Earth Wind & Mapping: A Mesmerizing Experience

If you've sailed onboard Star Clippers or seen pretty pictures of the ships at sea then you likely know that the fleet travels under sail whenever possible. When sailing it's vital to understand the direction and strength of the wind to maintain direction and speed.

Years ago sailors had to rely on weather lore and educated guesses to understand wind patterns. Today we are lucky to have onboard instruments that do the job, and as technology advances we have more opportunities to understand the direction of the wind. Recently Cameron Beccario, a software engineer, created an incredible interactive visualization of the wind and other outlying weather patterns called Earth Wind Map, and it's absolutely stunning. Whether you're a sailing enthusiast or just have some time to kill while planning your next vacation visit for a hypnotic view of the world and all its wind.

According to Yachting Times magazine,

"The interactive visualization of wind patterns all around the world is created by a script that Beccario wrote which downloads weather data from the Global Forecast System at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, part of the NOAA/the National Weather Service. The raw data is then rendered in your browser in the form of a globe that can be moved by dragging with a mouse or your finger on a handheld device. Data is updated every three hours, so it is as close to real time as you can get."

You can use the technology to check out sailing conditions in your area or to check in while dreaming of the Caribbean. For instance, below is a shot of today's conditions on Royal Clipper's Grenadine Islands itinerary.

Earth Wind Map is fully interactive, so -- in addition to homing in on your area -- you can change the settings to display the wave patterns, heat index and much more. Just tap "earth" in the bottom-left corner of the screen and you'll be greeted with options.

[caption id="attachment_16602" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Wave and heat patterns are available on the Earth Wind Map.

With advancements like this it's hard to believe that not so long ago sailors were whistling to bring a breeze! Happy mapping and happy sailing!

Are you a sail enthusiast? Let us know in the comments!
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Travel Channel Names Royal Clipper "Best Caribbean Cruise"

The Travel Channel has named a cruise on Royal Clipper the best in the Caribbean!

[caption id="attachment_15760" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper sailing by the pitons of St. Lucia.

The Travel Channel just published their list of Travel's Best Cruises 2014 and Star Clippers took the cake for Best Caribbean Cruise!

The article cited Star Clippers sophisticated travelers, fine wine, fabulous destinations and laid back beach barbecues among the reasons that a cruise on Royal Clipper topped all others:

Best Caribbean Cruise, Star Clippers, Royal Clipper
You'll find a very different tropical seagoing experience aboard Star Clippers' 227-passenger Royal Clipper, the world's largest and only 5-mast, full-rigged sailing ship.

The elegant tall ship frequents small exclusive ports like Bequia, Tobago Cays and Iles des Saintes. “Attracting sophisticated travelers (roughly half are European), Royal Clipper offers open-seating, dining on sumptuous fare and fine wine. After dinner, guests gather around the grand piano or on deck to watch the enormous sails unfurl in the wind,” adds Anne Campbell. Don’t miss the beach-side barbecue on a deserted beach.

[caption id="attachment_15763" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper's Windward Islands itinerary.

Royal Clipper -- along with 4-masted sister ships Star Clipper and Star Flyer -- will return to the Caribbean Nov. 2014 where the ship will resume the popular Windward Islands and Grenadine Islands itineraries. The Windward Islands itinerary departs Bridgetown, Barbados and calls include Rodney Bay, St. Lucia; Cabrits & Roseau, Dominica; Falmouth Harbour, Antigua; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Terre de Haut, Iles des Saintes; Fort de France, Martinique;

[caption id="attachment_15764" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Royal Clipper's Grenadine Islands itinerary.

The Grenadine Islands itinerary also departs Bridgetown, Barbados, but follows an alternate route first calling at the Captain's choice, Grenadines, followed by calls at St. George's, Granada; Tobago Cay, Grenadines; St. Vincent, St. Vincent and Bequia; Fort de France, Martinique; and Marigot Bay, St. Lucia.

Both itineraries are fabulous and life at sea on a tall ship brings the beauty of sails to these already stunning destinations. To learn more about departure dates as well as Star Clipper's Caribbean itineraries and Star Flyer's Panama Canal Crossing visit the website.

Have you sailed on one of these Royal Clipper itinearies before? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!
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