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Lord Nelson - Caribbean Winter Programme 2019

palm tree sunset with Lord Nelson Tall Ship

Caribbean Tall Ship Voyage

Join Lord Nelson in the Caribbean for a combination of great sailing with the trade winds in your sails, and port visits to some spectacular islands which surround it. A ship open to all abilities and which welcomes sailing on equal terms for disabled and able bodied guests. 

Lord Nelson back in Antigua for 2019  - The ship, not the Admiral!

Lord Nelson loves Antigua, perhaps because of Nellie's namesake. The legendary Admiral Lord Nelson was stationed here. Perhaps its the dazzling white sandy beaches and spectacular coral reefs which tempted the ship back. Either way, you can join Lord Nelson for an adventure northbound towards Islands such as Anguilla, St Kitts & Nevis and the British Virgin Islands will all be in our path and make for idyllic places to visit. Breathtaking scenery is never far and will make for some incredible anchorages.

Tall Ship Lord Nelson in the Caribbean

Choose between Leeward and Windward Isles....or both

This British sail training ship, built for able bodied and disabled adventurers, has four voyages island hopping in the Caribbean. As Antigua has good transport links and sits in the middle of the Caribbean Island chain, Lord Nelson's captain will head North to explore for one voyage and South for the next. If you really fancy 20 plus days in the sun exploring a huge range of islands in the Caribbean, then why not consider doing two voyages back to back.  With NE trade winds and doing a circuit that starts and finishes in Antigua you will always get some downwind sailing or fast broad reaches somewhere in the voyage.

13th February 2019: The next 11 day voyage is heading North from her base in Antigua to the Leeward Islands.

24th February 2019: Nellie heads South again to the delights of Martinique, St Lucia or perhaps Grenada or the Grenadines.

7th March 2019: The last  15 day voyage is a bit different and more of an ocean passage sailing from Antigua to Bermuda as Lord Nelson starts to head home. It would combine nicely with the voyage before as you can explore Southwards, then head up the chain a bit Northwards before setting off across the Sargasso sea to Bermuda.

 

Lord Nelson in a tropical squall.
Lord Nelson in a tropical squall. Clothes dry quickly in the Caribbean Sun

Trade Winds & Tropical Sun

The Caribbean West Indies is perhaps the most perfect sailing ground in the world in terms of wind, sunshine and variety of places to visit. The Caribbean sits squarely in the North East trade wind belt and this time of year is peak season and well outside the hurricane season. Ships like Lord Nelson revell in strong winds and turquiose seas and the white square sails look magnificent against the deep blue skies.  There is few things to beat a tropical sunset below the yard arm at anchor away from the tourist hustle and bustle ashore, or landing on a remote beach anchorage under a forest covered volcanic peak. The ship engineer's deck barbeques and punch are legendary too.

Even in popular Antigua you can find deserted beaches
Even in popular Antigua you can find deserted beaches with a sailing ship

Falmouth & English Harbour - A great Naval tradition

In the old days it was hard to find secure ports in the Caribbean that were easily defendable with immediate access to the trade winds, yet protected enough to careen (lean it over on the beach) a ship and be safe in a hurricane.  Falmouth and English Harbour sit side by side on the South coast of Antigua and meet all those requirements.  If you want to arrive in the Caribbean a few days early then we can recommend the hotel at Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour is built in the wonderfully restored stone dock buildings. Lord Nelson may use the larger Falmouth Harbour with its vast bay accommodating super yachts from around the world. There is usually an excursion to Shirley Heights - the fortified hilltop above the two harbours.  From here you have an amazing panorama of your likely cruising ground from Guadaloupe to the south and the volcano on Monserrat sillouetted in the sunset.

Antigua - 365 Beaches & Yachting Mecca

The island of Antigua has a complex coastline with offlying coral reefs, inside passages and some stunning bays like Five Islands Harbour or Deep Bay with its a three masted shipwreck 'The Andes' with masts still intact.   Captain Claire C of Tenacious's sister ship Lord Nelson lives on Antigua and in past years the ship has spent all winter based here, so the crew know all the best haunts to visit and how to make the most of the boisterous trade winds for the best offshore sailing.

Antigua is home to the famous Antigua Classics (in April) and her proliferation of stunning beaches, anchorages and safe ports draws yachts from all over the world.

Aloft on Lord Nelson

Barbuda - Frigate bird colony

Barbuda is a day sail away from Antigua so may be a first stop. Miles of shoal water with brilliant turquoise seas surround this low lying island and endless pale pink sand beaches create a desert island feel to Barbuda.

There is a frigate bird colony and if the ship anchors in the shallow waters you may spot sting rays or eagle rays from the deck.  Even better- why not climb aloft to spot the larger marine life like turtles.  Lord Nelson crew never like to leave anyone out so this might be a good spot to hoist you aloft in your wheelchair.

Turquoise seas look great for swimming but it does mean shallows and reefs to navigate.
Turquoise seas look great for swimming but it does mean shallows and reefs to navigate. Photo from Pixabay

St Kitts & Nevis - dive bombed by Pelicans

The seperate islands St Kitts and Nevis are the same country. Nevis has a 3000ft peak in the centre and looks like a Sombrero from a distance with trade wind clouds sometimes hanging over the summit. An interesting bit of navigation might be to sail a large tall ship through the Narrows but as this is only 15-20ft deep you may be cruising around the outside ! Charlestown is Nevis's only port with many stone buildings and a restored waterfront. There are pelicans on Nevis and many other islands like Antigua, and you can while away pleasant hours watching them dive.  There is a Nelson museum on Nevis. Tamerind Bay is one of the nicer anchorages on the sheltered side of Nevis.

Montserrat - devastated by lava & untouched beauty

In 1995 the volcano erupted on Montserrat and the lava flows destroyed the capital Plymouth.  An island that once had 12 000 inhabitants now seems somewhat empty as many evacuated people have never returned.  On half of the island is starkly barren under tonnes of ash but the North remains untouched, lush anf green.  The volcano is quieting down but is still active, and Radio Montserrat issues volcano  navigation warnings daily.  Currently the ship can anchor off the Northern part of the island and sailing past the southern half of the island is a sober reminder of the power of nature.

Tall Ships Lord Nelson and Picton Castle
Tall Ships Lord Nelson and Picton Castle

Caribbean style Itinerary

As with all our sailing holidays the Captain has many considerations to plan for when chosing the itinerary so these islands are only an informed guess at where you might sail.  Weather, swell from unusual directions, customs clearance regulations and new marine wildlife reserve anchoring restrictions or even booking an alongside berth to change crews, fuel or water the ship can all affect the plans for the voyage. Even the time of day and whether the sun it ahead or behind you can influence pilotage in these coral reef strewn coastlines - but it is all facinating stuff the the Captain or mate will brief you each day to explain the latest plan !

Putting tall ship climbing skills to good use in the Caribbean
Putting tall ship climbing skills to good use in the Caribbean


Able bodied & disabled crews sailing as equals 

Tenacious (and her smaller sister ship Lord Nelson) are the only two of their kind in the world that have been designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side by side on equal terms. 36 000 people have sailed on the two ships since they were built. Facilities on board include wide flat decks for ease of movement around the ship, wheel chair lifts between deck levels, a hearing hoop, a speaking compass when required and hydraulic power assisted steering to enable people with limited strength or mobility to experience the thrill of steering a 586 ton sailing ship. (see vessel details for more on her special facilities for the disabled).

A Challenge for All

The safety of everyone is top priority and so every activity is conducted at a pace comfortable for all. The forces of nature show no compromise and Lord Nelson is still a powerful square rigger so with main course, and topsails traditionally rigged so there is still considerable challenge in every voyage. Perhaps going aloft (climbing the rigging is optional) will be the biggest adrenalin buzz or simply the challenge and rewards of being part of a very special floating community.

Do you have a disabled friend or relative in need of an exciting holiday in the sun ?
Do you have a disabled friend or relative in need of an exciting holiday in the sun ?

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