A sailing trip to the Azores
on the Hutting 45 cutter Sereia

Skipper: Steven van den Berg
Crew: Peter ten Hoopen, Peter van Exter

Dutch version

Azores Map

On September 2, 2002, the Dick Koopmans designed and Hutting built 45 ft cutter yacht Sereia set sail from Lagos, Portugal, to the Azores, an archipelago consisting of nine islands, 850 nautical miles due West from the home port. The voyage, blissed with plenty of wind to make good speed, would take 18 days in all. On her return on September 20, Sereia and her crew had covered 2000 nautical miles, a distance comparable to the trajectory Amsterdam-Bagdad.

Click on thumbnails to select pages

The crew
The crew performed admirably, though each member had his weaker moments - which we shall not dwell upon. Fortunately, the setting makes up for any personal defects by making one look truly manly.
The ship
Apart from some minor defects, the Hutting 45 with its rigid aluminium hull performed brilliantly. She proved very stable in rough seas, and, thanks to its ample deck space and practical lay-out, easy to work on. Sereia also showed great ability to move at speed. Surfing off the waves on a downwind reach on the day before last we hit 11 knots repeatedly, once even 12.4!
The sea
It is hard to faithfully show seastates in photography. The waves, here about 5m high, in the picture always look much smaller than they are in real life. One solution would be to take a longer lens. What also helps is to have a ship passing nearby. During this mid-ocean encounter the freighter sometimes completely dissappeared behind the surging swells.
The islands
The Azores surprised us with their exotic beauty. We had certainly expected something beautiful, but the breathtaking reality at times made us (yes, hard to believe), truly speechless. Peter ten Hoopen revisited the islands twice (once sailing over the other way across the Atlantic, from Bermuda), but as Rod Stewart sings, 'the first cut is the deepest'.
The memento
All yachts, nearly without exception, that make landfall on the Azores (with Horta on Faial being the most visited port), leave a painted memento of their journey on the port's walls. Failing to do this might jinx the boat, and which seaman dares to tempt fate? Our painting brought us a fast return voyage of only six nights, immensely beautiful seastates, and lots of happiness at sea.

Golden Shackle Award