Gold Ribbon Banner
Monday, May 20, 2019

A friend lends me his copy of Sea Breezes and how surprised I was when I got to Page 17 of the August 2015 edition to see a great photo of the Grande Caribe which we went on a few years ago.

Grande CaribeMy wife and I both have said it was the best cruise we ever experienced. A bit of background... My wife is a Kiwi and I am a Yank and we live in Australia just outside Melbourne. We told another local couple of our intention of going on the Grand Caribe and they said they would join us. So we were the only real tourists on the ship on our voyage, and we were treated very well.

The ship, as the article says, is small and has cabins for 100 passengers. It only draws about six feet of water, so is able to do the trip it does as some of the waterways are very shallow. It has a bridge which can be lowered to go under low bridges mainly on the Eire Canal voyage. Our trip started in Jacksonville, Florida which is just below the Georgia State border and ended in Warren, Rhode Island the hometown of Blount Industries and also the first home of Brown University. Blount started making small commercial vessels and if you ever went out to the Statue of Liberty, it was probably one he made.

Our ship had 50 cabins on a couple of levels, all with en suites. One dining room with large tables did nicely for the three meals set at fairly early times. The quality of the food was excellent and every day we looked forward to something different. Even had grits one day for breakfast! There was a lounge which was the centre for drinks and entertainment. There was a bar area and provision for cold bottles. The vessel provided setups so there was no cost for drinks, and there is a great open deck up top where we spent all our time while on the go.

Our voyage had 39 passengers, so there was plenty of space topside. There were two captains – a Mr and Mrs called up at the last minute as the original had to stay ashore. It was a perfect combination, as our captains wanted to go north for the summer and knew the waterways due to many, many voyages and they were very pleasant. There was a CIA (Catering Institute of America) trained chef, a couple of college girls who did the waiting and housekeeping, a couple of sailors and an entertainment director.

We did about 100 miles most days and tied up every night. We went via rivers, canals, lakes and even went into the Atlantic from the south tip of New Jersey to New York City. This was a summer voyage! Each time we went into a different State, the Captain would raise the respective State flag - a nice touch. As mentioned, we began in Florida, not far from the home of a cousin, then Georgia where I had a university classmate, then South Carolina where I once stayed in a hotel run my a classmate’s parents. The only time I ever saw a one bar radiator. Then North Carolina – no connection, Virginia – fraternity brother and classmates. Next Maryland where I had another fraternity brother, then New Jersey – my mother’s home state; New York – my home state, though a long way from NYC. Then Connecticut where a cousin’s son lived on Long Island Sound and finally Rhode Island – another fraternity brother.

Because the vessel was so small, we usually docked right downtown often in pleasant yacht clubs with complete security. So although the topography was dead flat, it varied enough to make it interesting. One day on a river, the next in a man-made canal, and of course New York City going around the harbour and then up the East River to Long Island Sound and a festival at St Michaels, Maryland which was terrific. For those interested, we had all sorts of entertainment from movies (and popcorn) talks, musicians, and even an Australian wine tasting night in our honour. Might I suggest if you decide to do this trip you could fly to Miami, Florida and take the train to Jacksonville, then at the end when you arrive at Warren you could spend a few days at Newport, Rhode Island, only a few miles away. A fascinating city with lots of history – yachting of course, first library, first Naval Academy, gigantic summer homes of the rich and famous, etc. From there, it is possible to catch the train half-hour away to anywhere in the United States.

Some of the other trips, as mentioned in the article, would give a good insight, particularly the Eastern States from Chicago to the East. I grew up on the Erie Canal and think a trip on canal would be fascinating. It took about eight years to build, all by hand and the year it was completed the first passenger train from Darlington to Stockton commenced in 1825!

PAUL FISHBECK
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more letters, see the latest edition of Sea Breezes Magazine
Click on the links below to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

Island Princess

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Move to Enlarge River Terminal +

    Grimsby River Terminal Associated British Ports (ABP) plans to expand its Grimsby River Terminal to enable it to handle the world’s largest car Read More
  • At the Helm of the RNLI +

    Mark Dowie A new Chief Executive has been appointed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to succeed Paul Boissier, who has held Read More
  • Keeping the Tyne Clean +

    Clearwater Each year, the Clean Tyne project removes around 400 tonnes of debris from the River Tyne between Blaydon and the Read More
  • First Part of Huge Port Investment Completed +

    Sheerness Port The 20-year Master Plan for boosting trade through the Kent port of Sheerness has reached a significant milestone with the Read More
  • Ship Sinks After Fire Breaks Out in Cargo +

    Grande America All 26 crew and one passenger were rescued after the roll-on,rolloff container ship Grande America, 56,642gt, caught fire and then Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Back Home After Eventful Antarctic Season +

    Polar Star The US Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star arrived back at her homeport of Seattle, Washington on Mar 11 after an Read More
  • Four More Giant Cranes Arrive from China +

    Zhen Hua 31 Four new Super-Post-Panamax container cranes arrived at Tacoma, Washington, from China in early March, just over a year after the Read More
  • Two Hurt as Lifeboat Falls Overboard +

    USCG Reliance Two crew members of the tanker Chemtrans Nova, 73,870dwt, had to be flown ashore for treatment after the lifeboat they Read More
  • Cutters Seize $466mn of Drugs on Patrols +

    USCG Forward At Port Everglades, Florida, on Feb 5, some 34,780lbs of cocaine with a street value of $466mn was unloaded from Read More
  • Tragedy That Changed Coast Guard Forever +

    Marine Electric The loss of the bulk carrier Marine Electric off the coast of Virginia on Feb 12, 1983, with just three Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • Three Main Courses Being Plotted for MOL +

    MOL Triumph The major Japanese shipping line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has unveiled a number of new objectives aimed at improving its Read More
  • Cargo Ships for Bass Strait Service +

    Tasmanian Achiever II The first of two 700 teu cargo ship for the Bass Strait route between the Tasmanian port of Burnie and Read More
  • Race to Save Coral Reef After Grounding +

    Solomon Trader A major anti-pollution operation was launched in the Solomon Islands after the bulk carrier Solomon Trader, 73,592dwt, with a cargo Read More
  • Special Place for Tanker in Port History +

    Pro Alliance The largest fuel tanker in the 220 year history of the Australian port of Newcastle, NSW, arrived on Mar 18 Read More
  • Data Recorder Recovered From Ore Carrier Wreck +

    Seabed Constructor The Stellar Daisy, owned by Polaris Shipping, of South Korea, was carrying a cargo of iron ore from Brazil to Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • US Navy Seeks Faster Ship Delivery +

    FFGX Rendering American News The future frigate program for the US Navy is getting fully underway and some idea of the urgency Read More
  • HMS “Dragon” in £75 Million Narcotics Seizure +

    HMS Dragon British News Whilst on patrol in the Gulf, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon seized and destroyed ten tonnes of Read More
  • New Generation of Enterprise Confirmed +

    USS Enterprise American News On 31 January, the US Department of Defense announced the awarding of a block buy contract with Huntington Read More
  • Brazil to Take Over HMS Clyde +

    HMS Clyde British News It has been announced by the Brazilian Government in early December that the Falklands Patrol ship HMS Clyde Read More
  • Navy And NASA Complete Recovery Test +

    USS Anchorage American News In what might be seen as a return to the heady days of NASA’s Apollo moon program, the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Favourite Claymore +

    Claymore A poster of Llandudno pier prompted a memory from ex Calmac chief engineer Charlie McCurdy as he took another trip Read More
  • Baltic Battery Power +

    Aurora Scandinavian and Baltic operators seem to be leading the way in reducing ferry reliance on fossil fuels. Read More
  • Electric Solutions +

    Polarkunsult Ferry A new ferry will replace the 1992-built MF Herjólfur to the Westmann Islands and will be in line with Iceland’s Read More
  • Variety of New Builds +

    Red Kestrel I am gratified to hear at Cammell Lairds and Red Funnel have a particularly good record in ordering from UK Read More
  • Scottish Ship Shuffling +

    Caledonian Isles To Scotland now, and Calmac continue their shuffling of ships between routes, this time Arran’s mainstay Caledonian Iles having rudder Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Thames Tributary Barges +

    Lady of the Lea Most of the rivers flowing into the Thames had their own barge type. Read More
  • Dry Rot and Dry Dock +

    HMS Victory For some time Victory, the 110gun ship of the line, has had trouble with dry rot and is in danger Read More
  • Everards Eulogy +

    Greenhithe Scottish maritime interests particularly may mourn the loss of Geo Gibson. Read More
  • Welsh Port Gentrification +

    Penarth In the Victorian era, there were many coastal places where craft worked off open beaches. Read More
  • Sussex Sterns +

    Edward and Mary and Valiant In the Victorian era, there were many coastal places where craft worked off open beaches. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Red Funnel’s New Ferry Arrives +

    Red Kestrel Red Kestrel, the newest addition to Red Funnel’s fleet, arrived at her new home in Southampton on 18 April. Read More
  • Keeping an Eye on the Weather +

    Royal Charter storm I was intrigued to read recently about the career of Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy (1805-65). Read More
  • Port of London Trade at 10-Year High +

    DP World London Gateway Trade through the Port of London reached 53.2 million tonnes last year, a level last seen over a decade ago. Read More
  • Northlink Celebrates Apprentices +

    Paul Wheelhouse NorthLink Serco Northlink Ferries has been commended by the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse, for developing young Read More
  • An Auction with no Buyer +

    Falls of Clyde I was reading recently about the unsuccessful auction to find a buyer for the Falls of Clyde, the last remaining Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Seadream Yacht Club to Build New Ship +

    SeaDream Innovation For over fifteen years, the SeaDream Yacht Club has operated two yachtlike ships, on 7 to 15-day voyages. Read More
  • Tradition Plays Its Part +

    Prana by Atzaro If ever proof was needed that traditionally built craft can still play a part in the luxury charter market in Read More
  • MV "Magellan Explorer" +

    MV Yet another new and modern expedition vessel custom built for Antarctic air-cruises will make her debut in 2019. Read More
  • The Saga Continues +

    Saga Discovery Saga Adventure SAGA Cruises has announced it is taking up an option for it’s second new ship to be built at the Read More
  • Reconstruction of “Danah Voyager” +

    Danah Voyager Reconstruction of redundant offshore oil industry tonnage turning them into luxury superyachts is not a new phenomena, but recent photographs Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

Victoria

Victoria High and Dry

Five-hundred years ago, Ferdinand Magellan sailed out of Seville, Spain, on one of the most memorable discovery voyages ever made, Read More
Christina O

From Warship to Superyacht

Rescued twice from the scrapheap, Captain Michael Howorth charts the fall and rise of one of the world’s best known Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

SS Eastern (2)

MT Arthur Foss

“The last vessel to escape Wake Island before Japanese forces captured the island” Read More
SS Eastern (2)

Rescue of Crew Member From Tanker Avanti

Captain A J Murdoch served with Eastern & Australian Steamship Company until he retired in 1982. Hailing from Melbourne, during Read More
  • 1
  • 2