Easy Like Sunday Morning
by Felisha Felix, managing editor
(Christiansted, December 10, 2023). The rain pummeled and the seas swayed in the Christainsted Harbour this cloudy Sunday afternoon but that couldn’t take the smiles off of bright faces.
Passengers onboard the schooner Denis Sullivan seemed straight out of a scene of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Between the chanting of “Heave Ho” and the pitching of the sails, most attendees can say they lived out their pirate fantasies for the day.
Passengers onboard seemed straight out of a scene of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
The Crucian Culture and Heritage Sail experience is made possible through a grant by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) to the local nonprofit organization Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT).
This two-hour excursion was the second of three consecutive Sunday afternoon outings that are free of charge.
CHANT is located on the big island of St. Croix and focuses on “preserving Crucian culture, legacy, tradition, and heritage; and promoting sustainable community development with a focus on tourism, traditional skills, and heritage-focused workforce development.”
It’s not surprising that CHANT uses this grant to collaborate with World Ocean School and provide residents with the opportunity to learn about their island, and its legacy, and sail the beautiful Caribbean waters.
The World Ocean School is no stranger to the big island of St. Croix either. For the past eighteen years, the World Ocean School has set sail from its headquarters in Boston to St. Croix with a deck crew of volunteers.
Not only do they offer sails to the public, but World Ocean School educates local students on marine safety and teaches young sailors how to become responsible, independent navigators on the open sea.
According to their website, The World Ocean School exists to “provide students of all backgrounds with immersive opportunities to learn how to care for themselves, their crew, and their ship, becoming vessels of change in the world they inherit.”
The schooner Denis Sullivan is rather new to the fleet and was added in 2022. Built in 2000 as a replica of a 19th century Great Lakes cargo schooner, Denis Sullivan is said to be to only replica of its kind.
It joins its sister ship, the more familiar Roseway, 96-year old national historic landmark tall-ship to complete the small fleet and offer sailing adventures along the eastern coast of the U.S. Roseway is currently undergoing a preservation project at the Mystic Seaport Museum.
In true Crucian style, passengers were also serenaded with a song by local favorite Calypsonian Camille ‘King Derby’ Macedon and inspirational remarks from CHANT’S Executive Director Frandelle Gerard.
Passengers left the event with the powerful impression that St. Croix, long known for resistance, continues to share the core essence of Crucian people during a mid-afternoon Sunday sail in the emerald Caribbean seas.
Crucian Culture and Heritage Sail departs from the Gallows Bay Port Authority dock again on Dec 17 at 1:00 pm. Residents interested in the free sail must either call or email the World Ocean School to book a confirmed reservation.
Contact the World Ocean School at 340-626-7877 or via email email@example.com using code CHANTDEC23. For more information on how to enroll students into the World Ocean School programs visit their website at https://www.worldoceanschool.org