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Part 2: Tired from our long flight, we were all appreciative of Inspiration’s comfortable accommodations.

By Richard Thiel


Photo: Robert Holland
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But maybe the real reason Inspiration feels so homey is the Yamaha grand piano in her main saloon, where we spent two of our three nights aboard in raucous sing-alongs. We were fortunate to have a pianist among our party of eight, but that’s not a prerequisite. See, the Yamaha is an electronic piano, so if the urge to perform exceeds your musical abilities, all you have to do is slide in one of the yacht’s 119 CDs.

Or maybe that homelike ambiance was the result of the considerable time we all spent on Inspiration’s topmost deck, the sun deck, alternately relaxing in the hot tub and sipping cool drinks at the shaded six-person table just aft of it as Capt. Steve Walker manned the forward helm and pointed out some of the more interesting sights as we cruised among the Leeward Islands.

It’s all part of the casual atmosphere aboard this yacht. The friendly feeling started for us well before we got to St. Barts, on the evening we arrived late at Isle de Sol marina in St. Martin’s Simpson Bay Lagoon, one of the Caribbean’s most protected anchorages. Tired from our long flight, we were all appreciative of Inspiration’s comfortable accommodations (including two identical queen-equipped staterooms and two more that are fitted with a double and a single berth that are ideal for families). With owner Charlie Roberts serving as our host and staying in the master suite on the main deck, I was assigned one of the two queen-berth staterooms. I could have sunk right into bed, but instead I quickly stowed my personal gear and sped up to the sun deck, where the crew was dispensing a proprietary rum-based concoction guaranteed to erase the adverse effects of jet travel.

It worked. I might have slept until noon the following day had it not been for the distant vibration of twin 2,400-hp Detroit Diesels. Scrambling up to the bridge, I arrived just in time to see the Simpson Bay drawbridge open so that we and four other yachts could exit what was until recently an infamously narrow cut and enter Marigot Bay. As we made the short passage to our anchorage, I made my way to the protected cockpit, where an expanse of fresh fruit, cheeses, and breads was arrayed and chief stewardess Julie Tetreault hovered nearby, ready to take breakfast orders. Even though the crew offered to serve us meals in the formal dining room, we ended up taking all our meals in this completely shaded, 180-degree-view, informal area. It just felt more like home.

Next page > Part 3: There, lying on my bed, I found the nightly dinner menu prepared for my review. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the September 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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