1993 Our Windjammer vacation on the S/V Fantome

I was doing some cleaning on my hard disk and found this in a stash of backup files. I thought you might enjoy it.

Feb 20/1993 Saturday
Paul took us to the airport at 10:30. Flight to Halifax left at 11:40 and took 36 minutes. Had lunch. Couple of hours wait then flight to Boston.Landed at 3 and in hotel before 4. Mike went to the Boston Boat Show. A lot of power boats but very few sailboats, but Mike did see  Hunters,
Beneteaus, Jeanneaus, Catalinas, and a few others.  Bonnie fell asleep for awhile. Supper at Brinkley’s then bed.

Feb 21/1993 Sunday
Up at 6 to get 6:30 shuttle to airport. Got boarding passes thru to Antigua only 45 minute wait in San Juan. Customs and taxi to the old wharf. We walked up the hill behind the old fort, had to walk past the Cavalier rum distillery. The distillery smelled terrible, walked past a big black tank, looked like an oil tank but smelled like black strap molasses, up the hill to the old fort, beyond the big white tank (151 proof rum).
We stayed in the shade and listened to the waves, until boarding time at 5 p.m. Got room 38. It is huge. Unpacked and spent time until supper exploring. Raddison Diamond ($3500 per week per person) sailed at 6 and we took our regular place at Heritage Quay. Supper was buffet on top deck.
The Power Union Brass Band started around 8:30. Lasted until 9 and off to bed to crash.

Feb 22/ 1993 Monday.

Up at 6:15 for coffee and sticky buns. Breakfast at 7:30 with Elizabeth, Bob and Tom. After Captain Stuart’s storytime we walked around Redcliffe Quay old slaves quarters updated to boutiques and park. Sail at 12:00.

Buffet lunch of beef chop suey after getting sails up. Then they put the fisherman up. Sailing to Dominica want to reach Guadeloupe before supper. Sailing lesson before swizzle time. Great chicken with ginger and nutmeg sauce. Had shrimp for supper. Met Debbie from Manhattan and Harry, one of the second mates.  Watched stars for awhile and then off to bed.

Feb 23/1993 Tuesday.

Up at 6 off Dominica. Cherry pancakes for breakfast.

We opted for the tour to go to the Emerald Pool. Bit of a tour of Rousseau, lookout and botanical gardens first. Saw Sisserou and Jaco parrots at gardens. Saw many grapefruit trees on way to pool. Cool water. Back to Castaways for lunch- sandwiches. Walked down the beach and back.
Picked up glass for Bonnie’s worn glass collection. Then for a short swim.
Took launch to ship around 4 p.m. Stopped at SeaChest got T-shirts, badge, postcards, underwater camera and Aloe Vera. Showered and up for swizzles at 5. We had fried coconut. Took launch to beach for barbeque chicken and ribs were really good. Band didn’t show up, it is Mardi Gras in Rousseau.

Feb 24/1993 Wednesday.

Up at 6 to see us into Isles des Saintes. Didn’t miss one of the lobster pots. Scrambled eggs and corned beef hash. Launch into town to look around and get wine for swizzle time. Back for lunch. Took launch to little beach at Pain de Sucre.  Did a little snorkeling. Back on 4 p.m. launch for
shower and up to wine and cheese party at swizzle time good pate and cheese. Not great wine. Supper was Duck L’Orange. Sailed at 11 but I wasn’t up for it.

Feb 25/1993 Thursday.

Up at 6:10 again Had to fill out immigration cards for Maggie. French toast for breakfast. Photo launch off Guadeloupe. I took second launch to watch.  They have to go aloft to set the topsails.

Anchored between shore and Pigeon Island. Can go Diving off Pigeon one of Jacques Cousteau’s
ten best dive spots in the world. Took launch to dock and then walked to little beach. Went snorkeling, then lunch (burgers). Swimming for awhile then another short snorkel. Elizabeth tried my snorkel gear. Back to ship for shower and swizzles (pizza)

Boat races between Women’s team (Cambridge), Men’s team (Oxford) and crew team (University of West Indies). Women won, crew spilled the least.  BLT party brought out some interesting costumes. I went black tie and Mike did 1/2 black tie and 1/2 toga.
Buffet supper with pig roast. Didn’t last for sail raising.

Feb 26/ 1993 Friday.

Up at 6:00 to watch entrance to Falmouth Harbour. Expensive yacht called ECO shiny fiberglass hull, stainless steel fittings, curved glass everywhere. The back deck had some of the essential toys, 2 big power boats, 3 jet skis and a seaplane. Ships cat is called Ziggy.

Took launch to dock got a taxi up to Dow Hill. Went into “Reflections in the sun” Exhibit of history of Antigua. Good view of English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour.  Then up to Shirley Heights. Beautiful Views. He then drove to Nelson’s Dockyard. Looked around and got a pastry. Then back to ship for lunch.

Lazy afternoon fell asleep on deck reading. Set sail at 4:30 and crew pictures. No officers. Sunset near Redonda with a small green flash. Captain’s dinner was lobster and steak. Engineer and purser served Nassau Royale liqueur. Sam did peaches after last setting. They were really good.

Pulled into St’ John’s at 10.

Feb 27/1993 Saturday.

Up for breakfast. People leaving steadily. Went to grocery store for lunch. Then went to look for Budget- office closed so we got a phone card and they arranged to pick us up at the Heritage Hotel. They took us out to airport to get car then we started our tour. Went to St Georges Anglican
Church old with nice graveyard. Terrible Road to Parnam octagonal church with lattice roof. Betty’s Hope, a sugar cane plantation in the process of being restored, was really neat to see. The road was not nearly as bad as the guide book said. They were practicing ecological methods of removing thorns and clearing land, goats everywhere. They should have a working windmill (cane crusher) done in six months. They have a good exhibit there and it will be worth the return trip the next time we are on Antigua. Long Bay Beach for lunch, beautiful white sand beach. Talked to an Englishman who didn’t exist unless he had his pink plastic wrist strap. He was at an all inclusive resort Pineapple Beach Club. One of the people in his resort was from Toronto. They just had 22 inches of snow (grin).  Then on to Devils Bridge. We walked around the point until we found it. (We drove by it on the way in).  And pointed it out to a couple of couples on the way back to the car, experienced travelers you see. Interesting formation. Good road (paved!!!)  On to Half Moon Bay and Harmony Hall and then back to St John’s. Parked at Post Office.

Supper was good Spaghetti. Talked to Jamie his father and Cap’t Burke are friends. Then to bed.

Feb 28/1993 Sunday

Breakfast (4 couples) then we got car and continued our tour of the island. Market street got lost a bit on the way out of town. Mike is getting better with the windshield wipers. All the controls on the car are on the wrong side. Went to Old Road and along to Galley Bay and up to Chinese Ambassador’s house Beach at Dickinsons Bay and dropped car off at Budget. They drove us back to Heritage Quay. Took a shower and cleaned up then to Redcliffe Quay to catch up on diary. Then waited on dock for 5pm so we wouldn’t cause a stampede. Swizzles and snacks at bar. Buffet style
at horseshoe. Then listened to the band for awhile. Watched dogs and pelicans play (pelicans winning). Bed early. Connie and Jim Goodman from Michigan are on the second week.

March 1/1993 Monday

Shane(Cork Ireland) is the First Mate, Malcolm(Liverpool) and Harry(Germany) are 2nd mates, Ian(Trinidad) Engineer, Maggie(Winnipeg) Purser, Sherry(Trinidad) activities mate, Andre(Germany) and Mark(Jamaica) Bartenders. Sam(Antigua) Head steward. Sam has been with windjammer longer than God. Up late 7 Story time will sail to St. Barth’s this afternoon, Sails raised “Hand-draulic”

Went into town  to mail postcards. Checked out liquor in grocery store. Humming bird = 132 Bumblebee 95/80 CoCo Shop and Caribelle Batik. Back to ship. Too hot in town. nice breeze out here. lunch was curry turkey.  We didn’t leave until 1:30, had to wait for launch. We had boat drill after sails went up. Read until 4pm when sailing lesson was on. Then swizzles. Supper was king fish (tuna). After supper we went topside and Mike took a long turn at the wheel. Hydraulic steering,
turn like heck for 5 seconds stop, then the rudder moves to about 20 degrees. Hold the wheel still and the rudder bleeds off, repeat. I could  hold the course to within 3 degrees when steering by stars about 5 by compass. Bonnie went to sleep early.

March 2/ 1993 Tuesday

Anchored at St Barth’s Long story time. Then into Gustavia for tour with Connie and Jim. Around island and back to St Jeans beach for drink. Then back to Gustavia for Cheeseburger in Paradise at Le Select. Tastes Unlimited was closed, a lady working next door said that he packed up and went home. Little Switzerland had train set on for 1/2 price so we have our shopping done.
Stopped for wine and looked at boats on way back. The we changed to snorkel, showered and got ready for wine tasting. Pate not as good as last week. Supper was Cornish Hens. Crab races after second sitting. Found Jamie to give him dime with bluenose.

March 3/1993 Wednesday

Weighed anchor at 4.am and set off to St Maarten. Didn’t get up. Wake around 6 as we approached Phillipsburg. Celebration was at dock and Radisson Diamond came in. Breakfast and storytime. Then launch into town for shopping gifts for Paul and Debbie and Saba Spice for us.  Lunch was spare ribs Back to island for a bus trip to Marigot with Dave and Ruth. Dave is a Luthern Minister, Ruth is a nurse, the trip went well, we meet a girl on the bus who helped us find our way on a Map.  We had a slight glitch, Dave was offered a joint in Marigot. The trip cost $3 for the two of us.  We walked around stopped at beach then down to Le Marina de Dock and looked around. David and Mike stopped for an Ice Cream, while Ruth and Bonnie shopped. Nice boats, restaurants, shops and Perfume bottles.

Back for swizzles and then cleaned up for town. Got our old salt t-shirts. Went to Callalou for supper. Salad with house dressing Chicken Banzai and Sate (great) Then KeyLime pie and Chocolate Cake pie Excellent. Then back to dock. Town so quiet it seems deserted. The only sound came from the catholic church, choir practice. A guy at bar, (owner of one of the many jewelery stores) said every second Tuesday is slow only 2 boats in. Back in the 9pm launch. I got a tea and stayed on deck for a while but below before sailing.

March 4/1993 Thursday

Beautiful sailing by St Kitt’s.  The cane is a pretty color green.  We anchored off Basseterre.  We were late off the boat and the only people left were a group of the really loud ugly americans. They started complaining about having 8 in the taxi so we sent the six of them off to Romney Manor, saying we would wait for the next group from the launch. No one else came of the boat. So we took a taxi to town and looked around.  Tried on some stuff at Caribelle Batik but it made me look huge.
Walked through Independence Square, visited the Roman Catholic church, the Spencer Cameron gallery and the Anglican church.  Then we took taxi back to Friar’s Bay. Saw a couple of the green back monkey’s on the way.  Took the launch to the ship to change into swimsuits and pick up the snorkel gear.  We spent the afternoon on the beach – Mike went snorkeling for a long time.  The evening was the “PPP” and Sea Captain’s party.  Mike wasn’t feeling well but I stayed up for the sailing from the dock at St. Kitt’s.

March 5/1993 Friday

Up for sunrise but it was behind an island again – this time Montserrat. They put up the sails for a photo launch.  It was a lot of work because it was pretty windy.  Launch was a bit rough I hear.  Paperwork for Maggie and the Antiguan customs again.  Took the tour to the Great Alps
Waterfall – Georgie was the taxi driver.  The guide for the walk to the falls was Rafeek. Saw the locust pod tree (they call it stinky toes). The pods are used for medicine.  Saw mangos, iguana, goats, iguana cave, bat cave on the way to the 70 foot waterfall. The walk took us about 50
minutes in and about 40 minutes back.  Rafeek climbed a tree to pick some mangos for us on the way down.  Caught the 12:30 launch and had lunch will motoring around the point.  Mike slept most of the afternoon.  I went to the beach (really black sand) and walked up to the hotel to see if they
had any tapestries at the gift shop.  met Carol Osborne at the shop and a couple from Mass.  Her step grandmother was from a place in Canada, Fredericton actually, should tell Steve we met a relative down south.
Her husband was a 7th generation Monserratan. Jim Goodman broke his ankle on the morning tour. Should give 24 hour nonstop complaints lots to talk about. Swizzle time was pizza.  We had supper with Ruth and Dave.  Spent the second sitting on the bridge -waiting for dessert.  They spent the time circling – the swells off the point of Monserrat can be bad so they wait until eating is over.  They want a sheltered spot for the “ceremonial burning of the peaches” – trickiest bit of the navigation according to the captain.

March 6.1993 Saturday

Packed this morning after breakfast.  Decided to use the big case for the snorkel gear, etc.  Did a shopping tour but no better luck at Caribelle Batik here.  Mike feels a bit better but still very tired.

Back to ship to wait for lunch.  Took taxi to airport with three other couples.  We were a couple of hours late leaving Antigua so we missed our flight from San Juan to JFK.  San Juan was a real zoo – especially waiting for the luggage and at the service centre.  We were only able to get as far as JFK
tonight.  Flight left San Juan at 9:30 and got into New York around 1:15 am.  Got a taxi to Holiday Inn – expensive but safe and quiet for the night, at least what was left of it.

March 7/1993 Sunday

Wake up call at 5 am and caught the 5:30 bus to the airport. Got tickets for an American Eagle flight to Boston.  No checked baggage this time.
The departure lounge wasn’t open when we got there. Took the shuttle to terminal E to check in for the Air Canada flight to Halifax.  Went upstairs for coffee and pastry for lunch.  Mike got a bottle of Canadian Club at the Duty Free Shop and we went through security to wait.  Turned out to be a direct flight to Halifax – first thing to work out well for us.  Cleared customer even though they weren’t sure why we had no checked baggage.  Mike got a copy of the sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and we went through security the last time and onto departure lounge to wait for flight to Fredericton.  Quite a few people on standby because it is the end of March break.  Paul picked us up at the Fredericton Airport at 5:30 and we walked down to the house.  It took Mike almost two hours to blow out the driveway so we could get the car out for tomorrow – back to work (sigh).

Leave a Reply