06-Aug-2015 -- Underway from Alivéri (Eúboea Island, Greece) to Houston TX with 27,500 tons of cement today we entered the area of the south-eastern group of the Archipelago of Azores, where the Confluence 37N 25W is located about 5 km east of the island of Santa Maria.
The Azores are of volcanic origin, and are subject to earthquakes and severe eruptions. The archipelago was officially discovered by Portuguese navigators in the second quarter of the fiftheenth century, but they are clearly marked on a Genoese map dated 1351 and were probably known to the Arabs at an earlier date. The islands have remained in Portuguese hands since their discovery.
It is probable that Diogo de Silves was the first to arrive, landing here on the island of Santa Maria in 1427 and then leading a series of discoveries that lasted until 1452 when Diogo de Teive landed on the western group.
Due to the favorable nature conditions found on the islands, in particular the richness of the soil, and to their natural strategic position on the trade routes to the West Indies and Brazil, colonization of the islands expanded rapidly after 1445. The strategic importance of the islands has since been emphasized throughout two world wars. At Santa Maria is a large airport.
Ilha de Santa Maria is the southeasternmost island of the south-eastern group and is the least volcanic of all the islands in the archipelago. The land is fertile and producing cereals, vegetables, fruit, and a small quantity of wine.
Viewed from all sides the island is bold and the coast is abrupt, arid and precipitous with fallen masses. A very prominent point of Santa Maria is Ponta do Castelo, with its prominent lighthouse.
Looking toward WSW we see the village of São Lourenço which has the appearance of an amphitheater, backed by spectacular cliffs where numerous vineyards are found.