Southeast Asia Cruise on the Star Clipper: Part 2

A picture of the bridge on the Star Clipper.
Body: 
One of the best things to do on the islands I went to in Southeast Asia is nothing at all. Hours were spent just swimming in bathtub warm water and taking in all the scenery. Long-tail boats were seen darting through the sea from beach to beach, and I could even hear White-tailed Kite Hawks in the distance returning to their nests with their catch of the day.
 
Each island visited was better than the next. On Ko Kradan, we were treated to a full barbecue on the beach, complete with a bar and all the grilled shrimp one could desire. That day will be a highlight for the rest of my life. I already reflect to this memory when life’s stresses are taking their toll. We were very lucky to have great weather while sailing, though humidity is always a factor in this part of the world. The evenings were breezy. Occasionally, a burst of wind would sweep through the top deck of the ship and cool everyone down who was dancing on deck.
 
Passengers proceeded to the bridge deck each evening to witness the unfurling of the sails, the tying of the dock lines with all crew members on deck, and the captain coordinating exactly where the winds were coming from. It was an event everyone on board looked forward to each evening.  
 
The nightly entertainment was the best. There are no Las Vegas-type revues or ice-skating shows. On the Star Clipper, evenings were filled with passenger and crew talent shows, star-gazing on the bridge with very knowledgeable officers, or entering the Pirate Contest. The Pirate Contest was entertaining; it made everyone be creative and find a costume among our own clothes that we brought. My favorite evening entertainment though was lying under the blanket of stars on the bridge deck and enjoying natures’ show along with the cool trade winds. We were even lucky enough to witness some wonderful lightening and thunderstorms off in the distance, made even more spectacular by our vantage point.
 
The entertainment on our final night was a Thai Folklore Show with dancers right on deck. The last hours of the night were danced away at the Tropical Bar and singing karaoke to old Queen songs. The most stunning scenery and sunsets I have ever witnessed occurred on the final night. That final night was bittersweet. I had just become acclimated to being on calm seas and enjoying all of the winds and majestic skies. It was also sad to leave my newly made friends from all over the world and the genuinely warmhearted staff. It felt like everyone became a large family, which one rarely feels on a large cruise ship.  
 
It was time to say goodbye to everyone that final morning. I became spoiled on the Star Clipper.  It will be challenging to enjoy sailing on a larger cruise ship again. The Star Clipper was small enough to enter the many marine national parks we spent our days in but large enough to find a corner or a lounge chair to curl up on and read a good book or just relax under the sails. I still miss being gently rocked to sleep at night. I cannot wait to see other parts of the world from the deck of the Star Clipper.