Santa Cruz da Graciosa
Half-day (3 hours)
A dozen whaling boats and four motorboats were used for whaling in Graciosa. This activity reached its greatest expression in the 40s of the 20th century, ending in 1982.
We start the tour with a visit to the
Boathouse of Santa Cruz, located in the village of
Santa Cruz and which belonged to Companhia Baleeira da Graciosa, Lda.
In this exhibition space belonging to the Museum of Graciosa, once a house to store the whalers' boats, we are taken on a journey to the past, where we will discover a wide range of tools that were used in whaling. Here, we can also see up close one of the most distinctive whaling boats of the island, the Restinga, equipped with its proper boat-gear.
We continue to the Port of Calheta, where we can imagine the hustle and bustle from the times of whaling, when the Hauling Ramp was filled with people linked to the whaling fleet operations. This ramp has been in use since the end of the 19th century, and despite all the changes and improvements it has undergone over the years, we can still see some of the rings on the wall that were used to moor whales .
We end the itinerary in Monte da Ajuda Lookout, by the Chapel of Senhora da Ajuda, the first lookout built in Graciosa and the only one in operation until 1946. Facing northeast, it signaled the fleet stationed in the Port of Calheta. A location of strategic importance for whale sighting, used simultaneously by different fleets. Not to miss!