Exploring the historic Mystic Seaport Museum leading up to a 5-star traditional New England Clam Bake, sailing aboard a traditional schooner in Long Island Sound, a gala evening of cocktails, dinner, and dancing at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI, a toy boat building competition, wrapping up with a cocktail and dinner reception at the distinguished Jonathan Edwards Winery….just to name of few of the fun activities that the Horizon team had packed into the fun-filled owner rendezvous weekend.
The largest maritime museum in the United States, Mystic Seaport Museum, brings the history of an 18th-century New England seafaring village to life complete with all its maritime trades. Established in 1929, this living history museum now comprises over 60 historic buildings on a waterfront campus of nearly 20 acres. Exhibits and demonstrations in the Shipyard employing traditional tools and techniques are used to maintain the ever-growing collection of historic boats and ships. The jewel in the Seaport crown, the Charles W. Morgan, is the last remaining New England whaling ship of the 2,700 built. Preserved by the shipyard, the Charles W. Morgan was launched in 1841, and completed 37 voyages in its 80-year career before she was acquired by the seaport in 1941. Preserved by the Shipyard, she was completely rebuilt and returned to sailing condition in 2008. She is now open to museum guests as are many other historic vessels including the 1882 iron-hulled sailing ship, Joseph Conrad, which also serves as the dormitory for the Mystic Overnight Sailing Camp.
Mystic Seaport’s history and charm combined with an array of exciting events planned for our guests made this year’s rendezvous a very special and fun-filled 4 days, both on and off the water.
8 Horizon Yachts STAR, ISSIMO, MONACO, VALIANT, JOURNEY, TO- KALON, FREEDOM, LEXINGTON made their way up the Mystic River to the marina guest docks within the Seaport. The owners of another Horizon yachts SATORI, CROWNED EAGLE, DEBBIE LOU, SWEET SARAH, ANDI AMO, and CEVICHE attended as guests. In all, 14 groups of Horizon yacht owners were present including a special guest, Cor D Rover designer of the Horizon FD series, making a total of 80 people in attendance.
The Mark Twain quote: “If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes”, is as true today as ever. Over the 4 days, guests and owners were treated to some good old-fashioned sun, rain, fog, wind, and more sun.
On day one, the owners checked in at the Seaport Tavern each receiving their overstuffed Horizon gift bag. These were Sail bags, containing Helly Hanson Vests, t-shirts, Real McCoy Rum, blankets, koozies, custom oyster shuckers, and more. Warm greetings were followed by a welcome bar sampling of the finest ‘The Real McCoy’ 12-year single blended Rum to a background of authentic sea shanties. It’s said that namesake, Bill McCoy was a legendary rum runner thus ensuring that we kicked off this Horizon Rendezvous in good company with all our adventurous sailors.
Meanwhile, down at the Boat Shed preparations were underway for an authentic New England clam bake with all the fixings. The Boat Shed is a historic open-sided structure with a commanding view of the Seaport docks and the Mystic River. As guests filtered in, they were treated to the sounds of ‘Northern Fried’, a fabulous and entertaining band set up at the water's edge. Roger gave a welcome speech, followed by Danett going over the schedule of events as the sunset over the river. It often takes a bit of time and a few cocktails to get folks up to dance but when ‘Northern Fried’ piped up with the Gloria Gaynor tune, “I will survive’ there was a virtual stampede to the dance floor.
On Friday, day 2, owners and guests ambled into a leisurely traditional New England breakfast at “Greenman’s Landing within the Museum. The accompanied mimosas and bloody marys were a popular choice to start the morning. Then it was off in small groups to explore the museum with various tours of the Shipyard projects, where old and new technologies are employed side by side to maintain the fleet. Owners and guests visited watercraft halls with endless displays and the Figure Head room with its dramatic presentation of carved and painted ship figureheads. A narrated tour above and below on deck of the Morgan revealed where the term ‘know the ropes’ originated. Young museum sailors in training high above the deck learned to work the myriad of lines, each with its own name that controls the sails. Other extraordinary exhibits were the model boat shop and the enormous scale model of the entire Shipyard as it looked in the 1800s.
By day’s end, everyone was decked out and ready for a truly upscale evening. All aboard the trolley! As the champagne flowed, owners and guests were transported to the famed Ocean House, an iconic oceanfront resort in Watch Hill, RI. This five-star luxury resort sits on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic, “the first and only AAA 5 Diamond and Forbes 5 Star resort in the state and one of only 14 in the world”, this beautifully classic yellow New England style resort was the perfect venue for an evening of this caliber.
With the New England weather doing what it does best, the cocktail hour was spent on the ocean-view terrace despite the squall, which eventually gave way to a glorious sunset and multiple photo ops.
A fabulous dinner was served buffet style in the private oceanfront ballroom as the evening musical entertainment, ‘SUGAR’ began to rock. Within a short time, there was a crowded dance floor that continued for the remaining part of the evening.
Day 3 dawned wet and wild, New England weather living up to its reputation again. Undeterred, guests ventured out to visit many of the Seaport's indoor displays until it was time for lunch and the judging of the Boatbuilding Contest. Each of the attending owners had been given an identical pouch of wooden pieces, paper, string, and glue. With no instructions, the boats could be configured in many ways, guaranteeing the originality of design. These creative entries lined up together made for a very difficult decision for the contest judge, the renowned yacht designer Cor D Rover. Ultimately First Place was awarded to young Branson from CROWNED EAGLE with second place going to m/y VALIANT.
The sun was beginning to peak in and out as the Yacht Hop and Aft-Deck Decor competition began. The introduction of the Horizon signature cocktail, presented by the dread pirates, Captain Carnivorous Carl and his Sea Wench, Fanciful Phyllis aboard their pirate ship “INFLATABLE’ kicked off the ‘Whale of a Time’ Yacht Hop.
Down on the docks the guests were moving between the decorated whale theme yachts, sampling each of their special drink concoctions and hors d’oeuvres along the way. All the participating yachts were up to the challenge, putting serious effort into their presentations, and were subjected to some serious judging with the winners of the ‘Best Of’ awards to be presented at the Farewell dinner. The sun was out in full force again by the time the Yacht Hop wrapped up. Guests and owners wandered off to explore the town of Mystic on an exploratory evening, allowing them to choose a dinner spot from the many excellent local offerings.
Day 4 dawned sunny and beautiful. Just after beginning the day with breakfast, owners and guests headed into town for a sail down the Mystic River. All aboard the ARGIA, the traditional schooner, to the open water of Fishers Island Sound. For those choosing to stay ashore, it provided additional time to continue exploring the Seaport Museum and the town of Mystic.
That evening more champagne was joyfully consumed, accompanied by lively conversations on the trolley ride to the farewell dinner hosted at the Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, CT. The concept of the Edwards family was simple “Make great wine and enjoy life more often” and perfectly exemplified during the Farewell dinner. Guests gathered for the cocktail reception on the brick patio, complete with an oyster bar, fabulous hors d'oeuvres, a jazz trio, and a welcome introduction to Jonathan Edwards wine at a full bar.
The property was beautiful and inviting as the hazy setting sun draped its soft warm light across the vineyard, providing another photo op.
The evening continued with another fabulous buffet dinner served in a delightful Sperry tent that blended perfectly with the vineyard grounds and the lively tunes of the ‘Sugar Babies Busker Band’. After dinner, Danett presented the yacht hop awards to the lucky winners.
And the awards go to…………….
• Best Cocktail: ISSIMO for their original concoction “Into the Mystic”
• Best Décor: MONACO: Monaco for their pink whales, including pink whale sugar cookies, Vineyard vines whales, and pink toy whale sitting on the bar spouting water (or was that tequila)
• Best After Party: FREEDOM which included whale-themed jokes and fun facts
• Best Snacks: LEXINGTON for their fantastic Deviled eggs
• Best Tour: TO-KALON for an in-depth and intriguing tour
The evening wrapped up with Roger delivering a heartfelt farewell speech followed by Starr entertaining the guests by singing a terrific rendition of “Second Hand Rose”.The dancing continued into the evening until the trolley arrived and a wonderful time was had by all.
A huge thank you to the Horizon Yacht staff for their diligent planning and to the Owners for a being a part of the Horizon family.