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SailorJM

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    461
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About SailorJM

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Diego, California
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Island Windjammers (sailing ships), plus sailing ships Arabella and Mandalay
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    New England, Caribbean, Central America, North America
  1. SailorJM

    Just back from cruising FWI on windjammer Vela

    Cool! Which week? We will be on sister ship Vela week of March 31 for Fleet Week, when all three Island windjammers ships sail together in/out of Grenada.
  2. SailorJM

    Just back from cruising FWI on windjammer Vela

    Yay for you! When are you sailing? We'll be back on Vela on March 31, 2019, ported in St. Kitts.
  3. Just spent a fabulous week on Vela, one of Island Windjammers (IWJ) three sailing tall ships—we sailed out of St. Lucia and visited the French West Indies, in the southern Caribbean. For us, there is nothing better than being on a tall ship, sails up, wind in your hair, beautiful islands, sunny skies—and on this trip, dolphins! So many dolphins on two days, running and leaping alongside Vela's bow as she sliced through the seas, full sails up. The islands we visited were not impacted by last fall's hurricanes, except for Dominica, which was hit hard, and happy to say, that island is well on its way to being whole once again, six months later. The people are proud, determined and coming back strong. And we on Vela were happy to do our part to help re-start her economy just a wee bit by taking an island tour (including chocolate factory) or a river tour—and enjoying rum drinks at one of the beach bars. We learned that the Caribbean islands that actually were slammed by Irma and Maria last year are coming back, just like Dominica....and that's great news! Vela is a 150-foot triple-masted sailing ship that can carry 26 passengers. Cabins are everything from cozy singles to larger suites....every cabin with its on A/C and bathroom. Her public spaces are beautiful: lots of woods. Crew of 10. My husband and I are longtime windjammer/tall ship afficionados and love everything about a windjammer-style sailing ship, and Vela certainly fits the bill: totally casual (Vela has sign posted onboard: If you're not barefoot, you're overdressed!), sails up, no lines, three full meals daily (no menus, but really really good and beautifully prepared), totally fun crew, great fellow passengers, small bays and coves that the big ships can't access....a laid back and so relaxing vacation. Most of our fellow passengers this time were escaping the frigid northwest. A Vela day began with a full breakfast, followed some mornings by a sail from one island to another—or on other days by exploring an island reached during the night. Vela offers a rope swing, paddle boards and snorkle gear at no charge, and her tender goes to shore on a regular basis when Vela is at anchor. Lunch on board, then more opportunities to explore, play in the water or just enjoy a good book....but everyone makes sure to be on board by 5pm for the daily Happy Hour, with the rum drink-of-the-day and sumptuous snacks. Dinner was always on the aft deck, under the stars. Chef Robert was a master not only of meals, but of desserts! Oh wow. Something decadent always, after both lunch and dinner! Evenings under the stars, sometimes under sail. For those who can handle the action of a large sailing ship, this is just too much fun. To find out more about Vela and the other two IWJ ships: islandwindjammers.com.
  4. SailorJM

    Uncruise: any experience?

    That is great to hear! That's a cruise we've been thinking on.
  5. SailorJM

    Arabella no longer sailing..ever again?

    Nice memories, altho bittersweet re Fantome. Many of the old Windjammer Barefoot Cruise (WBC) folks are sailing these days with Island Windjammers (IWJ, islandwindjammers.com), and the website for chatting is myseashanty.com. You might find someone there who sailed on Flying Cloud. IWJ has three tall ships sailing the Caribbean: Diamant (10 pass), Sagitta (24 pass) and Vela (26 pass). Also Mandalay, the only remaining sailing ship from WBC, is still sailing in the Caribbean, via a company called Sail Windjammer (sailwindjammer.com).
  6. The Diamant for Dominica fundraiser has topped its $10k goal and now at $12,750. That will help Dominica so much!
  7. Here's a feel-good story that I wanted to share. Dominica, an island with no mother country, was one of those most devasted by Hurricane Irma. Island Windjammers (IWJ), a small windjammer-style sailing cruise company, donated funds to the hard-hit islands and now is going to send its tall ship Diamant to Dominica, loaded with supplies to help those folks. A fundraiser was set up 4 days ago, with a goal of $5,000....met; then $6,000...met; then $10,000....met this am! An amazing effort via their own website that I'm very proud to have been a part of. My husband and I have sailed those islands many, many times since 2000, all on tall ships, from windjammers to Star Clippers and Windstars. We're so darn proud of what IWJ is doing with its Diamant for Dominica campaign, and hope that even tho the $10,000 goal has just been met, the funds will keep climbing! And yesterday, the US Navy sent its USS WASP to help the people of Dominica. Go Navy! https://www.youcaring.com/islandofdominica-956924
  8. SailorJM

    Uncruise: any experience?

    Ok then.......that all suits me just fine! And so an Uncruise is now on our list to to-do's
  9. SailorJM

    Mandalay Back in Service

    And to update my above posts on Island Windjammers: they now have three Island Girls: 10-passenger sailing ship Diamant, just out of a major refurb last fall; 24 passenger motorsailer Sagitta, and now the 26-passenger sailing ship Vela (the former Tole Mour). IWJ spent a year refurbing Vela and has been sailing her for the past year. Just today returned from a French West Indies week aboard Vela. Was great fun. Windjamming is alive and well!!
  10. SailorJM

    St Lucia's Local Opinion

    This is an incredibly awesome string, with so much excellent info! We've been to St. Lucia several times, but I have learned so much more about seeing this island here. Especially appreciative of the local point of view;) and patience in answering all the questions. You rock! We'll be back in St. Lucia on March 23 for several days, staying (again) at Marigot Bay Beach Resort, and sailing on Island Windjammer's sailing tall ship Vela for a week, then back to St. Lucia for a few more days (again at Marigot BBR)...and this string has definitely helped!! When IWJ had their ships based at Rodney Bay (they are now in Marigot Bay), we often stayed at the Bay Gardens Hotel which was wonderful and so tropical! It is part of the Bay Gardens Beach Resort, which has 3 sites, all close together: Bay Gardens Beach Resort, Bay Gardens Hotel (our fav) and the smallest: Bay Gardens Inn. Resort (quite large and on the water) is the priciest, inn has no restaurant (or didn't when last there several years ago) and very quiet. All have pools.
  11. SailorJM

    Uncruise: any experience?

    That's an excellent sign: that they took care of you that way! I've been thinking about an Uncruise for some time since everything I've read has been so positive. Your experience, while a bit of a bother, seems to have been dealt with quite well on their end. Looking forward to your report.
  12. 1. Santa Catalina, the island of romance, romance, romance...... 2. Take Me Home, Country Roads
  13. SailorJM

    Island Windjammers - Vela review

    Sailed Vela last December, a magical Christmas cruise! And just booked her again for March 2017! Beautiful sailing ship!
  14. SailorJM

    80 failing CDC score for Empress

    You're in the wrong port, mate. Your post appears to have nothing to do with Star Clippers.
  15. SailorJM

    Wind Surf or Royal Clipper?

    Airfare: maybe this could help AARP Magazine, April 2016, says: "You're likely to get the lowest fare on domestic and international flights if you buy your ticket on a weekend, finds a new report that analyzed some 10 billion ticket transactions. Tuesday follows as best weekday....Friday is usually the most expensive. Book your domestic flight 57 days before departure for the best fare.....for fights to the caribbean, book 77 days prior....." report was done by Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corp.
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