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Royal Clipper

Dominica

sunny 80 °F

After sailing the majority of the morning we arrived in the bay of Cabrits, Dominica, out from the Cabrits National Park.

Cabrits is an extinct volcano that was once its own island, separate from mainland Dominica. It was connected to Dominica by the sweeping in of material from Douglas Bay and Prince Rupert Bay.

The word Cabrits is derived from "goat" in Spanish, French and Portuguese, and is a reference to the animal that has been indigenous to Cabrits. Goats were introduced to the island by sailors, who set them free on the island to grow, so that there would be meat available when they returned.

Our excursion today took us on a rowboat ride about 1/2 mile up the Indian River to explore and witness some of the natural beauty of the area.

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Posted by rpickett 14:46 Archived in Dominica Tagged cabrits Comments (0)

Royal Clipper

St. Vincent and Bequia

sunny 80 °F

The stop this morning was at Kingstown, St. Vincent mostly for the shore excursion to the Botanical Garden. The town itself is not much to write home about, but walking around you can get a sense of how life in the town is. The modern capital was founded by French settlers shortly after 1722, although Saint Vincent had 196 years of British rule before its independence. The botanical garden, conceived in 1765, is one of the oldest in the Western hemisphere. William Bligh, made famous from the Mutiny on the Bounty, brought seed of the breadfruit tree here for planting, c.‚ÄČ1793.

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During lunch we made the short sail to the wonderful little island of Bequia. My brother had been here a number of times, and the highlight was heading to Mac's Pizza and Kitchen for some local beer and a shrimp and garlic pizza.

Bequia is the second-largest island in the Grenadines at 7 square miles (18 km2). It is part of the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and is approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the nation's capital, Kingstown, on the main island, Saint Vincent. Bequia means "island of the clouds" in the ancient Arawak. The island's name was also 'Becouya' as part of the Grenadines.

Bequia has a history of whaling which may have brought in by the Yankee whalers in the 19th century. Its people are only allowed to catch up to four humpback whales per year using traditional hunting methods, however these methods are regularly abused using harpoon guns and speedboats to surround the whales. The limit is rarely met, with no catch some years.

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After dinner we hoisted sails and set off for Dominica.

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Posted by rpickett 14:50 Archived in St Vincent/The Grenadines Tagged and bequia kingstown Comments (0)

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)

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