by Kerry Firth
Have you ever felt like escaping from reality and embarking on a fantasy adventure that simply melts your stress and troubles away? Well pack your shorts and sandals and check your worries at the dock. Your vacation of a lifetime awaits as you board Island Windjammer’s S/V Diamant.
My daughter Sheana and I needed a break from publishing so we flew to Grenada to sail on the new S/V Diamant, the first ship of the Island Windjammers fleet. She won our hearts at first sight. The vintage brigantine schooner was sleek and maintained to the highest level of comfort. Her teak lined deck was warm and welcoming, her masts tall and strong. Her hull housed only 6 cabins accommodating 12 passengers, each nicely appointed with wood paneling, AC, portholes and private baths. She was quite simply a vision filled with promise and allure.
As sunrise painted the sky in hues of pink and orange, we hoisted the sails and ventured into the deep blue Caribbean sea! With the sun at our back and the wind in our face we were sailing! What an exhilarating feeling! It took us a while to adjust to the rocking and rolling of the ship as she navigated the swells, but soon we fell into her rhythm and let the methodic movement soothe our souls.
Our journey took us to remote Grenadine islands, not assessable to larger crafts. These islands are alive with color, rich in native culture and blessed with pristine beauty. The unspoiled beaches of Carriacou, Mayreau and Tobago Cays are breathtakingly beautiful with white sandy beaches, turquoise water and underwater coral reefs. We strapped on our snorkeling gear for a daily dose of a magical underwater world inhabited by sea horses, eels, urchins, lobsters and sea turtles.
We spent a night moored off the coast of Bequia, my favorite island of the trip. Famous for its boat building and whaling, the island is also rich in creativity. Small stalls and brightly colored cottages scattered along the waterfront offer an amazing variety of local talent from paintings, carvings, black coral jewelry and scrimshaw. Fresh fruits and preserves are sold by friendly islanders who are quick to give you a sample. And of course there are plenty of water front bars and restaurants to satisfy any craving.
Weather permitting, the Diamant sails to Mustique, the private retreat of the rich and famous. Mick Jagger, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce have mansions hidden amongst the lush tropical landscape of Mustique. Only boats carrying fewer than 25 passengers are allowed to moore in Mustique Harbor so it is not overrun with visitors. Fortunately the Diamant is welcomed and a visit to Mustique is forever etched in your mind.
The beauty of sailing on the Diamant is the intimacy of the ship. It is as close to a private yacht as I’ll ever come, and I loved being able to interact with the crew and captain on a personal basis. Passengers have a say in the daily activities and the crew is most accommodating. We quickly became like family, sharing stories of our daily activities with one another at meal times.
Perhaps the best part was the absolute serenity. With no distractions like TV, radio, or traffic, we read quietly or just relaxed on the deck watching thousands of stars dance in the darkened sky. I could write a book on the sunsets and rainbows we encountered. Each one was different, but all spectacular. We witnessed the rarely seen “green flash” which occurs when the sun sinks below the horizon in just the right atmospheric conditions. Ancient legend says that “he who has been fortunate enough once to behold it, is enabled to see closely into his own heart and to read the thoughts of others.” Watch out world... I might just be a mind reader now!
One thing I know for sure is that the Island Windjammers experience has taken barefoot, tall ship sailing to a whole new level. As a former Windjammer Barefoot Cruises junkie with 24 cruises under my belt before their demise, I can say that the S/V Diamant exceeds my wildest anticipation! Watch out Neptune... there’s a new King of the Caribbean Sea!
Find out more about sailing on
the S/V Diamant at