Windjammer Mandalay Trip Review
Windjammer Mandalay Cruise Sailing Adventure
Two stops from Phoenix Tristina, Paul, and I arrive in Grenada to meet up the S/V Mandalay late Sunday night. The S?V Mandalay is a three-masted brigantine 236-foot long ship built in 1923 for Edward F Hutton once owned by Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. She has been sailing the Grenadines again for just a month. We booked our trip at the last minute via Tropical Sails Corp.
On AA as this was a last minute flight, I am stuck in a middle seat, Oh My. We arrive at the airport and are meet by the transfer service. Sail Windjammer pre-arranged our transfers at a very reasonable rate.
Once aboard I am handed a rum swizzle while my bag and shoes are taken to one of the twenty-nine cabins. After all, it is a barefoot cruise. We check in with the Purser and purchase an all important doubloon so that we may purchase libations at the bar.
At 0900 I barely make it to “story time” as Grenada is three hours ahead of Phoenix. Captain Sly instructs us that his ego is immense and the proper morning greeting is “Good Morning Captain Sir.” He gives us the daily schedule including the time of the safety drill and sailing class. “The better you do, the more rum in the swizzles.”
Monday noon we are eating a leisurely lunch and Amazing Grace starts blaring over the PA system. Everyone rushes to the top deck to pull sails. And I mean pull sails. The ship was just a third full as it is hurricane season. There was a lot of work to do. Once out of the harbor the engines are cut and north to Bequia we sail.
In Bequia, we pick up wine for the wine and cheese party. One mate brought back some premium rum, which was more to my taste. Add lime, sugar and soda water and you have Navy grog.
In Tobago Cays, the turtles hatched just two weeks ago. The area is protected by rope lines and buoys. We snorkel in the aqua-blue water and see the little fellows under the pristine water. The islands were lined with white sand and palm trees.
In Mayreau, we eat barbequed ribs and chicken on the beach followed by a “cultural walk.” There are four bars up the hill. Don’t worry, a man with a motor scooter will take up the hill for a dollar. The pier is lined with beer bottle torches so we can find our way back to the launch and the ship after dark.
Thursday, we visit the beaches of Union Island, and Carriacou. The crew opened the gangway so we could swim off the ship. Someone decided it was “Mudslide Thursday” and Mashup the bartender was busy. The dance party began among a trivia game being organized by the purser.
Sandy Island is a long stretch of white sand off Carriacou. We spend the afternoon anchored offshore. The evening is the Captain’s dinner- flank steak and shrimp thermidor, followed by cherries flambé with ice cream.
The Mandalay is now owned and operated by Sail Windjammer and can be booked at http://www.tropicalsails.com . (800) 595-1003.
We walk ashore and are met by a taxi that offers us an island tour for a low price. Off we go.
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