A Sailing Adventure Aboard CRYSTAL CLEAR

  I had the good fortune to join Captain Charly Zahr and 1st Mate / Pastry Chef Carolina aboard his charter yacht CRYSTAL CLEAR on a delivery cruise. We were returning his yacht from St. Martin to its home base in Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.. CRYSTAL CLEAR was in […]

 

I had the good fortune to join Captain Charly Zahr and 1st Mate / Pastry Chef Carolina aboard his charter yacht CRYSTAL CLEAR on a delivery cruise. We were returning his yacht from St. Martin to its home base in Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands..

CRYSTAL CLEAR was in St. Martin on a photo shoot I booked aboard her that took place in St. Barts in late November.

I caught up with Charly and Carolina aboard CRYSTAL CLEAR a day after the photo shoot took place. The yacht was docked on the wall in the Fort St. Louis Marina in Marigot. Originally the plans was to have a nice dinner at a find French restaurant in the Marigot Marina Royale complex to celebrate Charly’s birthday. The following morning we planned to depart Marigot and head back to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.

Well, Mother Nature had her way and changed our plans. The seas were running 9ft. after peaking at 13ft. when Charly first made landing in St. Barts days before. Charly decided to play it save. We would wait this weather system out. Everyone agreed that it will make our 12 hour – 90 mile run in comfort instead of beating ourselves to death.

For the next three days we spent our time Christmas shopping for things that Charly could not find at home on Virgin Gorda. With time to kill Charly went on a spending spree buying such things as 100 bottles of wine, hard to get boat parts, foul weather gear, toys for his son Valentin, and a Christmas tree with ornaments and lights. He  even bought a swivel desk chair for CRYSTAL CLEAR’s navigation station. The man was armed and dangerous with a credit card in hand.

In between shopping sprees we ate well. Starting each morning with a stop at Sarafina’s Patisserie, a wonderful French outdoor café, for freshly baked Croissants.

We had dinner at the Marigot Marina Royale harbour complex eating at such fabulous French restaurants as Le Village and Le Chanteclair.

One evening we came back to the boat from one of Charly’s Spending Spree just too tuckered out. It was decided that have dinner onboard the boat that evening. Well, good old Charly whipped up some Mussels Marinara. I defy you to find better anywhere.

Finally, on Sunday morning. Dec. 5, Mother Nature smiled, providing us with calm seas and a nice breeze, so off we went sailing to Virgin Gorda.

Our crew consisted of Captain Charly, our Ship’s Pastry Chef Carolina, their two year old son Valentin, nicknamed the ‘Little Admiral’, along with the ship’s First Mate Tom Vannieuwenhuyse. Really! How’s that for a last name?

Needless to say, I called him just “Tom”. Tom was a terrific young man. Tom was from Belgium. He studied Political and Social Sciences. He graduated with a Master’s in Sociology and spoke fluent Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. What did I tell ya? The kid was great!

Our point of sail on the way to Virgin Gorda was excellent. The sailing was very smooth and relaxing. That is until a fishing reel sang out Fish On! We had been dragging a line in the water since leaving Marigot. We all sat there stunned by the break in solitude. Charly immediately jumped up and grabbed the pole reeling in the most beautiful Mahi Mahi meal you have ever seen.

Now what to you do with a fighting mad fish on a sailboat? Well Charly is not a man of violence. He broke out a bottle Gin and poured it down the fish’s gullet. This resulted in the fish dying instantly from being over served.

After the Mahi Mahi’s passed quietly, Charly went down in the Galley and whipped up some fantastic fresh Mahi Mahi Appetizers.

Once the mess from the fishing incident was cleaned up, Charly put his Chef’s cap again and served a Roasted Chicken with all the trimmings. Just like my Grandma would serve on a Sunday afternoons!

It was 6:00 in the evening when we arrived back in Virgin Gorda. This was one great day and worth the wait. – Thanks to Captain Charly and the Crew of CRYSTAL CLEAR.

Since this cruise a few years back, Charly and Carolina have changed ships and are currently the crew aboard the charter yacht VISION. A beautiful 57 ft. catamaran.

For more information, contact Dennis at Charter the Caribbean at 317-745-1990 or email: charter@charterthecaribbean.com

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