May 15-26, 2017
The first island stop was at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I always call this island the the “shopping capital of the world” as the shopping is between two streets and numerous connecting ally’s between them. We took an overview tour to some of the high spots on the island. The first photo is of our ship, the Celebrity Equinox. The second photo is the world famous Magan Bay – one mile of sandy beach.
This morning we arrived in Harbor Town, Tortola. We walked out into the marina to see the yachts. In the afternoon we took a highlights tour and ended up at Cane Garden Beach for some rum punch.
We awoke this morning in St. Johns, Antigua and had breakfast on the veranda before heading off on a tour in an AC mini bus. We stopped at a hotel on the beach for another rum punch. On the way back we stopped at a lady’s herb garden where she proceeded to tell us of the all the remedies she had made from them. For lunch we, ate on the second story of the Hemingway Cafe before heading back to the ship.
The next island is Barbados, where we watched the ship dock at Bridgetown. The tour was well worth it with a knowledgable guide and stops at Bathsheba’s Beach and the Andromeda Botanical Garden. The Beach is famous as a top surfer spot called the Soup Bowl, and the large ancient coral rock formations that look like toadstools. The one flower that I am showing is quite different from any that I had seen before. I took a taxi to downtown for photos of fishing boats but was disappointed to find only modern yachts. The last photo is of some type of structure on a nearby pier that I did not know what it was for.
As we again cruise north, the next island is St. Lucia, where we boarded a large motorized catamaran for a coastal tour. The coastal scenery was somewhat muted by clouds and haze, but we stopped at a beach, so some people could go swimming. Several locals paddled up in kayaks to sell their wares. We continued on for a hazy view of what are known as the Pitons, which are famous volcanic plugs. After lunch on the ship, I finally found the old picturesque fishing boats with great color that I had been looking for the whole trip. The last photo is a creative version of the tableau of characters on the pier.
The sixth and final island stop was St. Marrten, which is half Dutch and half French. We had been here before, so for this the last day our excursion was to go on America’s Cup racing yachts. We were in the crew for the 1987 winner “Stars and Stripes” built by Dennis Connor in Sidney, Australia. Everyone had a job to do as their were only 4 regular crew including the captain. Luckily, I was assigned to be the initial timer for the start of the race against “True North”, a Canadian yacht, and could devote the rest of my time for photos as usual. Photography work had to be fast and lucky with the pitching and yawing (30 degree angle). Joann was to watch for icebergs!! The rest of the people had to work hard during the tacking run with grinding the winches for some of the ropes and others pulled ropes to switch sides for the jib sail in the front. Needless to say this was the most awesome highlight of the whole trip!!