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We have quoted Stuart's letter in full. They chartered 'Antillean' in January, 2007
'Letter of Reference
Crew: John Gould (Captain) and Heidi Wheeler (Cook)
Our recent cruise on the yacht Antillean was the realization of a lifelong dream and it lived up to every expectation of a perfect vacation. From the moment we boarded the boat, we felt welcomed and comfortable beyond all reasonable expectations. The first short cruise across to St. Johns got us acquainted with the boat and at our first lunch we knew that we were going to have wonderful food throughout the trip.
We were seeking a week of complete relaxation in the enjoyable company of good friends. Immediately upon boarding we confiscated all of the watches, cell phones and computers and stored them safely away. We lived by the rising and setting of the sun and the crew accommodated us without fail. From the steaming pot of coffee that was sitting on the cockpit table upon arising before breakfast to the simple yet elegant lunches, the varied and delicious hor d’oerves, the wonderful dinners of fish, pork or beef, the abundant and delicious wines to the final nightcap, the food was superb. We were totally amazed at the feats that Heidi carried off in the small galley. We were so taken with her cooking that we left with a collection of recipes that we have enjoyed several times since.
Every day was perfect perfect weather, exhilarating sails, wonderful swimming and snorkeling on the reefs in scenic anchorages on gorgeous islands. There was just the right amount of sailing, swimming and relaxing, not to mention book reading and an occasional nap. We really appreciated that fact that they had snorkeling equipment on board and we made frequent use of it as we swam the reefs. These were just a few of the amenities on board that we enjoyed. John has a wonderful collection of music with literally thousands of titles including every Beatle song and we were consistently serenaded by his collection and his impeccable taste. His DVD collection was as impressive and it seems that no matter what asked for, he had it.
John was the perfect tour guide for us on our first trip to the Caribbean and the BVI. His fund on knowledge about the islands, their geography, culture and politics and his narration as we sailed through them was endlessly enjoyable and we learned much about the area.
The accommodations on board were most comfortable with a cabin suite for each of us.
The cockpit seating area comfortably accommodated six of us and the special bimini he had installed over the cockpit was much appreciated during the mid-day sun. We never felt crowd on the boat and very much appreciated all of the design touches of the Beneateau. It was a wonderful ship to sail and quite comfortable even in 10 foot seas.
Last but not certainly not least let mention Mr. Schmee the parrot. He was a most enjoyable member of the crew who we all enjoyed “talking” with on a regular basis and his antics were a frequent source of entertainment at anchor.
As I said at the very beginning this was a vacation that exceeded our expectations in every respect. We all agreed that by the end of this wonderful voyage we had never been more relaxed. It was “just what the doctor ordered” for all of us and we could not be more grateful to John, Heidi and Mr. Schmee for the experience.
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