Postcards from the Bow Net

Connie Moran shared her favorite bow net photos.



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Postcards from the Bow Net

Alicia Bernaldo de Quiros shared these great photos taken on Star Clipper's bow net during her August 2009 cruise.







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Its Fun to...

Mike and Connie shared this great video of Star Clippers' crew leading an enthusiastic rendition of YMCA.



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Sailing Lingo: Rutter

Yesterday we asked, what does “rutter” mean and where did the term originate?



Nice job by Wayne Green on providing the correct answer! He wrote: "A rutter is a book of rhumb charts, or charts showing the way between ports. I can see some of these questions being used at cocktail hour quiz time in a few weeks time!!!! Can’t wait…study up!"



I'll elaborate a bit more. A rutter is an early name for a book of sailing directions. It was usually illustrated with views of ports and coastlines seen from seaward. In 1483 a French sailor named Pierre Garcie wrote "Grand Routier et Pilotage" for the west coast of France, and a translation appeared in English, possibly the first of a long series of rutters that appeared over the next two centuries. A printed version appeared in 1521 with woodcut views to facilitate identification of the coast from seaward. There was also information on tides and general advice on navigating.



Rutter also referred to the English seaman's personal notebook in which he kept a record of  anchorages, etc. Such notebooks were usually handed down from father to son, being valued for the local information they held.
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Sailing Lingo: Rutter

Today’s challenge is: Rutter. Do you know what this phrase means and how it originated?



Sailing Lingo aims to test your knowledge of the peculiar and sometimes indecipherable language of sailing. We pose a question and see who can answer it most accurately in the comments on the post. The following day we’ll post the answer to the question and save you some Googling!
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The Royal Clipper Heave-Ho

Guest, Claudia Brooks, shared this great video she shot of fellow guests hoisting the sail on Royal Clipper.





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Port of the Week: Caño Island, Costa Rica

Isla del Caño, Costa Rica.





Isla del Caño is a small island in the Bahia de Coronado (Bay of Coronado) in Costa Rica. The Island has been established as a protected national park, serving as home to migratory birds and marine environments.



This is an ideal port to take advantage of water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking or just soaking in the rays and stunning view. Divers on board will be pleased to learn the island is believed to offers some of best diving in Costa Rica (after Cocos Island) and is one of the world's newest hot spots for adventure diving.



Located off the southwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, this virgin area offers a variety of unique diving attractions, from 15-16' reefs to 80' "walls". The rock formations are volcanic origins; sea fans, cup coral, head corals are the most common. Many of the same species you find in the Galapagos Islands live here and because of its status as a biological reserve the diving in Caño Island is regulated.



Throughout the island guests will find evidence of its history by taking a short hike through the lush forrest. Incredible stone spheres that have been found here, all of which are hand carved and perfectly rounded and date back to the pre-Columbian era.



Star Clipper will call at Isla del Caño on its seven-night Panama to Costa Rica cruise November 2010 and on its seven-night Costa Rica and Panama cruise sailings November and December 2010 and January, Feburary and March, 2011.
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Postcards from Bequia, the Grenadines

Thanks to Rox & Scott for sending in these great shots taken in Bequia during their Caribbean cruise.


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Star Flyer Gets High and Dry for Two Weeks

Tahiti Press ran this great photo of Star Flyer going in for a two-week dry dock in Papeete, Tahiti.


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Postcards from a Holiday Cruise

Claudia Brooks & William (Bill) Rietdyke shared these great photos from their holiday cruise.


What a wonderful cruise! Here are a few pictures from the cruise. The Crew was fantastic! We will be back!





Left: The fashion show starring Dave and Gill (now which is which?). Right: Talking with the “locals” on Dominica – these two boys were such a delight!




Left: What a view – the Royal Clipper at Antigua. Right: Christmas cookie making with Emma.






Left: The Royal Clipper choir. Right: The festive crew.
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Christmas Sunset from Royal Clipper

We received this great note and photos from guest Michael Hoad.
Just enjoyed the great Christmas cruise on Royal Clipper, made wonderful by Ximena, Sunny, Mariano, Axel, Francis and Clifford. Enclosed are two from the photo shoot at St. Kitts. In the dark one, she looks like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean. Many thanks, Michael Hoad.

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Sailing Lingo: Williamson Turn





Today’s challenge is: Williamson Turn. Do you know what this phrase means and how it originated?



Sailing Lingo aims to test your knowledge of the peculiar and sometimes indecipherable language of sailing. We pose a question and see who can answer it most accurately in the comments on the post. The following day we’ll post the answer to the question and save you some Googling!
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Port of the Week: Fethiye, Turkey

Fethiye, Turkey.





Fethiye is a small, yet popular, resort town along the Turkish Turquoise coast, that once was home to the ancient city of Telmessos. Here, guests on board Star Flyer will sail into a beautiful wide bay, strewn with many islands.



The town still retains a sense of its old-fashioned rural character, with herds of goats and sheep blocking the roads on market days and the smell of herbs and spices in the air. The bazaar is the biggest in the area and is a must for bargain hunters.



Fethiye also is home to several remarkable ancient sites guests will want to explore. The most conspicuous are the rock tombs dating from the 4th century BC carved in the hillside above the town. Beside the Fethiye harbor is the Roman amphitheatre and the crumbling remains of a medieval castle built by the Knights of St. John.



Around Fethiye are numerous unspoiled rocky coves and beaches, crystalline seas, offshore islands, cliffs and pine-covered mountains. Gulets (sturdy wooden yachts) can be hired for day trips around these coastal waters. The beach resort of Oludeniz is just 25 minutes away by local minibuses and offers numerous activities, including parasailing, banana boating, diving, snorkeling, water skiing; and most famously paragliding.



Star Flyer will call at Fethiye on its seven-night Turkey's Turquoise Cost cruises departing July 24 and August 7, 2010.
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Sailing Lingo: Chewing the Fat

Yesterday we asked, what does “chewing the fat” mean and where did the term originate?



Now commonly used to refer to a lengthy discussion to solve a problem, chewing the fat, has its origins in the sailing word.



"God made the vittles, but the devil made the cook," was a popular saying used by seafaring men in the 19th century when salted beef was staple diet aboard ships.



In the days of pre-refrigeration, when meat was preserved by salting it a staple of a sailor's ration was salted beef and pork. As efficient as salting was, it actually rendered the meat virtually inedible unless it was chewed over a long period of time. Men often chewed one chunk for hours, just as it were chewing gum and referred to this practice as "chewing the fat."



What this has to do with today’s interpretation of the phrase is a puzzle to us, unless talking with your mouth full for a couple of hours was not only acceptable back then but almost expected!
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Sailing Lingo: Chewing the Fat





Today’s challenge is: Chewing the Fat. Do you know what this phrase means and how it originated?



Sailing Lingo aims to test your knowledge of the peculiar and sometimes indecipherable language of sailing. We pose a question and see who can answer it most accurately in the comments on the post. The following day we’ll post the answer to the question and save you some Googling!
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Postcards from Dominica

A beautiful sunset photo taken aboard Royal Clipper, December 7, 2009, off Dominica.

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Port of the Week: La Blanquilla, Venezuela





La Blanquilla, Venezuela.



Blanquilla, Venezuela, is a scuba diver's and nature lover's dream. Located just 70 miles northwest of Isla Margarita, it's sure to dazzle guests arriving aboard Star Flyer with its brilliant white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling.



Virtually uninhabited except for fishermen and a coast guard station, guests will feel like they've arrived at a private island for a day of sun, sand and surf.



Named for those sandy beaches, the 72-square-mile limestone island is shaped like an arrowhead and is home to Venezuelan wall diving, as it sits on the edge of a deep ocean trench.



The wall starts just 65 feet from shore, and plummets straight down more than 3,000 feet. At some spots, including Piedra del Ahogado (The Drowned Rock), coral pinnacles scratch the water's surface. The wall is also rich with black corals, which are increasingly hard to find throughout the world.



Los Hermanos are five rock spires that rise up from the depths to form a convenient anchorage for fishing boats. The crews often clean their catch here, discarding the slop overboard, feeding a dense collection of fat and happy fish, from moray eels to barracuda and triggerfish.







Star Flyer will call at La Blanquilla on its Panama Canal cruise departing October 31, 2010.
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Postcards from French Polynesia

Linda Colthrop sent us these lovely sunset photos taken from Star Flyer in Tuamoto atoll, French Polynesia.






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Sailing Lingo: Holystone

Yesterday we asked, what does “holystone" mean and where did the term originate?



A holystone is a soft and brittle sandstone that was formerly used for scouring and whitening the wooden decks of a ship.



The term may have come from the fact that 'holystoning the deck' was originally done on one's knees, as if in prayer. Another widely quoted legend attributes the name to the story that such pieces of stone were taken for use from St. Nicholas Church in Great Yarmouth. More plausible is the theory that "holy" stones were taken from the ruined church of St. Helens on the Isle of Wight, where tall ships would often anchor and take on provisions before setting off on a voyage.



A few other interesting tidbits:


John Huston's 1956 film "Moby Dick" and most recently Peter Weir's 2003 film "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," depict sailors scrubbing the deck with holystones.



The U.S. Navy's Iowa-class battleships (New Jersey, Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa) all had wooden decks (over steel decks) and were holystoned regularly until the ships were decommissioned during the 1990s.



Holystoning in the modern navy was not generally done on the knees but with a stick resting in a depression in the flat side of the stone. One source claims holystoning was banned in the U.S. Navy in 1931, as it wore down the deck, however, a photo on the U.S. Navy's Navsource photo archive shows Navy Midshipmen holystoning the deck of the USS Missouri in 1951.
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Sailing Lingo: Holystone

Today’s challenge is: Holystone. Do you know what this phrase means and how it originated?



Sailing Lingo aims to test your knowledge of the peculiar and sometimes indecipherable language of sailing. We pose a question and see who can answer it most accurately in the comments on the post. The following day we’ll post the answer to the question and save you some Googling!
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