This is it, the sailing life: sitting on the perch of a 70-foot sailing yacht the Atlantic surrounding St. Barths and St. Maarten. The sails are up, the engine is off, and you can’t decide whether the sky or the sea is bluer.
TradeWinds crewed yacht charters might just change the ideal of a resort turnkey vacation. Think of it like a boutique hotel on water where, every day, each destination is bespoke to you, the customer. Guests can choose to sail anywhere around the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas, the Canary Islands, or the Pearl Islands Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. With more than 44 boats in the fleet, TradeWinds yacht charters the possibility of buying a membership or booking into single rooms. Each adventure is fully tailored, from the guests’ food and beverage preferences to their level of adventuring.
This particular charter from St. Maarten is special because the island is the first run for our host Magnus Lewin, the CEO and co-founder of TradeWinds; we sail onto St. Barths aboard our yacht, Alive, with stops at Fourche Island and Pinel Island. For avid scuba divers and snorkelers, there is hours of adventure on the way awaiting undersea; the Caribbean is a hot-bed of activity, with nurse sharks, sea turtles, lion fish, red fish, blue fish, and schools of barracuda suspended in the water, tracking your every move.
It’s hard not to feel like the 1 per cent with TradeWinds, and anchoring in the waters around St. Barths, you almost expect to hear Robin Leach’s voice or at least spot a Kardashian on a neighbouring yacht. Onboard cuisine rivals gourmet restaurants, and is a pescatarian’s dream regime with lobster, seared tuna, and salmon fillets accompanied by crisp white wines and rosés. Touching down in various ports gives guests the opportunity to explore the communities on land, which, for us, leads to the discovery of an abandoned Rockefeller property atop the hill on St. Barths’ Colombier Beach. There, like something from Indiana Jones, sits a dilapidated stone dock overgrown by palm trees and brush.
The property itself has been vacant for over 25 years, and the only way up is over a barbed-wire fence, crushed down by other island explorers. There are rough stone walls, curvilinear lines, and an undulating roof with a simple stone plaque embedded in the wall that reads, “Peggy and Dave Live Here”—the only remaining trace of the lives behind this deserted property. A coral terrace overlooks the bay and the house closes in upon itself around a courtyard. The separated living quarters facing west floor-to-ceiling windows, front row seats for each night’s setting sun. Swimming back to the boat, an evening is well-spent regaling the other guests with our latest discovery.
TradeWinds has capitalized on the clichés of being off the beaten path and creating your own adventure. As Lewin says, it might take some getting used to, but eventually “you learn to move with the ocean and appreciate being out to sea.” Life on the water takes on the beat of the sun, early to rise and to drift off as well. It’s a welcome reprieve, learning to escape from urban pressures and allowing nothing but the rhythm of the sea to govern each day.
To read the piece on NUVO Magazine click here.