The Azores has long been a safe haven for transatlantic sailors and they are maintaining that tradition during COVID times. Mid Atlantic Yacht Services and Peter Café Sport in particular were praised on noonsite for doing “an incredible job with coordinating provisioning, supply and repair needs of yachts in transit” during the early stages of the pandemic.
Since June last year, restrictions have been lessened to allow cruisers to visit or make a stopover.
“They are so well prepared,” explains Kila. “In 2020 upon arrival we were directed to a special place to berth in Ponta Delgada while we waited for a free COVID test with results within 24 hours, and given a second test to do on our sixth day (at any other island). It was the same for our crew that arrived by plane.”
At the time of going to press, Horta and Ponta Delgada remained open to yachts for fuel, water and provisions, and critical or essential repairs (all other ports are closed to nonresident vessels, unless COVID tests have been scheduled with the local health authority).
Yachtsmen are able to schedule COVID testing with marina officials upon arrival, after anchoring and making contact on
VHF Ch16. Testing is free of charge, and may be waived for boats that arrive after a long (14-day plus) passage with no symptoms on board.