Sunlight and motion woke me early, and I scrambled up on deck of the Star Clipper. As four stripe-clad crewman pulled lines and trimmed sheets, the ship shifted beneath my feet, responding to the wind and waves. The night before I'd fallen asleep snug in my cabin as we motored out of the port at Dutch St. Maarten. But now with 15 crisp white sails taut against the breeze, we were really sailing. I come from a Navy family, and spent my youth sailing with my dad. The intimacy you forge with nature when navigating the wind is a feeling like no other, and one I hadn't expected to find on a ship carrying 170 passengers. "Quite a beauty, isn't she" asked someone next to me, and next thing I knew I was involved in a four-way debate over wind speed (turns out we had 30 knots of wind, which explained the heel). I'd forgotten the camaraderie that exists between sailors, and in that moment, with the early morning sun on my skin and my bare feet on the teak deck, I knew I'd chosen well. This week-long Caribbean cruise that would take me to smaller ports on islands that came into their prime during the 18th-century days of the sugar trade. Experiencing them by sail would offer the kind of glimpse back into those days that I could never get on a modern megaliner.