Tuesday, May 23, 2017

BARBADOS: CATAMARAN SAILING AND A FLYING FISH SANDWICH

Quick, give me a fact about Barbados! Yeah, me too. I knew n-o-t-h-i-n-g about this tiny island before our trip, other than that it was in the Caribbean (but I couldn't have sworn to that). I've learned that Barbados, which was "discovered" by Spaniards like so many other Caribbean Islands, was eventually colonized by the British. In 1966 it became an independent state and Commonwealth realm. 

I've discovered that Barbados is only 21 x 14 miles, covering an area of 167 square miles and boasting a population of about 280,000 people. Its capital, Bridgetown, contains almost half of the population. Two of George Washington's ancestors were early planters on the island, and Bridgetown is the only city outside the present United States that Washington every visited. It was in 1751, and he was 19 years old. The house where he stayed is now a museum that can truly say, "George Washington slept here."  Unfortunately, we didn't know about that important landmark when we went there, and so missed an opportunity to visit.

Barbados was the last island we visited on our cruise, and it was a great way to end. Our primary activity for the day was this:

We spent four or five hours on a catamaran with the evocative name of Silver Moon, enjoying the cool breeze, snorkeling, being waited on by a solicitous crew, and going for a dip in the sea near the nethermost part of the island.  It was heavenly.



There was another group on the boat, but it was large enough that the six of us pretty much occupied one side, and the other group had the other side:




This may be my favorite picture of Bob out of all the ones I took on the trip:

The snorkeling was great. We saw some green sea turtles, sting rays, a sunken ship, and a whole bunch of striped fish:


The crew was a group of four locals who were expert sailors and friendly conversationalists:

We were very impressed by the quality of their equipment and their service:

They had cocktails for everyone, but when they learned none of us drink, they came up with the best virgin pina colada I've ever had.

Later they cooked a full meal in the boat galley, starting with an appetizer course of empanadas:

Then they set up a great buffet . . .

. . . and we served ourselves:

We could smell the meat cooking for at least half an hour before we ate it, and it was as good as it smelled:

After lunch, we went for a swim:

We swam from the boat to the beach in front of this fancy-schmancy Sandy Lane Resort where Tiger Woods and Erin Nordegren were married in 2004. It was a lot farther than it looked (and we were much slower swimmers than we had fancied ourselves to be), and we basically touched the shore and then had to turn around and swim back to the boat:

Bob took this wonderful photo of our billowing sail, which is a good image for the fairy tale-like quality of the day:

As we made our way back to Bridgetown, we passed this pirate-themed party boat, jammed with people, Ahoy, Maties! We be so glad we ain't with ye! 

And WAY TOO SOON our luxurious life of sailing on a catamaran in the Caribbean was over.

HOWEVER, we still had some time to kill on Barabados, so we went walking into Bridgetown, a colorful, lively city . . .

. . . with a little bit of an international flair:


Mostly, however, it screamed "Caribbean!"



 

Bob likes to talk about food, and unique types of food tend to come up in his conversations pretty regularly. During such a conversation with one of the crew members, Bob learned that flying fish sandwiches are popular in Barbados, so one of the things he had to do in Bridgetown was find one. We hopped in a cab and asked to be taken to a place that serves frying fish, and were a little disappointed when the cab driver dropped us off at a Chefette, a local chain restaurant that looked a step or two below McDonald's:

But there it was, ready for anyone willing to pay $16.95 in Barbadoan dollars (about $8.50 US) for it:

No one else was particularly interested, so Bob was the only one of our group who bought a flying fish sandwich, but it turns out that we should have followed Bob's lead. He said the sandwich was amazing:

Later on, we were a little surprised to find the flying fish sandwich at KFC, Chefette's main competitor on the island:

Look closely. Yup, there it is:

 We were out of time, so we hit the main ring road and made our way back to the ship:



Bye bye, Barbados. I'll be dreaming of catamaran sailing when I'm 90 years old and sitting in a rest home. It was a great ride.

2 comments:

  1. Yeah, very fun to have that catamaran experience. But contrast the catamaran with the poor downtown and the differences are striking. I enjoyed our Caribbean experience much more than I anticipated.

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  2. What a fabulous day! Everything that day was top notch. George Washington visited Barbados?? That's the problem with travel. You can never see all there is to see, and you can never know what you missed.

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