

We arrived in Horta on early in the morning on Wednesday and got diesel and water from the town marina before anchoring in the harbor. The kids wasted no time in jumping in and swimming off the boat.

Other than dealing with Steve’s medical issue- we have spent our time here sightseeing, hiking and swimming. Hopefully our pictures and forthcoming videos will give a sense of the great volcano museum we visited, the “swimming holes” built right next to the sea in volcanic rock, and the beaches and towns…

We heard very clearly the excitement of the town when Portugal made the European Champions finals and we are strategizing where we should be when Portugal takes on France on sunday.

Bermuda!

We made it! Annapolis to Bermuda!  Steve has already updated his blog page with some details on the trip and the whole family should be weighing in over the next few days, but for now, we wanted to post just a few pictures and this video compilation of our trip!

Also, if you have not tried it out yet, there is a really cool site that tracked Alyosha’s progress in the race (we dropped out on the second day as we were making slow/no progress down the Chesapeake Bay.) You can replay the race at any speed and watch our march across the Atlantic….

OK, so we finally had some time to put together a short video of our time in Bermuda– hope you like it!

Getting Ready

IMG_0219We are one week out from kicking off Alyosha’s around the world voyage.  Let me explain how this all going down- there are so many facets of the trip and many players are involved.  Th easiest way to explain where the BOAT itself will be going is to pull down the menu and click on World Trip.   This will explain where the boat is going and approximate dates.

The kids and I (Lisa) will be joining “Captain” Steve and his Dad, Tom participating in the Annapolis to Bermuda Race (A2B http://www.bermudaoceanrace.com ) June 10th.  The Crew is ready- I myself have completed my WFR certification (Wilderness First Responder), US Sailing Safety at Sea Certification, and Cpr/First aid Red Cross.  Steve has re-certed in all along with charting/navigation & mechanical/electrical classes and extensive weather training, practically becoming a meteorologist!

The boat is almost ready to go- we added our dinghy, “JEPIC” on the back for jetting into various beaches, grocery runs, exploring interesting nooks and crannies of the islands new lands we will be discovering!  Just a few more provisions and we will put on our Sperrys and gloves and off we go!  (and yes mom, we have our harnesses & PFDS!)

Steve and crew will take the boat from Bermuda to the Azores.  The kids and Lisa fly home from Bermuda, then meet Steve on the island of Flores, Azores, Portugal the first of July.  The family will cruise the islands and eventually head over to the mainland of Europe, headed for Lisbon, Portugal.  We will spend the month of August there, traveling inland by Euro-train, meeting friends in Madrid & Barcelona, and making new friends along the way.   The kids will return to school for the following school year- no home schooling quite yet!  Steve has to get the boat around to Australia where Lisa & kids will rejoin him this time next year-  I hope that clarifies things!

We will try to post as much as we can- we will be ‘wi-fi dependent’- but more likely we will post a few quick pictures on either Facebook or Instagram!

 

 

Its been a while….

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Just to catch everyone up- Steve and a crew of friends- Clay, Jeff, & Adrian sailed Alyosha down to the Bahamas back in the fall of 2015.  It has been on a mooring at the St. Francis Resort just outside Georgetown.  (George, we can not thank you enough for keeping an eye of the ship while we have been working and the kids have been in school, all the while we are gearing up for the round-the-world voyage which truly kicks off this summer on June 10th, 2016.

In December, Steve & kids & I flew down to the Bahamas and sailed around the islands for a few days- many many cool things to see and do- from hanging in Staniel Cay on a beach with wild domestic pigs to diving under water rocks and snorkeling inside a rock formation where the 1964 James Bond movie ‘Thunderball’ was filmed.

Here’s a 5 minute video on our winter trip!

Now there were a LOT of mosquitoes and noseeums- we looked like we had the chicken pox- so many bites. Not fun 😦  And no air conditioning. And very sticky.  But we loved it and are ready to go back for spring break- back down to the St. Francis resort to provision the boat and get ready to sail down to the Turks and Caicos.  Until then….

The Butz Family

 

 

Nantucket, MA to Newport, RI

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For the past 3 days we have had unfavorable weather conditions.  Right now, we are in Newport, RI- it is pouring rain- luckily, the kids have taken to playing “store” on the boat, creating little stores & coming up with play & ways to entertain themselves (along with a lot of ‘screen’)…  but wow is it raining!!!  We tried shopping today but got soaked!  We saw an indoor arcade with skeeball we might hit later today! If the rain subsides!!!  Other than that, we are boat bound- Steve arranged for some work to get done

In Nantucket, our anchor spot in the harbor was not the best…. an incredibly crowded harbor, we were pretty far from the town & we couldn’t dinghy in.  The weather was rainy-ish & the winds very strong, we had to take the water taxi in & out.  The boat was getting bounced all over the place, and we constantly had to do anchor watch (which made for not the best sleep…. )  But Nantucket was very fun once we got to land.  We rented bikes and biked all the way to Cisco beach which was beautiful small cliffs that lead to some really great surfing!  (But to Sam’s major disappointment, we didn’t  surf….)  We shopped around and met Meghan Trainor’s Mom & Dad (who own a jewelry store on the island- they have all her magazine covers framed & gold records hanging in the store!)  We had dinner at the Tavern.  *I have sampled clam chowder in every port- so far the best was just outside Edgartown in Martha’s Vineyard at the Lighthouse Grill.

We left Nantucket Sunday morning headed into misty-rain, 25-30 knot winds and 2-4 ft choppy swells- a bit nauseating for Max & Sam- Sara managed to make 6 or 7 pom pom pets with yarn & a fork- while the boys laid around for the 4 hour sail- we ducked into a place called Woods Hole, MA and grabbed a mooring- just off the mainland, the sun had come out & we got to shore via dinghy to walk around.  A quirky town- the home of the the campus of MBL-Marine Biological Laboratory.   They had these cool house shantys built on little barges at moorings- Steve seemed to think they were man caves!  We found ‘not the best playground in the world’, but one, nonetheless & the kids ran around.  Then we walked around the town, found a hands on science attraction of the Buzzards Bay eco-system, and walked to pebble beach.   Pretty unimpressive, but quaint, dry & calm. 🙂

We left in the morning-Monday- and had to motor into Newport- no winds, and the sea looked like  a sheet of ice…

 

Some Video- Kids Blogs

Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island have been amazing, but we have struggled with connectivity to the internet… Posting texts (and maybe a picture) to this website occasionally has been possible, but we have not had strong enough connection to post any video- until now. Max, Sara and Sam have been keeping some video logs (especially when they are at sea) and here they are…