Friday, September 18, 2015

Windjammer S/V Mandalay Sailing Cruise Trip September 2015

Getting to Grenada takes the patience of a saint.  The 3:40 minute flight from Miami arrives at 8:35 pm local time. This is soon to be a half hour later as American Airlines adjusts its’ schedule. Immigration and customs took another hour.  Things move on ish time down island.  The Mandalay sails most Sundays from Grenada.

We check into the Allamanda Resort. Take the "resort" part very lightly.  We have a fish dinner across the street and wait until morning.

On the way to breakfast, I meet Charles.  He owns a van and does taxi service and tours.  We negotiate a price for an island tour and he meets us about noon.  We stop in St. George’s and get in line at a local cafeteria.  A cassava, rice and chicken wings is what I remember.  Off to the waterfall where we see many species of flowers and trees.  We see nutmeg, papaya, avocado and breadfruit trees, just to name a few in this rain forest. At the waterfall, our guide jumps into the water from above for tips.  We drive to the top of Grenada and  Grand Etang National Park,  There is a lovely lake left by the volcano. There I sample the rum punch.  We see our ship in the harbor on the way back to the Alamanda.

We go back to the Alamanda and prepare for our cruise aboard the historic S/V Mandalay.  We take the launch for the first time across the harbor to the ship.  We are greeted with rum swizzles and seated in the dining room to fill out paperwork.  After settling into our Admiral Suite, we take or doubloom to the bar for a real drink.  We have a buffet dinner in the saloon.  

Rum Swizzles

At 11:00 pm, the ship comes to life as the engines are revved up for our sailing to somewhere.  Passengers help raise the sails to the sounds of Amazing Grace on the loud speakers. We set sail northward and head to bed.

The morning finds us in  Cacouan.  At story time, Captain Bernard fills us in on the orders of the day followed by the safety drill.  We have a dry landing today. Walked into town in the morning .  Very hot out we head back to the ship.  After lunch we spend an hour on the beach.  Tonight’s dinner, fish.  We engage is the silly trivia game: "Battle of the Sexes" before dinner.

Tuesday Bequia- Walked into town from the dry landing.  Found ATM and took out 100ec dollars.  I wanted $200, but that is all she would give.   Purchased wine and went to Maria’s restaurant and bar for wifi.  Went to Princess Margaret Beach in the afternoon 2-3 pm. Named Princess Margaret because she once swam here. 

I had pain killer at Maria’s and checked the baseball scores on the wi-fi..  A pain killer is a concoction of rum, pineapple, orange, coconut and nutmeg on ice.  Tonight’s dinner  chicken fried steak Parmesan.

At Maria's

Wednesday  was a cloudy, rainy days at Tobago Cays    Only a few saw a turtle in the turtle sanctuary.   The spit of powder white sand had resident iguana's on the dunes above.  Lunch took us to a nearby island with palm trees, picnic tables and aggressive birds. Before dinner on the ship, we bet on the crabs.  The fastest crab was the "Captain's Pennis."   The little guy could run.

Tobago Cays Turtle Sanctuary

Many Shades of Blue even with the Clouds

We move on to Mayreau.  The rain making it cool outside, so I agreed to take a cultural walk ashore in the evening.  Only made it to two bars.  The hill got to me and the second bar had a Turkish flag hanging on the thatched roof.  Story is that many foreign yachts leave there flags here on the island of just 250 residents.
Teachers Credit Union

Coke with Sugar not Corn Syrup

Thursday it was rainy in the morning.  Mashup, our bartender brought his beach bar out and had no customers from the ship.  Seems the rain had some exploring the island and the rest staying aboard the Mandalay.
Elsa and Arthur Wedding Photo

Not Sure What this Means

Palm Island was a hoot.  Many restaurants and bars.  Most hung out at the bakery with wi-fi.
Happy Island was closed to visitors.

Sandy Island

Shirley and Daniel Oppliger

The last night we play Pictionary before dinner.  Our trip ends with the captains dinner of steak and fish.  In the morning we enter St. George's harbor and watch as the ship does a Y turn to take its' place along the dock.  Grenada is proud of the Mandalay and she is featured on Post Cards and some of those tourist magazine filled with ads that you see when you travel around the world as we have. Mandalay, Oh My.

Daniel Oppliger is the owner of Tropical Sails Corp, a travel agency in Surprise, AZ that is familiar with and actively promotes tall ship sailing cruises.