Just before 2009 ended, my travel plans for this winter almost went belly up. I had planned to treat myself to a two week Tall Ship trip, sailing through the Caribbean islands, however the ship went into recievership last month, and the trip fell through. I was lucky, and got my money back. I tried to find another sailing experience - but there was nothing at a price i could afford Even the one day sailing trip to Montserrat from Antigua was not available in the time I had. So with no other sailing options in sight, I scrambled on line to find another boat that was NOT a giant cruise ship.
Air travel for this trip had been framed around the boat thing, with a week to spare at each end, and since the tickets were all air miles, it wouldn't be easy to change or replace them in high season. On top of everything, the new luggage limitations are driving me mad BUT BUT BUT..... through the magic of the internet i found a sort of sailing ship, the WindSurf on sale for an affordable price, for one week. It's sailing half the route, more or less the same as the original plan, but out of Barbados instead of Antigua. It means some adjustments, but I booked it.
So on Tuesday I fly to Toronto, then on to Antigua for a week staying in a guesthouse in Falmouth Harbour...After a few days on Antigua, I am heading to Montserrat (the volcanic island) for three days. Yesterday I discovered a lovely guesthouse, and if I stay three days, I can have one of the deluxe rooms for $45 a night!!! If I am lucky, the ferry to Montserrat will still be running. It seems to come and go and while it operated during xmas, apparently there is no assurance it will continue. It's not really sailing, but what the hell. We know that you gotta go with the flow when you travel!!!
There are three flights a day, on a small plane. for back up in case the ferry isnt in operation. Then back to Antigua for a couple of days. I will then fly to Barbados to board the ship. This is going to be interesting. I have never travelled first class before in my life! I fear I am about to lose my backpacking status on this trip....oh well... at my age i guess i can handle a few small luxuries. I found a really inexpensive room in the Rio GuestHouse, in St Laurence Gap, so when I get off the boat, I plan to spend a week in Barbadoes.
Again there are rumours online of a new ferry boat that should have started operating in October connecting some of these islands. I live in hope that it actually exists, otherwise I will have to fly again, unless something else sea worthy turns up. I will end up in Grenada and neighbouring islands for about a week .... and then home.....A true islo-maniacs idea of heaven!