An Irishman by birth, D had spent a few years doing aid work in Africa and in St. Vincent where he married a local woman. He went back to Ireland for a few years, then returned to SVG and has been here ever since. With a long, blond ponytail and blue eyes, D proved to be something of a Renaissance man with vast and varied knowledge in subjects from carpentry to geology to photography to history all of which he shared during our hike on the island.
I looked down at the Royal Clipper imagining such a voyage as an 18th-century passenger. There was probably plenty of rum on board but none of the Royal Clipper’s niceties like king-size beds, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, a spa and big lunch buffet ending with an entire table of desserts. Chocolate mousse, anyone?
As we started our hike down the headland, D explained how the Caribbean islands formed when the glaciers that covered much of North America melted, how two Indian tribes fought for prominence before being wiped out after Columbus brought news of the New World to Europe sparking colonization. He even played a guessing game with us, linking a prominent figure in early U.S. history to Bequia. I won’t spoil the surprise by giving the answer; you’ll have to book D’s tour and learn it yourself.
For PBS nerds like Bill and me, D was a walking delight, encyclopedic in his knowledge but never boring or pedantic. And the hike was good exercise helping us work off some of the calories we’d been consuming on our cruise.
On our way back to the marina we stopped at a model boat shop where craftsmen create wonderful replicas of sailing vessels, including Britain’s legendary Britannia. I wondered if they had thought of building a replica of the Royal Clipper. I’d buy it as a lasting memory of this unforgettable voyage.
Article and photos by Katherine Rodeghier