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Booked ourselves for a lunch cruise on Friday 30 January 2015 - the day started beautifully with blue skies, sunshine and a refreshing breeze.  We opted to drive to the Shallow Draft located just outside of Bridgetown on the Spring Garden Highway which is also home to Atlantis Submarine and various other cruise boats.  We were warmly welcomed by Gina who directed us to our catamaran (they have two!) and introduced us to our Captain and crew, Danny, Fabian and "Rebel".  Waiting on the table was carrot cake, coffee and tea - perfect for our 9.30 a.m. start.

Once the other guests arrived and everyone was on board we set off.  With 12 passengers and 3 crew this day was all about comfort, service and ensuring that we were well  looked after.  Danny gave us a few pointers in terms of where we were heading, what we were going to do and made it fun and interesting.  We headed north along the west coast and from the start the guys were making sure that we were all offered drinks and once the sails were up out came some delicious fish cakes with a cocktail dipping sauce.  Next on offer were three dips of hummus, tzatziki and salsa with crisp crackers - perfect nibbles to accompany the icy cold Banks beers and rum punch.  In addition there was a great selection of juices, vodka, gin, rum, white wine and mixers, definitely something for everyone.

We were going into Alleyne's Bay - home to Glitter Bay - to swim with the turtles however because of the brisk breeze it meant that the water was a bit churned up and the crew decided to head back south.  While it was great sailing the crew wanted to ensure that we were able to swim with the turtles as well as to be able to snorkel and see the marine life, so off to Carlisle Bay we went.  All this time the crew were getting to know us all, asking questions about where everyone lived and bringing everyone into conversation.  Some of the guests opted to enjoy the sunshine on the front which has two nets at the bow so you could watch the water going under the boat.  We choose to stay towards the stern under the ample canopy for shade.

Once we arrived at Carlisle Bay, the sails came down and we anchored for our first stop just in front of Copacabana.  Crystal clear waters and sure enough turtles!  Amazing creatures and so beautiful up close.  Fabian did a great job keeping the turtles around so everyone could get a good look.  Back on board and then a quick 2 minutes to the 3 wrecks off the bay - we anchored quite close to the Bajan Queen and that was a great start to the snorkeling.  We then went and anchored by the pier-head between the Barbados Cruising Club and the Barbados Yacht Club and settled in for a very tasty lunch.  It was served buffet style and we were offered delicious grilled fish (marlin), baked chicken, yam and okras, cous cous, rice and peas, Greek salad, tossed salad and warm garlic bread.  Seven of us sat around the outside table while the others opted to eat on deck and crew had trays which meant not having to balance plates on your knees.  All during lunch the crew made sure everyone was topped up with drinks, offering seconds on lunch and clearing away plates effortlessly.  Some opted to go for a swim before dessert was served and this was yummy for those with a sweet tooth - chewy nutty brownies, mini cheesecake and an oatmeal cookie all served with whipped cream!  All to soon it was time to head back to the shallow draft and so ended our beautiful day on the water.  The taxis were there waiting to take the guests back to their hotel and we decided to head to Lone Star to watch the sunset with a chilled glass of wine.  Perfect end to a perfect day!

Calabaza Cruise 30 Jan 2015

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