After sailing away from Barbados, we immediately set the sails as the wind was in our favor to sail through the night and in the morning were delighted to wake to Caribbean skies and a warm easterly breeze. After we had our coffee and breakfast, we had an introduction to sailing with our Captain John Svendsen. Regaling us with stories of the past and how the sailors today operate this traditional sailing vessel. We had a few visitors along the way, one being a couple sperm whales and later in the evening some large octopus. We ended our evening with our Captain’s Cocktail Party where we met the Sea Cloud’s key staff and Captain John Svendsen had thoughtful words for our journey ahead. After a fabulous dinner, Expedition Leader Paula had a surprise star-gazing night on the back deck with the skies opening up for all to see.
What a way to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day! What could be more romantic than sailing on board Sea Cloud , a 91-year-old, four-masted barque, the most beautiful sailing yacht ever built? We experienced winds from the north and northeast, perpendicular to our course. We were aiming for Bequia, the “island of the clouds,” or Becouya in the Arawak language. Captain John Svendsen took guests around the ship to show off every restoration detail. We are on a floating museum, a beauty that is kept alive thanks to the quality of her construction, the care and constant maintenance of her sailors, and because of our guests who keep exploring the world. If the morning was for sailing, the afternoon was for Bequia, which is seven square miles in area and part of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. After lunch, we dropped anchor in Admiralty Bay in front of Port Elizabeth. We visited the Sargeant Brothers Model Boat Shop. Here, artisans spend their days carving and building replicas of vessels in Port Elizabeth. They shape the wood with tools that have been utilized for decades, and they work with the same gumwood that the Caribs used to build the canoes that brought them from the Orinoco region into the Lesser Antilles centuries ago. Some of us walked a little farther to the boat museum where Mercy, the wife of the older Sargeant brother, explained the evolution of boat building in Bequia with tenderness and a big smile. The museum is alive because of Mercy’s dedication and passion. It is love that keeps things bright and thriving, as is the case with Sea Cloud . And today we celebrated love with all our senses. >We enjoyed rum punches and piña coladas from Jack’s Bar, where we gathered for swimming and relaxing. After this, we had a brief green flash experience. Hotel manager Simon surprised us twice today. He amazed us with an enormous, heart-shaped cake for lunch. At night, he amazed us again with roses while we enjoyed the local band “Kings of Strings.” And so the night went on with singing, dancing, and calypso rhythms played by four smiling musicians from a town that will stay in our hearts.