...The Bahamas are a favorite site for large cruise ships as well as smaller luxury yachts. And then there is the Liberty Clipper, a two masted sailing ship with humans operating sail raising. There is no TV, air conditioning or plush furniture. Sleeping quarters are not roomy and you can dry your swimming trunks/towel by hanging them on the cables that form railing around the boat.
...Sounds bad? Not at all. This week of travel was excellent and a lot of fun as well as picturesque. Sure, the cabins are small but adequate. The toilet/showers are also small but adequate. The food was outstanding. Much praise goes to our chef/cook and his helper. Not only was the food well prepared, it was abundant and well served.
...My son and I were lucky since the passenger load for our week was only 7 while the weeks preceding and following our trip had 17-19 passengers. The trip itinerary was fluid, and the captain choose to traveled along the Exumas with much of our time spent in islands within a large wildlife protected area. The scenery was spectacular, the snorkeling was outstanding and the animal life (except for birds) was quite varied.
...I am 78 and my son is much younger. His joints are able to move a lot more smoothly than mine. He could climb the mast while I took pictures of him. While I am a strong swimmer, climbing in and out of places is a bit difficult. The crew was very accommodating and made it easy for both of us to do just about anything we wanted to do.
...You can also learn a lot about the way the sailing ship operates. We sailed in water that was frequently about 12' deep. The ship had a retractable centerboard (the keel under the ship) so we could stay near shore by sailing in water down to about 8'. This allowed us to see fish (like a friendly shark), coral and strange objects in the incredibly clear water. We also learned never to call the twisted twine a rope. This would bring about a reprimand since this is a line!
...The ideas of what to expect on the ship came from the company postings along with those of former passengers. We only had a vague idea of what to expect. We were both really pleased with the reality of the trip. We sort of knew what to expect of the passengers but really did not know what to expect of the crew. What was amazing was the quality of the crew. They were all quite friendly and it was fascinating to talk with them and find out their backgrounds as well as where they were headed in life. Truly enjoyable. Our thanks to Dylan, Jeff, Cassie, Jason, Sam, Steve, Joabar, Derrick, Shawn, Jordan and Lauren. May others be as pleased with their work as we were.
...If you want to have a fun time, be part of the operation of a sailing ship, meet up with interesting passengers and crew and enjoy the Bahamas, take a Liberty Clipper cruise. Given the opportunity, we would go again!