A Travellerspoint blog

Royal Clipper

Tobago Cays

sunny 80 °F

Today was another beach day as we anchored off of Tobago Cays Marine Park. It is a spectacular setting the the crew prepared a wonderful BBQ lunch for us on the beach.

The Tobago Cays are an archipelago located in the Southern Grenadines of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines comprising five small islands and extensive coral reefs. The cays - Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, Petit Tabac and Jamesby - are a popular tourism destination.

The Tobago Cays are now the key element of the Tobago Cays Marine Park run and owned by the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines government. The marine park consists of a 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) sand-bottom lagoon which encompasses the five cays, the inhabited island of Mayreau and the 4 km Horseshoe Reef. The marine park was listed as a regionally significant ecosystem under the SPAW Protocol in December 2014. The most extensive and well-developed coral reef complexes in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines occur on shallow shelves around the windward sides of Mayreau and Union islands and the cays themselves. In addition, principal vegetation types include beach vegetation and dry forest. With the exception of a small mangrove in Petit Rameau and salt pond in Mayreau, there are no wetlands in the cays.

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Posted by rpickett 16:21 Archived in St Vincent/The Grenadines Tagged park marine tobago cays Comments (0)

Royal Clipper

St. George's Grenada

semi-overcast 80 °F

Today we anchored off St. Goerge, Grenada. This is a 'bubble' port in that you can't get off the ship unless you are on an organized tour. None of the shore excursions interested us so we spent the day on board, experiencing the brief tropical showers as they passed over the ship.

St. George's is the capital of Grenada. The town is surrounded by a hillside of an old volcano crater and is located on a horseshoe-shaped harbor. St. George's was founded by the French in 1650 when "La Grenade" (Grenada) was colonized by Jacques Dyel du Parquet, the governor of Martinique. The French began their colonization with a series of skirmishes that virtually exterminated the island's native Carib population.

In 1666, a wooden fortification was constructed by French colonists on a promontory overlooking Grenada's natural harbor and named Fort Royale. In 1705, work started on a new star fort on the same site, with four stone-built bastions, to the design of Jean de Giou de Caylus, the Chief Engineer of the "Islands of America" the French West Indies. It was completed in 1710.

Meanwhile, the original colonial settlement at the eastern edge of the harbor called Saint Louis after King Louis IX of France, later known as Port Louis, was found to be subject to flooding and malaria, so a new town was constructed called Ville de Fort Royal ("Fort Royal Town"). When the island was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the new administration renamed it Saint George's Town, after the patron saint of England and Fort Royal was renamed Fort George, after King George III.

The entertainment on board today included mast climbing and swimming off the sports platform on the aft end of the ship. The afternoon brought some beautiful rainbows, we sailed away by moonlight.

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Posted by rpickett 14:41 Archived in Grenada Tagged st. georges Comments (0)

Royal Clipper

Union Island, 'Grenadines

sunny 85 °F

After a night and morning of cruising we anchored off the beautiful island cove of Union Island in the Grenadines. Although there was not much on the island, it was a nice beach afternoon in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea.

Union Island is part of the nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It has a surface of 9 square kilometres (3.5 sq mi) and lies about 200 km (120 miles) west-southwest of Barbados and is within view of the islands of Carriacou and the mainland of Grenada, which lies directly south.

Clifton and Ashton are the two principal towns. The island is home to just under 3,000 residents. The official language is English, however French and German are spoken by some merchants in Clifton as well.

After the original settlers, Arawak and Caribs, the island has been in the possession of French and English slave traders and plantation owners. They brought hundreds of Africans to the island, mostly from regions of Africa that are now Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, and Ghana. Sea island cotton was an important export crop.

When slavery was abolished, people still relied on farming and fishing. As a result, a lot of men went to sea to work on freighters to support their families. Union Island was the center of some political unrest in the late 1970s when a group of residents were in favour of secession from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and merger with southern neighbor Grenada. The insurrection was put down by forces of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Government.

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Back on board we hoisted our sails at 5:00pm and set sail for Grenada.

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On board a sailing ship, obviously the sails are everything, and there is plenty of work for the on board sail maker.

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Posted by rpickett 15:52 Tagged island union grenadines Comments (1)

Royal Clipper

Barbados

sunny 85 °F

Today my brother and I flew Bridgetown Barbados to join Star Clippers Royal Clipper tomorrow. It was a challenge to get into the country. With a 72 hour window for results and the surge of Covid tests happening, we both had to schedule 2 PCR tests in successive days to meet the requirements: One to get into Barbados and one to get on the ship. Although I had taken the correct PCR test for entry, the wording on my document was not correct and they required me to take another PCR test. Although I was able to obtain a test result with the correct wording, the gate guards would not let me correct my mistake. As a result we could not leave our hotel room the first night - not a big deal, as we had both arisen very early for our flight. They promise the result in less than 24 hours.

We checked out of the hotel at Noon and took a taxi for the short ride to the cruise terminal. We still had not received our Covid tests. There were three ships along side - Royal Caribbean, P&O and Royal Clipper and one other ship anchored out.
The check in process was slow but efficient. They checked our paperwork, then gave us an Antigen test, and if we were negative, we were allowed to go aboard. The professed embarkation at 3:00pm and that is when the first folks boarded. We were on board by 3:00pm.

Once boarded, we got our room key and registered our credit card. Our bags were waiting for us by our room.

By the way, our Covid results showed up in 23 and one-half hours......

Dinner was great and we will eat at the same table for the entire voyage for Covid safety. Our table mates are great - a retired London Police Chief and Intelligence officer and his wife, and a London Financial Advisor and his wife. The majority of passengers seem to be from the UK.

At 10:00pm we hoisted the sails and headed to sea for our overnight sail.

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Posted by rpickett 16:09 Archived in Barbados Tagged bridgetown Comments (0)

Virgin Voyages

Photo Album

sunny 80 °F

Here is the link to my photo album of the cruise aboard Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady

Although not for everybody because it is somewhat non-traditional - it is a great way to enjoy a cruise.

Click Scarlet Lady

Posted by rpickett 17:00 Archived in USA Tagged lady scarlet Comments (0)

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