Under Sail on Star Clipper

The following is an excerpt from Betsa Marsh's feature in The Miami Herald. For the full story click here!


[caption id="attachment_16495" align="aligncenter" width="550"]The Star Clipper at anchor off Virgin Gorda. Photo by Betsa Marsh. The Star Clipper at anchor off Virgin Gorda. Photo by Betsa Marsh.




Under Caribbean stars, cruising seems stripped to its essentials. The ship, her masts and, finally, those clouds of sail unfurling in slow motion, gleaming white in warm, inky night.



Then, a faint chord seems to rise like fog from the deck into the salt air, and passengers turn toward the sound. The chorus builds as the main staysail and flying jib fill with Leeward breeze. The voices swell in Vangelis’ Conquest of Paradise as the Star Clipper cuts her way through ultramarine waves.







Sail Away is 10 p.m. embarkation day, lifting anchor in St. Maarten and heading for Anguilla. Passengers are up on the Sun Deck as the crew turns winches, coils ropes and hoists sails, all to that rich chorus. It’s an elegant, stately show because the Star Clipper, with 16 sails, ties with her sister ship, Star Flyer, as one of the tallest Tall Ships in the world.



[caption id="attachment_16500" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Photos by Betsa Marsh. Clockwise from left: Ten-year-old Celia Klein of Strasbourg, France, has captured the Star Clipper spirit, here at Prickly Pear Beach, Virgin Gorda. The Star Clipper lies at anchor behind her; Capt. Peter Kaaling at the helm in the Sir Francis Drake Channel; Kayakers head out from an Anguillan beach; Beachcombing on Jost von Dyke. Photos by Betsa Marsh. Clockwise from left: Ten-year-old Celia Klein of Strasbourg, France, has captured the Star Clipper spirit, here at Prickly Pear Beach, Virgin Gorda. The Star Clipper lies at anchor behind her; Capt. Peter Kaaling at the helm in the Sir Francis Drake Channel; Kayakers head out from an Anguillan beach; Beachcombing on Jost von Dyke.




The soundtrack to Vangelis’ 1492 crescendos with each rise of the sails during this voyage through the Leeward Islands and French Antilles. Every time, there are moments that feel like stepping inside someone’s fantasy. In this case, Mikael Krafft’s, the Swede who so loved clipper ships as a boy that he vowed to return the bygone beauties to the world’s oceans.



Krafft’s three grand clippers are the fulfillment of his vow: Star Flyer, Star Clipper and the massive Royal Clipper. They sail from Greece to Grenada, from Morocco to Martinique. They cross the Atlantic in 14 days.

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Friday, 22 November 2019