Yankee Clipper Report
Here's my report on the Y.C. which we were on in August.
I wanted to introduce my son, Dave, a science teacher in
Manistee, MI, to (1) the Caribbean and (2) cruising. What
better way than to take him on the Yankee Clipper for a
week. (I have been on the Poly and I did the Fantome
Venezuelan Island trip.)
Flying from MI required an overnight in MIA which gave us an
evening at Bayside and the Hard Rock Cafe. The continuing
flight on Sunday got us to Grenada at 1:50pm. We were met at
the airport by the little guy with a W.B.C. sign who said
he was "officially" from Windjammer. All of the WBC
passengers on the plane (10) were surprised by this. We put
the luggage in a truck (which went to the ship) and we got
into a van and were delivered to the Nutmeg Bar, just across
the harbor from the ship. At THAT point were told to each
pay the driver $5 (another small surprise)!
The Nutmeg is a great little place, but for those of you
taking this trip soon, who will also be taken there, be sure
to ask the prices before you order. My Coke (mostly ice)
cost $3.00 U.S. To pass the time until boarding (5pm), our
group walked up to the fort for a great photo op of the
harbor and ship.
Our cabin was a standard cabin down below. We found that we
had one of the rare showers that would stay on all the time
we were using it... most of them, we heard, did that
auto-turn-off thing after about 5-6 seconds (we were in
cabin 16 - if you have a choice). The musical group on board
that evening was called First Edition - girl-type singer,
boy-type singer, boy-type keyboard player who also played
the Sax about 1/4 tone flat all night. Not one steel drum
was heard all week!
Our Captain was John McLean, 1st mate, Ed Snowden and
Purser, Annie Bleasdale... great people!! Annie is being
moved to the Fantome where, she said, her first cruise was
going to be a nude gay trip, with the passengers being all
guys over 60 :-(
Our itineray included the islands of Bequia, Canouan, Palm,
(overnight in a harbor of Union Is.) and Carriacou, in
addition to Grenada.
Bequia is fabulous! W.B.C. actually has too many optional
shore tours there... very hard to choose.
I was the only one from YC to take the catamaran sail over
to Mustique. It was an EXCELLENT choice! Snorkeling was
perfect, as was my "Bazilburger" from Bazil's famous Bar. We
caught a Barracuda on the way back to Bequia.
Cauouan is a comfortable beach stop, with lunch brought
ashore from the Clipper. But, probably one of the favorite
stops was at Palm Island. The island's owner, John Caldwell,
author of "Dangerous Journey," welcomed us ashore and hosted
an evening barbecue at his resort. Post cards at John's
store are $1 each and postage is $.27. But to make up for
the high prices, our cards took over 2 weeks to get home.
The Amazing grace, Windjammer's supply ship was there also
and we had a chance to tour her and meet some of her
passengers. When we pulled in to anchor next to the "Grace,"
we ran our pirate's flag up the yardarm and fired some shots
across her bow. She answered our fire, but her cannon
jammed, so we claimed victory!
Dave and I agreed that Carriacou proved to be the island
with the most authentic feeling of the real Caribbean
because the main village of Hillsborough is NOT geared up
for the tourist trade. We wandered through the unpretentious
grocery and hardware stores where the locals shop. T-shirt
shops were noticeably absent. The island cemetery proved to
be a fascination for many of us. We were amused by the
20-30 "lawn-mowing" goats amoung the tombstones.
Snorkeling at Carriacou's Windjammer Bay was perhaps the
best of the trip with sightings of eels, octopus and
flounder as well as the usual colorful reef fish.
All of American's flights were full on our day of departure,
so we hopped a LIAT commuter over to Trinidad to catch AA
from there. The trip home took exactly 12 hours. Yawn!
There were only 34 passengers on the Clipper, so we knew
everyone well! The food was good and presented very nicely
(which amazes me when I see the size of the galley - TINY!)
We rated this whole trip as EXCELLENT!
If I have missed any detail that you wanted to know, ask me.
Bob in MI