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Travel Log
Click on the pictures for a larger view.
Royal Clipper Cruise of the
Windward Islands February 2006
This is the Royal Clipper, the world's largest guest clipper ship. She is 437 feet long, 53.8 feet wide and absolutely beautiful! She holds a maximum of 210 guests, the perfect size for a cruise.
The Royal Clipper has five masts and forty-two sails, with a total sail area of 56,000 feet. The steel-hulled luxury clipper ship is a true sailing vessel whose heritage goes back to the "greyhounds of the sea" that raced under sail across the oceans of the world at the dawning of the steamship age.
Sometimes the sails do not unfurl as they should, so crewmen have to go and correct the sails. Pretty dangerous when the wind is blowing! There are three of the crew in this picture. You can see the shadow of one of the crew on the far right sail.
The anchor chain is huge and spits off all the rust and grime that has gathered on the links.
One of two anchors.
Whenever there was enough wind, the sails were up and we ran under full sail power.

Just like in the old days.

The main mast is 197 feet high. Two days there was time to climb up to the first crow's nest if you were aboard and wanted to. It is higher than you think! Unfortunately, I did not get to make the climb as I was in the spa during climb times. Darn, maybe next time.
The face of the masthead was supposed to be modeled after the owner's young daughter.
A beautiful view from the aft of the ship.
In the center of the ship was a beautiful three story atrium. The top was a swimming pool with a glass bottom. The pool was centered over the dining room, so if you looked up, you saw up through the bottom of the pool. Very cool. There was a lounging area on the main floor of the atrium where one could read, play cards or board games, drink or listen to the piano player.
Because of the small number of guests there was no assigned eating time or seating arrangement. Each meal was served for a 2 1/2 hour period and you ate when you wanted to. The food, by the way, was excellent!
Our state room was surprisingly large! There was plenty of room under the bed to store our luggage, and more than enough drawers and hanging space. The bath was large for cruise standards. The service was first-class all the way.
The dining room was at water level. So, when you looked out the dining room porthole you were eye level with the top of the ocean. Our rooms were one story up.

St. Lucia

The island of St. Lucia was our first port of call. We were only there a short time, so we went horseback riding. Pretty interesting after not riding for 30 years. The beaches were not as pristine as we would have hoped, but it was still a blast.
If you wanted to try, you could go bareback in the ocean. Good thing I have strong knees.
Dominica was discovered by Christopher Columbus and was originally named for Sunday, the day he found the island. The island is pretty much the way he discovered it. Rich with rain forest landscaping, the island has over 365 rivers and mountain ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 feet high.
Dominica was our second island and we made the decision to stay aboard as the leave time was only 2 hours. There was a great rainbow to greet us.
Columbus sighted what is now Antigua on his second trip to the New World.

He named it Antigua after Saint Maria de la Antigua, a Saint recognized for miracles in the Seville Cathedral. For the next 150 years nobody tried to colonize the island because it lacked fresh water. In 1632, the English arrived and grew cash crops for the next fifty years. In 1674 the first sugar plantation was built, and for the next 300 years sugar was the main industry. Tourism replaced sugar farming around 30 years ago.

Antigua boasts of having 365 beaches... one for everyday of the year. They also are one of the Caribbean's largest offshore banking centers.

At 150 years of age, this is Antigua's oldest church .
The church windows offer a lot of color.
This Pitch & Tar Store was built in Nelson's Marina in 1788.
Nelson's Marina is just as beautiful as it was 225 years ago.
I loved the name of this restaurant.... Grace Before Meals.
St. Kitts
Originally named the fertile island by the Carib Indians, St. Kitts (officially named St. Christopher) still fits that description. As a volcanic island, its climate is ideal for the largest rain forest in the Caribbean. St. Kitts has not changed too much since the days of Columbus. Sugar is still the primary source of income as it was in the 17th century.
We decided to take the train tour of the island.

The train was originally used to take the cut sugar cane from the fields to the processing plant or to the ports.

It was a very nice two story train, with the upstairs being open and the downstairs air conditioned. The upstairs was great for taking pictures, drinking the local rum drink and listening to a three lady choir. A great way to see the countryside.
This is one of the many beautiful black sand beaches.
Goats are absolutely everywhere you look!
Graveyards are literally on the roadside.
All the towns are brightly painted.
The bright colors are striking against the deep blue ocean.
Sugar cane fields.
These are old cane rail cars which would haul the cut sugar canes.
On the left is the remains of an windmill. On the right the remains of the sugar processing smoke stack.
Iles des Saintes

The eight islands that make up the Iles des Saintes are part of the overseas department of France. Christopher Columbus, of course, discovered the islands and named them Los Santos (The Saintes).

This is a view of the tiny capital Bourg, of the island Terra de Haut (land of high). You can see how thin the island is at one point.
Fort Napoleon

The French started building this stone bastion after they regained Les Saintes from the British in 1815 but didn't complete it until 1867

Today you will find a well restored fort populated by iguanas, a historic museum about the various battles and people of the islands over the last few centuries and a nice botanical garden.

Its name indicates it was built by Napoleon, but he never stepped a foot in it. Nor was it ever used as a fortress in times of war, but it was a penitentiary until the beginning of last century.
Whale bones.
Beautiful red aloe vera.
Iguanas are EVERYWHERE!
The Iguana's white spot looks like another eye to confuse any attackers.
Look up, one could be watching you from a tree.
I am not sure what this tree is, but the bean pods where very long.
The building in the background was for storing the ammo. Well away from the sleeping area.
The windows had double shutters and gun slots (which you cannot see in this picture).
These are some of the canon balls and the gun slot shooting window above.
Canon balls cut in half
This is the downstairs hallway. Look at how thick the walls are.
A sitting area complete with gun slot windows. Look out through the large window and you can see one of the ammo storage buildings.
Since water was so precious the well was inside the fort where it was well guarded.
As forts go, this one has a great view and not a lot of action. Sounds like a good place to have been assigned.
Not only are the houses brightly colored, so are the roofs. Note the cross on the hill in the background. Crosses and churches are everywhere.
A local church in the seaside village of Bourg.
The inside is very serene.
Shuttered doors full of color.
Another pink house.

I do believe it is a requirement to take at least one picture of a pink house on every island.

The pink roofs stand out so nice against the beautiful blue water.

Another slight rainbow greeted us.

The Barbados Marina is a perfect place for lunch. You just sit back sipping on rum and munching the local treats. Life is rough.

The locals on all the islands went out of their way to be friendly to us all. We were asked 40 times a day if we needed a cab, and when we replied "No thanks, we are taken care of" everyone said "Great, please enjoy your stay with us". I think the people of Barbados were the friendliest of all. They all just wanted to make sure we were having a great time.

A different way to get one to stop and examine your wares.

Sunsets are the icing on the day.

Except this is an sunrise taken by my brother, Tim, in Barbados.
You can never have too much rope on a clipper ship.
Rope comes in all sizes and shapes.
The Royal Clipper Ship Bell.
The top ship is the Royal Clipper.

The bottom is the Star Clipper.

The Royal has 5 masts and the Star has 4 masts, both have wonderful crews and will make your vacation a 5-star memory. The food, rooms, spa and crew exceeded expectations. We met great people from all over the world and saw a beautiful part of the planet. What more could one want?.

I would highly recommend a Royal Clipper cruise to anyone interested in a cruise of any type. Once you have cruised on a smaller ship you will prefer a smaller one over one that holds thousands of guests.

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