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