Friday, November 11, 2011

Aboard the Star Flyer: Grenadines and Grenada

We said our ‘goodbyes’ to the excellent staff of Adulo Apartments.  Roger picked us up on schedule for the short drive to the ship terminal near Bridgetown for the 4 p.m.  embarkation; a long and hot procedure involving the individual processing of each passenger, 127 in all, including photos for our identification cards.  This gave us adequate time to meet several of our fellow shipmates.  We are a multi-national group, with an age range average of 50-70, with a few younger and some agile 80+ year olds.

Docked for departure from Barbados

Orientation by the Tropical Bar

The Star Flyer was an impressive sight docked alongside the pier.  As we boarded cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served.  We wandered around admiring the casual elegance of the ship’s appointments.   Our stateroom is conveniently located on the Clipper Deck, near the dining room, and only one level down from the Tropical Bar and sun-decks.  Peter, our cruise director, gave a welcome orientation and introduced the staff.

 Dinner is served between 8-10 p.m.  There are several courses starting with appetizers, then soup and salads, and finishing with a selection of desserts. Our first night’s entrees included rack of lamb, duck breast, and a salmon fillet.  Baskets of bread and bottles of wine were plentiful.  It soon became quite evident that the meals were first class and the service excellent and personal. 

At 10 p.m. the sail-raising ceremony begins with all hands on deck and the music of "1492" filling the air as the sails are hoisted.  Our 22 day voyage aboard the Star Flyer begins as we head out for an overnight sail to the Grenadines.  Our room is very spacious, especially by motorhome standards.  The head and shower is much larger than we are used to and beautifully appointed.  The large porthole offers us a fabulous view of the Caribbean Sea and islands as we pass, though who spends much time in the room when aboard a boat like this!
Raising the sails

Participation not mandatory!

The Grenadines are a chain of approximately 600 small islands, with St. Vincent as the main island.  We anchored off Captain's Best Beach on Union Island.  Soon the ship's tender started ferrying guests to shore for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling and water sports.

Arriving Grenadines

Tender takes us ashore

An afternoon of water sports
The Star Flyer presents a beautiful picture at anchor as we head back from shore!

As we weighed anchor, leaving for Grenada, this beautiful sunset presented itself!

A quick note might be appropriate here:  not all internet connections are created equal and some are quite expensive, as in the ship's wifi costing 20 Euros for 3 hours, and often quite slow.  I would like to go into more detail on island history, especially Grenada, with its lush tropical landscape and spices, and the US involvement in the please click on the link for more information.  I will concentrate on uploading photos that we took while on a 2 1/2 hour driving tour, seeing most of Grenada's highlights.

St. George's...the main town

We had a great demonstration at one of the spice farms

Taken from the French Fort Frederick, at the highest driving point

There are many waterfalls...this in Annandale

The Carenage or boat harbor
We're off for Isla Margarita and Isla Blanquilla, islands of Venezuela.  I opted not to go ashore for the few hours of snorkeling as my ankles are covered in bites from the sand fleas I encountered on the Grenadines, where the Mangrove trees are famous for harboring this vicious no-see-ums!

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