Our expedition continued to be filled with excitement and activities as we traveled to St. Vincent and the Isle of Bequia. The morning began with Aaron Raymond’s talk about expedition photography. He demonstrated various functions and camera settings and shared technical information and methods with guests to help them enhance photographic images when capturing memories of their voyage. Following Aaron’s presentation, the captain gave a tour that focused on the restoration efforts that keep historical Sea Cloud functioning and in pristine condition. After lunch, we disembarked on the Isle of Bequia in Saint Vincent where our guests had the opportunity to visit the model boat museum and workshop. This workshop is important in creating replicas of the historic sail ships owned by celebrities and the Royal family of England. The museum provided a background on the whaling activities that once provided a source of income for the local community. In the late afternoon, guests had a chance to swim on the beach and enjoy some drinks while watching the beautiful sunset. We ended the day on the ship with our local guide and a musical group that delighted guests with local interpretations of American songs.
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.