Sailing away on a Windjammer in The Bahamas
Sometimes things happen for a reason.
On arrival in Nassau we were undecided about what we were going to do in The Bahamas, this is how we roll with spur of the moment decisions. After spending some time online researching Eleuthera and Cat Islands, nothing really sat well with what we wanted to achieve whilst there.
Steve then came across a tall mast windjammer cruise departing Nassau in 5 days time. The Liberty Clipper is a 125 foot gaff-rigged schooner and is a replica of the famous Baltimore Clippers. It’s a member of The Liberty Fleet and was departing on a 6 night cruise around the islands that make up The Bahamas. Now, boats, the ocean and fishing are really Steve’s “thing”. He excitedly asked me if it was something I would consider doing, given I’m not overly confident on boats and unsteady on my feet.
Jumping out of my comfort zone was getting easier and easier on this adventure of ours. So after I spent some time checking things out I decided what the hell lets go for it.
At check-in we met some of our fellow passengers in the bar, which was a good way to break the ice. After a few drinks, we made our way to dock to meet our crew for the next week. Now being in such close quarters with 17 complete strangers was a little daunting for us given we had been travelling on our own for nearly 8 months. But we needn’t have worried, every one of our group was just awesome!
Some excerpts from my diary….
“After the obligatory jump off the bowspit into the water by some of the more adventurous guests, we are now anchored in a small bay off the Coast of Eleuthera Island in the calmest turquoise waters I have EVER seen. So much for being worried about getting sea sick. It’s like something out of a movie set or those over photoshopped travel brochures of some far off exotic island. As the schooner gently rocks with the ebb and flow of the sea, I can see many of the guests including Steve snorkeling off into the distance. Amongst them are some crew members with spear guns at the ready in hope of snagging our dinner of Lobster or Snapper, but more than likely the catch will be invasive Lion Fish.
Portside off the boat the beach is lined with mainly whitewashed homes with the odd bright blue one, complete with white shutters and tin roofs just metres away from the water’s edge.
We have set full sail just once so far, a truly spectacular sight to see such a well-crafted vessel ploughing the seas under natures steam, the prevailing winds. The silence is just something I didn’t expect….such a splendour to behold and an experience I will relish for a long, long time to come.
I deeply breathe in the sea air and think to myself THANK GOODNESS we chose to do this trip rather than stay in one place.
We have experienced some very special sunrises and sunsets, swam in the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean, enjoyed bonfires on the beach, eaten like royalty, snorkelled and explored so much more than we could have ever anticipated we would in The Bahamas…..every day.
Our fellow passengers that we share this twin mast timber sail ship with have contributed to the whole experience. They have been a wonderful mix of young and not so young that we have enjoyed sharing our story with, and hearing theirs.
I know lifelong friends have been made.
The crew have tended to our every need and want, nothing has been too much trouble. The captain even snorkelled alongside our less experienced guests, just to make sure their vacation has been even more than they could have hoped for.
We’ve laughed, cried and shared. A truly unique experience and one I would do again in a heartbeat.
On the very last day I mustered up the courage to face another fear of mine and I snorkelled, off the beach, but I snorkelled…..now I’ve ticked that box off my list”
Anyone thinking about doing a Windjammer Cruise in The Bahamas? Just do it, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain.