No, you don’t have to help with the sailing chores, but most voyagers like to assist so that they’ll have some good stories to tell their friends back home. The cruises on the Schooner Timberwind could be considered a family affair as the owner and his wife are part of the crew.
If you take a train ride you are limited to where the tracks were laid. When you sail on a tall ship the choices of where to sail are limited only by the tides, the winds and the desires of the passengers.
The goal is to have a cruise that is exciting and yet relaxing and memorable. The crews typically welcome the passengers to take part in the operation of the ship.
You can learn to plot the course, raise the sail, or even man the helm with the captain by your side. The crews of these ships include a professional chef so you can expect some great food.
All of the sailing is done from mid-morning to mid-afternoon which provides relaxation time for reading, napping and fellowship with fellow voyagers. One thing to remember is that you are anchored in the middle of a large swimming pool so take a refreshing dip.
The second thing to remember is that, on the water, sunrises and sunsets are fully visible so have your camera ready when night falls. This brings up the best part which is being rocked to sleep like a baby by the gentle tides.
Typical sailing courses out of Boston are north to the coast of Maine or South to Cape Cod and the Islands (Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket). Chesapeake Bay cruises typically leave from Baltimore inner harbor and cruise to Annapolis or along the eastern shore near Saint Michaels. The Bahamas Cruises home port is Nassau and they visit the many islands in that area.
They also have several short day sails for special events such as an evening dinner sail, a mother’s day sail and a 4th of July sail. The artists’ workshop cruise is particularly interesting as it offers well-known artist, Austin Dwyer on board for the journey. Painting and sailing, now that’s a creative marriage.
The Zodiac can handle up to 26 passengers for multi-day voyages and the accommodations and the food are top rate. The ship and the cruises are owned and managed by the Zodiac Corporation.
Star Sail Cruises has several vessels which can be used for these the training cruises. These are real hands-on, adventure cruises for future captains and future crew members. The schooner Martha is frequently used for these training trips. Martha has an overall length of 84 feet with a deck length of 68 feet and a 2,250 square foot sail area.
You will join the crew and help raise the sails, stand watches, chart the course, and take the helm. Other skills to be mastered are navigation and knot tying. You’ll sail the San Juan Islands, Desolation Sound and the Gulf Islands which are all just north of Seattle, WA.
She has three masts and at least six sails and is 160 feet in length. Everything from the private bathrooms to the teak decks is modern first class. In the summer the Arabella offers the finest 5 or 6 night vacation cruises in the New England and Chesapeake Bay areas.
In the winter it’s off for several of the favorite cruises in the Caribbean. For more information contact Capt. George Sloane at WindjammerCentral.com. Just search “Windjammer Arabella” on the internet and check out the photos.