Traditions of the Azores

Date: 10th of April 2024
Nautical position: 38°31’7N 028°36’9W
Geographical position: Azores
Etmal: 1 nm
Total: 11063 nm
Ship: Pelican of London

The Azores are a small group of islands, 1500km off the coast of Portugal, which have gone through a lot of change over the years. In the process, a unique culture developed that has changed greatly over the last few hundred years.

Whale Hunting:

The Azores used to live off whale hunting. They used light and fast sailing boats that shot barbed harpoons into the side of the whale. Then, once they could control the creature, large spears would be used to inflict small wounds and eventually kill the whale.

Once the whale was dead a motor vessel would come alongside to drag the whale to the factory. Here they would extract and sell the animal’s oils and fats. The meat would be dried and ground.

This flour would be used to feed farm animals and fertilise the soil. In the Azores they mostly hunted Spermwhales which are the only whales that possess teeth. These teeth would be taken and stored, as they don’t possess any economic value. Artists or bored deckhands and officers would then take these teeth and sculpt them or make drawings with them.

Today whale hunting is outlawed in the Azores and the only traces you can still see are the whale teeth jewellery shops or countless whale sightseeing tours.


Due to the almost tropical climate on the Azores, tropical fruits flourish here. That’s why the Azores used to grow oranges but with the decline of oranges production there was a switch to tobacco, pineapple, sugar and tea.

The first Tea seeds arrived from Brazil in the early 19th Century and was grown from 1848 by a couple families in São Miguel. The Families struggled, as they did not possess the sufficient knowledge to produce large amounts of Tea.

This led to Chinese tea master Lau-a-Pan being brought to the Azores. With his help the production increased, but due to labor laws, the end of dictatorship and a migration flux all tea factories, except the Gorreana Factory, closed.

Today this is still the only factory in the Azores and it produces 40 tons of tea per year. The Azorean tea is also very unique because of the absence of Pesticides and the open-air drying phase that lets these delicate leaves dehydrate in the salty sea air. This produces an earthy and uniquely Azorean flavor. Azorean tea is also special as it’s the only place in Europe where tea is commercially grown.

Eine Schülerin malt die Pelican auf den Hafenboden.

Other typical Azorean things:

  • Pineapple: Azorean pineapple is different from normal pineapple, as they are smaller and have a dense juicy taste and are often used in spirits.
  • Fried Mackerel: It’s an easy food, as it’s found all along the coast and once it’s fried the Azoreans eat these like French Fries
  • Pimenta da terra: This is a practice where, instead of cooking on a stove or in an oven, a pot is buried with a stew of Chicken, blood sausage, pork, carrots and potatoes. This is done in caldeiras and the hour-long cooking gives the stew a nice flavorful taste.
  • Cheese: As the Azores have more cows than inhabitants there is a large supply of milk and in turn cheese. The Azores produce all types of cheese from savory and buttery flavors to the silky, smooth texture of the rindless queijo fresco. They are usually eaten with jam and bread.
Die Stadt Horta von einem Berg aus.


The day started as usual with the exception that most of us were starting to say our goodbyes to Jael who unfortunately is leaving us but will be back for our arrival in Amsterdam.

At around 14:00 we got to go into free-shore-leave, where we all said our final goodbyes to Jael, our chill, fun, talkative and super smart Watchleader. Afterwards during Free-shore-leave most of us went to the Supermarket one last time to stock up for our 1200nm we have yet to sail and roughly 10 day voyage to Dartmouth.

Some of us also went to Peters Sports Bar to finish our Bordbook. Sadly though, as it was raining the whole time, most of us didn’t do much else. During our rib-runs back to the Pelican our food delivery also arrived which we spent the rest of the evening stowing away. Then we headed back out of the harbor to our nightly anchorage to avoid snapping any further mooring lines.


P.S.: Hallo Mami, kannst Du mir auf Amazon bitte einen neuen Taschenrechner bestellen. Meiner ist nämlich so gut wie Schrott, am besten einer mit Solarzelle von Casio. Dieser ,den alle haben, damit ich ihn auch in den Prüfungen benutzen kann. Dankeschön! Grüß‘ alle ganz lieb von mir! Hab‘ dich lieb ❤️ Knutscherr ~Lenki Schlenki

P.P.S.: Hallo Mama, kannst Du mir den Geburtstagskuchen und Pizzaschnecken für den Weg mitbringen. Das wäre super. Aber an sich sind die Azoren voll schön, aber viel zu viel Regen. Liebe Grüße und bis bald ~Charlotte

P.P.P.S.: Hallo Mama von Grit, hier ist Nele. Ich soll Dir von Grit ausrichten, das die Post nicht angekommen ist 😭😭😭. Ich komme bei Gelegenheit mal in Hannover vorbei und schaue, wie es um Gritti Mausi steht. Ich hoffe, ihr freut euch ebenso sehr auf den Besuch wie ich mich. Liebe Grüße Nele

P.P.P.P.S.: Hallöchen Claudi und Fränki, Neli geht es soweit gut, aber könnt ihr ihr einen mexikanischen Wrap mitbringen und ein Streusel Franz (Mir könnt ihr gerne auch eins mitbringen, aus Solidarität😘)

P.P.P.P.P.S.: an Claudi: Das Briefpapier ist ja mal so unglaublich knuffig gewesen wow 🙂

P.P.P.P.P.P.S.: an Thielo: Du bist cool, ich freu mich, Dich in Amsterdam zu treffen, liebe Grüße auch an Iivi und Metti :)))

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S.: Hallo wie geht’s euch soooooo? Ich habe euer Paket leider nicht mehr bekommen, aber unsere ehemalige Köchin holt die restlichen Briefe ab und bringt sie nach Amsterdam. Naja, ich werde das dann wohl erst in Amsterdam lesen können. Freue mich schon auf euch:) Ben

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S.: Servus 😉 – Samu

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