Peter's Bar 46 years on by JoJo

Horta on the Island of Faial, Azores, June 2016

Arriving in Horta on the beautiful Azores island of Faial was very emotional for many different reasons. Twenty eight days at sea was our longest ocean passage and we arrived at the same port as my parents had done 46 years ago, on our family boat Mjojo. At that time, I was only 4 years old and sadly have no memories, but there are many family stories about our time here in 1970. Thanks to our new modern communication gadget (Delorme Inreach) my mother was following us at every stage of the journey and was as excited as we were on our arrival.
Horta is a special place because the vast majority of sailors who visit have crossed an ocean to arrive here. It is the last stop before sailors return home to Europe from an Atlantic circuit or a round-the-world adventure. There is a strong sense of comradeship here, shared by all the vessels, very different from any other place we have visited.  There is also the famous Cafe Sport, a bar that has been welcoming sailors to Horta since the 1940s. In the late 60s my parents heard about the special welcome that Peter at Cafe Sport gave to travelling sailors.
When we arrived in 1970, my parents were also given a warm welcome by Peter, who even hosted a surprise second birthday party for my sister Lulu. 

Second birthday party for my sister Lulu at Peter's Bar in 1970.

So after enjoying a hot shower we walked up to Cafe Sport and had a wonderful cold beer! It is still situated in the same place, although bigger than in 1970, it is decorated with sailing memorbilia from passing vessels of all types. We met Peter's son Henrique who now runs the cafe. It's bigger, more of a profitable business, but the the welcome was still special. He was overjoyed to meet us, treated us with the his award winning chocolate cake and searched out the visitor's book. Henrique's father asked all passing sailors to write in this visitor's book, which contains many famous names from the sailing community. This is still a tradition, but far fewer yachtsman sign the book now. 

Mjojo's entry into the Cafe Sport visitors book from 1970.

Henrique found book number two from 1970 and we found my parents' entry. It was very emotional to see my mum's handwriting and read her funny poem, and see a photo that I have never seen before of Mjojo, my first home. 

Peter's Bar with Henrique. I'm holding the book with Mjojo's entry and Henrique is holding Mum's book that I gave to him.
Coffe and chocolate cake with Henrique while we look through the visitor's book.
Outside Cafe Sport with Henrique.

The current book was full so Henrique bought a new book and we filled in the first page in a similar fashion. I even persuaded Simon to write a poem in the style of my mum's entry all those years ago. When we said a sad goodbye to Cafe Sport and Henrique, he made our boys promise to stop by one day in the future on their own boat, with their own families. I wonder it this will happen? Three oldest son Oliver is busy fitting out a boat in Essex, maybe he will stop by at Cafe Sport one day!

Our entry into the the new Cafe Sport visitor's book.

One of the famous entry's into the same book from 1971!

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