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French Revelation
Steve Wulf
February 11, 1991
Forget about beaming us up, Scotty. Club Med 1 is magnifique, and no one made us dance the hokey-pokey
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February 11, 1991

French Revelation

Forget about beaming us up, Scotty. Club Med 1 is magnifique, and no one made us dance the hokey-pokey

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Then came time for the actual picnic. All the lobster you could eat, all the wine you could drink. That is the great advantage of traveling with the French: They know how to eat and drink. And contrary to what many Americans think, they do not bite. My wife and Horst got into an animated gastronomical conversation with some French couples that had me laughing even though I could hardly understand a word they said.

Back aboard ship for tea, we were enchanted by a sound that's music to any New Yorker's ears—gunfire. They were skeet shooting, of course, from an aft deck. It proved to be a pretty good spectator sport, seeing which shooters could turn the most clay pigeons into red vapor.

The big event of the night turned out to be dessert. In the Calypso Lounge, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (funny—I hadn't noticed before that they were on board) presented an extraordinary array of gâteaux, so extraordinary that passengers were videotaping it. Let them eat cake.

G.M.'S LOG, SATURDAY, DEC. 8, 1990.
LAND HO.

Yesterday, the last full day of the voyage, began with a mini-voyage aboard a catamaran from Sandy Island to White Island, off Carriacou. After we landed, my first mate and I went exploring and found ourselves cut off from our group. She reminded me that this was how Gilligan's Island started, with a three-hour cruise. A three-hour cruise. Since the island was about the size of the Club Med 1, we found our way back to the group. There was excellent snorkeling off White, but we didn't have much time.

On the way back to Sandy Island we were served wine and cheese as the flying fish flew by. The captain of the cat dared us to try a shot of Sunset Very Strong Rum. I dared, and cleaned out every germ in my body. Hey, it was an abandon exercise.

The snorkeling at Sandy Island was like being dropped in an aquarium, and that's how we spent most of the afternoon. Back aboard the ship the nautical hall was open for only the second time on the voyage, but alas, I had an appointment on the bridge to meet Captain Alain Lambert.

He explained how the automated sails operate, and he even unfurled a sail and moved a boom for me, pointing to their pictures on the bank of computer screens. He assured me that the sails were not for show, that the Club Med 1 can go 10 knots on sail power alone, 14 knots on her engines and 17 knots with both working. The sails also save the ship 25% in fuel costs. "She is wonderful," he said of the boat, "but she is a little nervous."

We wistfully dressed for the last evening aboard ship, a dressy affair. Everybody looked so nice, if a little sad. We had dinner with our pals from Brooklyn and Berlin once more, and we all said we would do this again, perhaps in the Mediterranean. Since bags had to be out at 7:30 a.m., we all retired early to pack.

It's after breakfast now, and everyone is getting ready to leave. In a few hours the whole cycle will begin again. A whole new set of G.M.'s will arrive, and the G.O.'s already seem to be saving their smiles for them. No matter. We had a great time, but more important, we made some friends. Like Ishmael, we got more than we bargained for on the voyage.

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