And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Being in a ship is being in a jail,
with the chance of being drowned.
... to the website for the annual bareboat sailing charter of the Francis family and friends. Our destinations are worldwide, limited only by our imaginations, our budgets, and the bareboat charter industry. See the photo gallery for some images of cruises past.
In 2017 we will return to the Windward Islands of the Caribbean for the first time since 2006, visiting St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. The Windwards comprise one of the world's best tropical cruising grounds. The Tobago Cays (below) is just one of the stunning anchorages in this most perfect of volcanic island chains.
Carleton Mitchell, a world-renowned yachtsman who cruised the globe in addition to winning three Bermuda races in his yawl Finisterre (great name for a boat!), wrote:
“Due east of the Virgins comes that perfect necklace of islands, the wonderful 500-mile-long crescent listed on charts as the Lesser Antilles. They lie scattered in the sea, as though they were indeed gems tossed away by a careless pirate.
Here are the warmest, the lushest, the most picturesque and the most internationally flavored of the islands in the Caribbean. Spanish, English, Dutch, French, Danish, Scottish, Swedish and African settlers have spiced the towns with their languages, their customs, their architecture and crafts. Civilization has brought fine restaurants with bright lights and maitres d’hotel who bow deeply from the waist. Still, nature has left a bonanza of lonely anchorages and untrodden beaches.
To my mind, the cruising in the Lesser Antilles is the finest to be had anywhere. All the way south from Anguilla to Grenada, peaks lift from the sea ahead as others drop astern; there are gentle arcs and jagged cones, live volcanoes and tangled rain forests ablaze with tropical flowers. The trade winds on the beam make for dazzling, effortless swoops across the deep blue channels, which are protected from ocean swells by the island chain. Yet, here and there at breaks in the chain, the Atlantic rushes in to keep a sailor on his mettle. Indeed, water, land and wind are exquisitely arranged as though a beneficent providence, during creation of this quarter of the world, had sailors specifically in mind.”
Highlights of the 2017 cruise will include ...
- Snorkeling the gorgeous reef at Tobago Cays
- Exploring the other innumerable snorkeling and dive sites in the Grenadines
- Viewing the spectacular and eerie rock dwellings of the Moonhole community on Bequia (see photo at right, and see our Moonhole photo gallery)
- Touring the small island of Mustique, home of the rich and famous both past and present (Mick Jagger, Tommy Hilfiger, Princess Margaret, David Bowie, Raquel Welch). Read about the upper-class twit who developed Mustique, was kicked off the island, and with whom we dined in 2001.