Fun In The Sun With Star Clippers

Royal Clipper at anchor off Union Island, Grenadines. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Royal Clipper at anchor off Union Island, Grenadines. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I had what might be the best sleep ever in my stateroom on Deck 1 of Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper. It’s the lowest passenger accommodations deck aboard the ship, and the portholes of my Category 3 Stateroom are just feet away from the water. With the lights out, I watched as we plowed through the Caribbean Sea after leaving Barbados, the water routinely turning my windows into a washing machine filled with frothy green seawater.

The thing that you’ll learn about Royal Clipper is that she has no stabilizers, meaning she rolls from port to starboard. It’s a potentially uncomfortable sensation for those used to larger ships, but I’m here to tell you why it’s really a great thing.

We're underway this morning, sailing to our first port of call - and our first afternoon at the beach! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

We’re underway this morning, sailing to our first port of call – and our first afternoon at the beach! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

First, stabilisers induce drag – which adds to the strain on the ship’s overall speed, particularly when under sail power. So, in the interest of actually sailing instead of relying on the ship’s engines and propeller, no stabilisers were included in the design.

But Royal Clipper only has a typical maximum heel of about six degrees, thanks to the fact that the officers “trim” the ship with sails and ballast tanks. So while you’re not going to get tossed out of bed, those prone to seasickness might want to take some precautions before coming onboard.

Under full sail...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Under full sail…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...as seen from my perch on the netting at the bowsprit. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…as seen from my perch on the netting at the bowsprit. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

For me, the gentle movement of the ship from port to starboard and back again absolutely rocked me to sleep. The next thing I knew, my alarm was going off. Time to start our first full day onboard!

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Our Live Voyage Report from onboard Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper will continue tomorrow from St. George’s, Grenada! Be sure to follow along with our adventures on Twitter @deckchairblog.

 

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