At sea

Published: January 15th 2022
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The light fittingThe light fittingThe light fitting

Do you think this will have as much charm at home?
So all packed and checked out of hotel now a spot of lunch. We found a lovely little place called Sage - well did we find it truly, no Graham had been given the heads up that it is a great spot for brunch. It was a really stylish place. I loved the light fitting and might take that idea back to Blighty, anyway I had better mind my Ps and Qs. Back to the hotel and then the journey begins. We get to the port and go through the first part of the journey by booking in and then we are taken to Shed 3 where all the paperwork has to be gone through. Now we start with the musical chairs but without the music. We have to give in our latest PCR, copies of our vaccinations, and all the signed waivers and then we move to the next musical chairs and await our lateral flow test. It was really funny the medical staff were having a chat between themselves that white people hold hands in public and are more affectionate than black people and asked us if we thought that was true! Now I am not sure if I

So I managed to get up
should have been allowed to have that conversation but hey ho we are in Barbados. Once the sample was taken we then go to another block of chairs and await our name to be called with a negative result. To confirm this, a blue sticker is attached to our passport before we can get on the bus to be taken finally to the ship.

On board waiting to greet us were Helen and Albert who we had met on a previous cruise and it was great to see them again. They live in Germany 🇩🇪 and had as much trouble getting to Barbados as we did. Once on the Royal Clipper it felt so natural which was really great. We had our muster briefing in the cabin which was different than previous times where you had to be on deck with your life jacket.

First thing after that we find the Tropical Bar and all have drinks. After dinner it was sail away. Now I did tell Sue (L) don’t be wearing mascara as I know she will be emotional when we set sail under full sail and guess what, she got emotional.

Back at the cabin it started to get a bit choppy but I promised myself I would try to get up for sunrise - lets see if I actually manage it.

Day 2 of sailing up early for sunrise even though it was a cloudy one but it was nice to have some peace on deck. 8 am Sue (L), myself and a lady called June did the exercise class and then we did the 10 laps of the deck which equates to a mile. On our last trip we managed to get the walk on the programme as the Royal Ramblers and 24 people joined us - not sure this is going to happen on this watch as we are doing it really early.

We arrive in Rodney Bay, St Lucia and get on a tender to take us to shore as cannot come all this way and not step on St Lucia. The landing place the tender drops you off is a bit of a dumping ground so first impression is not very good if I am honest. We decided to get off at the beach as we have been told that at the marina nothing is open. Compared to the beach in Barbados, Rodney Bay is not in its league - the good thing though was that it was a Sunday and all the locals were having great fun in the water. We were accosted lots of times asking us if we wanted sun beds as we were there for only an hour or so we thought it was not worth it. However, Helen and Albert succumbed and got 2 for $20. Now this is the funny part, Sue (L) pipes up I have only got $50 so can we do a deal and have 4 sun beds for $50! Now even I knew this was not a deal ha ha - Eric jumps in quick and says nooooooooo and we manage to keep walking.

Back on the ship we managed to talk Eric into being a model for the fashion show as all models get 20% off in the shop. Anyone who knows Eric knows he did not take a lot of persuasion.

Tomorrow we should arrive in Cabrits which is in Dominica and we have booked on an Indian River Boat
Pano on a moving shipPano on a moving shipPano on a moving ship

Helen told me I was the worst photographer in the world, ha ha
- like Mike said, why is it called an Indian River Boat, we are in the Caribbean!!!!

Day 3 on the ship and up early again for the exercise class and once again walk the mile around the top deck so ready for breakfast as we are sailing alongside Star Clipper, one of Royal Clipper’s sister ships which is supposed to be spectacular and it really did not disappoint. What an amazing sight. Whilst we were sailing together there was a catamaran that sailed between us, I bet they never thought when they went sailing today that they would have seen such an amazing sight of two tall ships in full sail.

As I said before, we had booked an excursion on an Indian River Boat. Well we found out when we got in the little boat that there are 365 rivers in Dominica and it is a very tropical island. Well low and behold the heavens opened and we got absolutely soaked. I was not too bad as I had my swim suit on with a cover up but boy oh boy were we all soaked. If I am honest, we had 7 other people in our boat and they all thought it was funny and there was a lot of joviality it really made the trip. It felt like we were on the African Queen as we were winding down the river - why an Indian River trip, well it’s because the river is called Indian River and is famous because Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed on the river. Once we get back to where the tenders were to take us back to the ship, I tried to take everyone back to the wrong ship, Star Clipper!!

So back on board (the correct ship) we find out we have been invited to join the captain with a number of other guests so better be on my best behaviour - which is difficult to do if you know me well enough. Before we go to see the captain Sue (L) says let’s watch the sunset and see if we can see the green flash just as the sun sets. Well I must have blinked because everyone else saw the green flash but hey ho I missed it - now me thinks are they having me on about the green flash!!! I will check it out tomorrow and this time maybe use matchsticks to keep my eyes open.

After dinner was ABBA night so a few moves on the dance floor and then off to bed as needed to get up early to see the sunrise. Sunrise is always a special time on the ship as there is only ever one or two people up this early so you have the whole ship to yourself.

Day 4 - Well we made it for sunrise and it was quite spectacular. It is always amazing when you actually get up early enough to see it and as that is 6.30am you can see why I do not make it every morning. Well another breakfast done. We had a chat with a lady called Julie who we have now named Billy after Billy no mates as her and her husband have a table for 6 and no one sits with them. Anyway Billy tells us when you get off the tender at Falmouth Harbour you need to get a taxi to Nelson’s Dockyard which is where we all wanted to go to as it is really long walk and when you have done that to get to Pigeon Beach where the lunch BBQ is it is again a really long walk up a really steep hill so once again get a taxi. So we get off the tender and low and behold a taxi was there waiting for passengers. So we negotiate a price of $15 for 6 of us to get to Nelson’s Dockyard and the taxi driver is smiling and so happy to be taking us. Well we all go in one side of the taxi give the driver the $15 and then get out the other side that is how quick and short the drive was - wait until we see Billy. Nelson’s Dockyard was really impressive but we decided that we were not going to take Billy’s advice about getting a taxi from here to Pigeon Beach and walked up a small hill and over to the beach.

After a swim and a bit of sun bathing we get back on the tender to the ship and, you guessed it, had a couple of drinks before our evening meal. Anyway we pass Billy and low and behold she has people on her table - I had to ask how much she had paid to get someone to sit on her table, ha ha.

Day 5 - we arrive in St Kitts. We go on the tender and they drop us off at the beach. Well the beach they drop us off at has nothing open and they had a few sun beds but once we had got our backsides on the sun beds a lady comes along and tells us we are not allowed to sit on them. Mike, Eric, Sue (L) all went snorkelling and saw a number of fishes. So back on board and a quiet night was had by all.

Day 6 - we arrive at Baruda which normally ships do not go to but as the French had banned us from visiting Martinique, Baruda it was. So once again on the tender and they drop us off at another beach. You could have taken a taxi to Princess Diana beach but as it was US $60 each way. I could not see the point of paying to go to another sandy beach. So Sue (L) and I decide to take out the canoe for a paddle for a little bit of a change. Once back we meet up with Kate who we have been friendly with since on board the ship. Kate is German but speaks amazing English. So here comes the cracker - we are walking down the beach and Sue (L) says something about Wales and then explains to Kate as she is German where Wales is i.e. the little bit that sticks out from England. I crease with laughter as Kate is very intelligent and of course knows where Wales is so we decide we are not going to let Sue (L) forget about this. Anyway it is captain’s dinner tonight and Billy (no mates) and her husband and Helen and Albert are all invited to the top table. Us minions are booted off our table which is normally the top table to the side seats.

Day 7 - is a day at sea and it has started really well as we saw a whale 🐳. It is also the mast climbing day to day but as I have already done this on another trip I decide to let other people do it this time - how kind am I getting in my old age, ha ha.

Day 8 - this is the last day for Helen and Albert and also Kate and we are at Sea all day. Kate did the mast climb as we had all done this before we decided not to do it this time.It was a bitter sweet day but as always we have had fun and laughter together. Helen has said I am the worst photographer in the world and you can see why. So do not take a pano photo on a moving ship with people in. Helen looks weird her head is distorted. Now for week 2.


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