Soaking up the Sun, Sea and Sky onboard Star Clipper
‘All set sail’ shouts the Captain with his arms stretched out.
The sailors jump into action along the wooden decks and we can hear the rattle of the anchor chain rising. The Star Clipper glides towards the Benoa Heads, quickly leaving the glow of Bali fading behind us as we begin our seven night Indonesian voyage.
Once past the heads Star Clipper can now use the strength of the prevailing winds which she is made for. This is, without question, my most memorable moment of this unique sailing adventure. Observing the sailors working together at close quarters as the 16 sails open up along the four masts she turns into a grand and awe-inspiring sailing vessel.
Schedules are not rigid in any way so I could decide if I wanted to laze the time away on the deck chairs or become involved with the workings of the ship. I enjoyed learning to read the navigational charts, tie nautical knots and reef a sail. I also had the opportunity to have a talk with the captain at his bridge.
One of the most exhilarating experiences was to climb — harnessed in a tethered safety vest — a rope ladder to the crow’s nest, a teak railed settee perched 60 feet above the water level. This is a spectacular look-out point and was more frightening than I first thought.
After the heart racing climb, I headed to my favourite lounging place – the bowsprit nets. Suspended over the sea at the front of the ship, these nets were a great place to relax – especially at sunset.
The nautical feel onboard from the royal blues and the deep red décor to the braided ropes, varnished timbers, brass port holes and historic sailing prints was at every turn. I felt like I was sailing back in time on a private yacht, yet with all the modern-day comforts.
Watersports and activities were plentiful and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to paddleboard and snorkel over the crystal-clear reefs.
Although relaxing, it was also quite physical at times so you do need to be quite agile. Guests often need to jump from the ship into tenders and then into zodiacs to get ashore. The gentle rocking of the ship was also a constant balance test as was ducking over and under the sailing ropes along the decks.
This is a life affirming bucket list trip and would I do it again? Most definitely – in a heartbeat.