Sailing into my Sixties on the Windfall
By: Diane Barr
Bucket lists are made for various reasons. Some make a list and hope they can check off as many items as possible before they pass on to their new home. Others make a list as if to revisit places their souls have known. The latter is my case. My bucket list trips have included such majestic sights as the Great Wall of China, Foz de Iguazu, the Amazon, and most major landmarks on this beautiful Earth. In my sixty years of traveling and marking off bucket list items, I have to admit, one of my favorite adventures occurred on my sixtieth birthday on August 18, 2017. Thanks to Captains Raffi and Lisa, I was able to experience one of the most amazing adventures of a lifetime. While it may sound mundane or uninteresting to some, spending a weekend on a 49 foot Hinkley was among my top five all-time favorite adventures.
Drizzle, rain, fog, and choppy seas, all led to the “perfect ten” last half of the weekend. Some might think the first half was not quite ideal, but to this sea-loving sailor girl, it was perfect! It was absolutely a sailor’s dream come true! Taking the helm on Day One, dodging lobster traps and sailing through the choppy sea gave this sailor girl the thrill of a lifetime. Mooring for the night off the coast of Great Misery Island, celebrating with a five-star birthday dinner, special “family recipe” cake, and lighting paper lanterns as they drifted away into the night sky was such a wonderful way to complete my birthday celebration. Not wanting to miss a moment, from 2-3 a.m. I sat outside on the aft cockpit counting my blessings and watching the stars, which was a blessing in itself. Finally the gentle rocking of the current helped me drift off to sleep, as I dreamt in anticipation of the next day of my adventure.
The Windfall’s accommodations were adorable, spacious, pristine, and quaint. Captain Lisa’s impeccably prepared food was way too delicious. In addition, the yacht and sleeping quarters were so comfortable; but topping it all off was the friendly, family attitude of our two captains. I can’t say enough about lovely Captain Lisa and sweet Captain Raffi. To say they made us feel at home is a huge understatement! To say we felt like we had been friends forever is very accurate!
“Sleeping on a sailboat in the ocean” was near the top of my bucket list, however it was not even on my husband’s radar. Therefore, I was joined by my sister as she “took one for the team” in accompanying me on my bucket list trip, as my husband is not a fan of sleeping on vessels and sailing into the open ocean. Even though my sister is not a big fan of being “trapped” on a boat for the weekend and tends to get seasick, my sister loved the trip almost as much as I did. With Lisa and Raffi’s help, my sister surprised me throughout the day with many birthday treats and gifts. I felt like I was the most important person in the world! Just as Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character stood on the bow of the Titanic and shouted, “I’m king of the world,” I stood on the bow of the Windfall with the wind blowing through my hair and felt that same overwhelming exhilaration!
After a restful night, we awoke on Day Two to dense fog and a light mist. I felt as though we had been transported back in time as I heard the ringing of the buoy bells. All we could see were two other sailboats moored nearby for the night, and Great Misery Island off in the distance. After a delicious breakfast and showers, we set sail for Rockport, MA. Along the way, we passed lighthouses, a few islands and a few other vessels. As we arrived in Rockport Harbor, we noticed that many people were standing along the harbor pointing at us. After disembarking, and looking back at the harbor we realized why. The Windfall is so beautiful and majestic, and was the largest and most spectacular vessel in the harbor that day. For once, people were admiring us and our vessel. You see, we are normally the admirers and not the recipients of such admiration.
As we visited the quaint harbor area of Rockport, the fog lifted and the sun graciously appeared. It turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon. After a bit of shopping, we returned to our “home for the weekend” where we were greeted with cocktails and appetizers. As we relaxed and enjoyed the sunset, Captain Raffi fired up the grill while Captain Lisa began her culinary magic and we were treated to another spectacular dinner. After dinner, we sat out on the main cockpit and chatted with our new friends. The day and evening were absolutely perfect!
After a very restful night, we awoke to coffee out on the bow as we watched the yacht club Sunday regatta begin. We were greeted by all participants as they sailed by and we watched as they navigated the course. After breakfast, it was time to set sail for Gloucester in order to head home later that afternoon. We were informed by Captain Raffi that we could alter our plans for the day and enjoy an afternoon of sailing on what was turning out to be a “Perfect Ten” sailing day. To our delight, we agreed with his plan and enjoyed the beautiful day. We sat on the bow and took in every moment, as he sailed his majestic yacht through the open sea then in to Gloucester Harbor.
Reaching the harbor was bittersweet. I certainly did not want that weekend to ever end. I simply cannot say enough about my bucket list trip! There are not enough adjectives or adverbs in the English language to accurately describe our experience. The accolades are too numerous to mention. I will simply say the Windfall is a majestic, spectacular vessel, and Captains Raffi and Lisa are the perfect hosts! Thank you for making this sailor girl’s dream become a reality.
Until our rhumb lines cross in the future, Captains Raffi and Lisa, may your hearts be your compass, gentle breezes fill your sails, the seas be calm, and the sun kiss you gently as you sail the Windfall in New England as well as the Bahamas. May your journeys give you peace and joy, and may God bless you!
Fair winds and following seas, Diane Barr
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