A Tour Of Cabrits, Dominica, Brings A Different Outlook

Chis Owen of the popular blog Chris Cruises recently took a Royal Clipper sailing. Chris is a travel-writer who focuses primarily on the cruise industry and he began live-tweeting, instagramming and blogging his experience aboard the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world. Follow along with Chris' journey here, or join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, or his own blog, www.chriscruises.com.


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Stopping at the volcanic island of Cabrits in Dominica, we spent some time touring on our own. Arriving via Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper, the ship would be anchored a short distance from the island, running continual tender operations throughout the day. A quick lunch ashore, a visit to the crater of a once-active volcano and a new friend later, we were back on board, sailing off into the sunset again.



Getting ashore from Royal Clipper almost always requires a tender operation, done a bit differently. The ship carries actual tender boats for what they call a “triangular” operation. Tenders depart from the ship, stopping first at the port’s marina then on to the beach before returning to start all over again…or something like that. This is one of the areas where Star Clippers don’t get very specific, much like the time in port when viewing itineraries in advance of sailing. This is a good thing.



Rather than commit months in advance to being somewhere at an exact time, ships with sails need to leave scheduling a bit loose. Weather, ocean currents and winds have a lot to do with where we end up on a given day. On board, daily programs do lock in on a time, based on recent weather conditions and experience. Still, not being on a rigid schedule is very much a big part of the Star Clipper experience and we like that just fine.



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It’s sort of like how the ship has a satellite Internet system but yet it doesn’t.



Guests are encouraged to ‘just forget about the Internet and enjoy your vacation’. That truly is the best bet. Satellite Internet at sea is always a complicated process with any ship in motion, constantly having to reacquire line-of-sight connectivity. Add that ships with sails are not only in forward motion but bobbing up and down, and side to side making staying connected a lot like trying to thread a needle while running with your eyes closed. I am pretty sure that Christopher Columbus had a better connection on the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria than we have here. And that’s ok.



That reality puts our regularly scheduled programming plan of a live report, all the time, in Davy Jones’ locker but that’s ok too. We will catch you up when we can along the way and post gazillions of photos and reports back on dry land.



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That’s why our first stop in Cabrits was Prince Rupert’s Tavern, Restaurant And Bar with free Wi-Fi. After a quick email check it was off with Thomas, our guide for the day and a lifelong resident of Dominica, eager to share highlights of his home.



Probably one of the best $40 we have spent ashore, Thomas took us high up into the rainforest where we hiked down to the crater bed of a once-active volcano. Along the way we captured images of some pretty amazing scenery and lush vegetation then came away with a friend on the island that we hope to visit again some day.



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Later in the afternoon, Royal Clipper would reposition to the other side of the island, stopping briefly to pick up passengers who ended a river tubing trip there. That was one of a select offering of shore excursions available and the subject of our next post…whenever that might be.



To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
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Monday, 19 October 2020

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