Making our Mark

We mentioned in an earlier post that it is a tradition for sailors in Horta to paint your boat name on the pier, to mark your visit to the Azores. It’s not a requirement, but even the chandlery shops will tell you that it’s bad luck not to do a painting – if you don’t paint, you are likely to return to the Azores sooner than you’d like, and under very poor circumstances.

We found a bare spot on the pier right beside where we were tied up, and painted our patch over the last few days of our visit. We were in a hardware store buying paint when another sailor offered us their leftovers instead – white, light blue, and black, so all we needed was a little bit of red. Perfect! Mike scrubbed the concrete clean, and then we put down a coat of grey bilge paint to give us a solid base (bilge paint is very hard-wearing, and is resistant to salt water, oils, and fuel). Two layers of white later, and we were ready to go.

In the end we decided to buy a darker blue paint, and then darkened it further by adding a little black – funny how ‘Innisfree Blue’ isn’t a recognized colour in the paint world! We had lots of leftover paint, and happily passed in on to a neighbouring boat. They said that they were going to get some green paint to go with it – and so we continue the never-ending, always changing, hand-me-down paint collection. I wonder if you could successfully keep it going through a whole season of sailors?!

Ta da! The buckets are there to keep people from stepping in the fresh paint! Let’s hope it is still visible next time we are in Horta!