Windjammer Barefoot Cruises
A TRIP REPORT
s/v Legacy


Sailing out of Oranjestad, Aruba
Cruising the waters of
Venezuela and The Dutch Leewards


Caribbean Adventure

The Sailing Vessel, LEGACY, is owned and operated by Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Ltd of Miami. She was built in 1959 in La Harve and was formerly known as France II.  She served as a meteorological research and exploration vessel operated by the French Government. After an extensive re-fit she joined the Windjammer fleet in November 1997.

The images below are thumbnails. Click on any picture to see its full size version.



THURSDAY, FRIDAY & SATURDAY- OCTOBER 26th - 28th - ARUBA -

manchebo beach hotel 1 When we left home in the Rockies the snow was falling. But in Aruba the northeast trade winds were pushing puffy white clouds above a turquoise sea. We checked into the Manchebo Beach Hotel located on one the most spectacular pure white sand beaches in the world. We are to be here for three days to explore and enjoy Aruba before boarding the sailing ship Legacy for a week of cruising the waters of Venezuela and the Dutch Leewards.

Driving is easy on Aruba. Renting a vehicle is simple and relatively inexpensive. We found most everything worthwhile is located along the sea on the west coast between the lighthouse at the northern tip of the island and the airport which is about eight miles to the south. There is a broad range of shops in Oranjestad and casinosin the major hotels. There are about a hundred restaurants in Aruba and it's difficult to find a bad one. Without qualification, I can recommend Madame Janette's, and The French Steakhouse.

SUNDAY - OCTOBER 28th - ARUBA -

Eighteen holes of golf at the Tierra del Sol Country Club with some fellow Legacy passengers ended in mid-afternoon. From there we collected our luggage and headed for the ship which was docked at the Aruba CruiseShip Terminal located right in Oranjestad.

After a somewhat less than exciting orientation meeting in the dining saloon, we adjourned to The Welcome Aboard Party on the main deck. Rum swizzles, a buffet and a local steel band provided refreshment and entertainment lasting until sometime around midnight.

MONDAY - OCTOBER 29th - AT SEA -

We cleared the harbor in the wee hours and sailed a few miles north to anchor off the Palm Beach area where the Aruba high rise hotels are located. We remained there until noon while some passengers went ashore to take the island tour. Then, to the nostalgic bagpipe strains of Amazing Grace, we hoisted sails and set a course for Curacao moving along over a choppy sea at an economical seven to eight knots.

Legacy is the newest and the largest ship in the Windjammer fleet being almost 300 ft. long with a 40 ft. beam. Her four masts carry a full compliment of fore and aft rigged sails. Mechanical propulsion is provided by diesel-electric twin propeller shafts driven by three engines developing a total of 2835 BHP at a cruising speed of eleven knots. She can handle 122 passengers and was at capacity on this cruise.

Dinner that evening was an excellent well-prepared affair. Strokey, the Windjammer Fleet Chef, was aboard for this cruise and his experience and talent assured a good dining room experience. Later, the sea became a little rough and a few passengers felt somewhat queasy, but to my knowledge no one became really ill.

TUESDAY - OCTOBER 30th - CURACAO -

By breakfast time we were tied up at the dock in Caracas Bay just south and east of Willemstad. The ruins of Fort Beekenburg (1701) overlook the bay. It was a key defense position against the English, the French and The Dirty Rotten Pirates. Most of the passengers signed up for the Willemstad tour which essentially dumps you off in town and picks you up again in a couple of hours. One could do just as well hiring a van/cab with others and splitting the cost.

Besides shopping, things to do and see in Willemstad include the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge and the Dutch Colonial architecture along the Handelskade.

That night dinner was catered by the ship's culinary staff ashore at the Caracas Bay Clubhouse. There was great local entertainment and we had The Ugly Shirt Contest which was ultimately won by a passenger who knew a really ugly shirt when he saw one.

WEDNESDAY - OCTOBER 31 - VENEZUELA -

Morrocoy National Park is under tight ecological control by the Venezuelan Government. Legacy has been been granted permission to anchor at Cayo Sombrero the northernmost island within the park. Cayo Sombrero is a postcard island with white sand, a curving beach and palm trees.

The passengers went ashore via the ship's launches to enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, volleyball and just laying back. Captain Kent strongly suggested we don't remain on the beach past mid-afternoon as the sand fleas, the "no-see-'ums", come out in force. The last launch was back aboard Legacy by 3:30PM and we set a new course to Bonaire.

WEDNESDAY - OCTOBER 31 - AT SEA - HALLOWEEN -

Several loosely defined teams of sculptors went to work turning common pumpkins into classics of jack-o-lantern art. The winning entry achieved a place of prominent display on the main deck.

After swizzles and dinner, instead of the usual PPP party, a Halloween costume event took on epic proportions and carried on well past the witching hour. Most agreed it was a resounding success which was largely due to the efforts of Laurie, the Purser and Traci, the Activities Mate.

THURSDAY - NOVEMBER 1st - BONAIRE -

From the moment you step off the ship in Kralendijk you know that Bonaire is special. The streets are clean and the buildings are well maintained. We opted for the organized tour which took us from one end to the other of this 24 mile long island.

We saw some of the world's largest salt pans, old slave huts, thousands of pink flamingos, some distinctive species of parrots and lizards as well as the most beautiful blue-turquoise water I have ever experienced.

Up to now Bonaire has been too small to accommodate the big cruise ships and therefore has been able to maintain its integrity. Bonaire's greatest attraction is it is one of the world's best dive locations, possibly the best in the Caribbean. Since it is well outside the hurricane belt, its coral reefs have been undamaged and have thrived and grown. Bonaire has been a leader in marine conservation and the waters surrounding the island is a designated marine park with controlled access and activities.

That evening the ship sponsored a cheese and wine tasting party. The ship furnished a variety of cheeses and the passengers supplied the wine which we purchased in Kralendijk. Overall this was a success except it was never determined who brought the wine with the screw top.

FRIDAY - NOVEMBER 2st - BONAIRE and AT SEA -

Friday morning there was more shore diving and snorkeling scheduled. Then in the afternoon we cast off the dock moorings and set out for our home port at Aruba. With the wind on our quarter the sails filled nicely which contributed a lot to a very smooth journey.
Since we would be disembarking the next morning, we settled our ship account in the afternoon and the Purser returned our passports. Following five o'clock swizzles the crew posed for pictures. The Captain's Dinner was that evening where the Chef outdid himself with a fine meal well presented by the Dining Room staff.

SATURDAY - NOVEMBER 3 - ARUBA - DISEMBARK -

When we awoke early Saturday morning, Legacy was tied up at the dock and was taking on new supplies for the next week's cruise. Some passengers who had early flights were already on their way home. We were off the ship by noon and soon on our flight home while considering which Windjammer cruise to take next.

EPILOGUE -

In the past we had considered that sailing on Legacy would not be a true Windjammer experience. But when the ABC Islands itinerary came along we couldn't turn it down. I'm glad we decided to come.

There are Foo Foo chaise lounges on Legacy's aft deck, but there is lots of room for them. Except for the Amazing Grace no other Windjammer ship has bar stools. Now Legacy has eight of them. And this is good.

If forced to nitpick I would have to say some of the brightwood on deck was in need of refinishing and that there were a couple of lapses of service in the dining room.

Overall, this trip ranks high in my Windjammer experiences. The weather was near perfect. The itinerary was great and the activities were energized and well organized. The food quality was exceptional and bar service couldn't have been better. Above all, it was the crew members that made it all come together. Here are some of them:



(Left to Right)
Captain Kent and Traci, the Activities Mate
Laurie, the Purser
Maurice (The Main Man), Bartender



(On the Right)
The Crew as a group








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