Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. Not only is it the celebration of the coming of Christ and the promise of salvation for all, but I also love that everyone slows down, spends time with family, and everyday life stops for a while.

Tonight is New Years Eve and the end of 2017. Although we’ll miss her, the arrival of the new year – 2018, means that we’ll be launching Vigilant in less than 4 months and off to another great season on Buzzards Bay.

As we bid adieu to 2017, I thought I’d share my Top Ten stories from this past season.

10. You Meet The Nicest People in Edgartown at The Harborside Inn and Seafood Shanty

This was a great story on so many levels. It was one of many great days during the summer of 2017 that began with lousy weather and turned out spectacular. It was really the first time I fully appreciated that Barry would always find us a spot at The Harborside Inn Docks. And of course it just another great dining experience at The Seafood Shanty – my favorite seaside eatery.

9. Oak Bluffs – An Ideal Autumn Destination

I loved this trip because it was a spur-of-the-moment mini-vacation that Mrs. Horne and I squeezed in late in the season. September wasn’t actually as nice as October and our overnighter to Oaks Bluff turned into a Three Day due to the fog. Still, it was our first overnight at Oaks Bluff in decades and we learned that it’s probably one of the best late season destinations in Southern New England.

8. Boys Day Out

With Mrs. Horne away in San Diego, me and my two favorite crewmen – Rudy and Peter, set out in the fog to visit Martha’s Vineyard.  It was a great experience for me in that I learned that while the fog is no big deal in open ocean, it’s nothing to mess with in Woods Hole! It was also one of those days that started out as a near zero and ended up as a perfect 10!

7. Destination – Cuttyhunk

Yet another stroll down memory lane with our favorite McGrath Family. The big takeaway was the appearance of multiple new dining options on this tiny island. I’m fairly certain we’ll be doing an overnight here in 2018.

6. Block Island in a Northeaster

One of 6 posts I did celebrating our incredible midsummer vacation with Gail and Rudy to my favorite island. I loved this particular post because it tells the story of scrambling to avoid a tropical gale and ending up with an extended cruise.

5. Menemsha and the Jimmy Buffett State of Mind!

Salvaging a great day out of a poor weather forecast was clearly a recurring theme in 2017. This was originally a weekend trip to Newport, but we changed plans because Peter had to be in Vegas on Monday. Saturday was a last minute boating day that started in the Mattapoisett Boatyard Parking Lot with Peter, Mary Lee, and Mrs. Horne all arriving at noon – minutes before departure. Like Cuttyhunk, I suspect we’ll be staying overnight in Menemsha in 2018.

4. The District Restaurant and Portsmouth NH

Our first cruise to New Hampshire and Day 3 of our Trip to Maine. It was just one of those dream days on the water; an early departure from Boston, a 65 mile milk run to Wentworth on the Sea, a great lunch in Portsmouth, and dinner back at Wentworth. We made new friends and hooked up with our old friend Kyle McGrath as a special treat.

3. A Perfect Song for Buzzards Bay – Solid Ground by Rebecca Correia

Not only a great song from Buzzards Bay’s own Rebecca Correia, but also a splendid musical video featuring Ned’s Point in Mattapoisett, The Tabor Boy, and Marion Harbor. On a personal note, this song hit the stores the day after I met with Rebecca and got the motivation I needed to write my own original song.

2. A Newport Thursday

What makes a day on the water so memorable? I think it’s when a day is full of so many spectacular experiences from morning to night. This Thursday with our dear friends Kay and Steve including witnessing a full whale breach in Rhode Island Sound, great music at the Landing in Newport by the Rum Liners, mouthwatering steak at Bowens 22, and closing the day with cocktails and a bunch of new friends on the dock in Newport.

1. Benjamin’s – Newport Rhode Island

Over the past few months in the desert of California, I’ve caught myself daydreaming a lot about last summer. The trip that keeps popping up as the best turned out to be the final cruise of the season. It was our only cruise that began on a Monday and our final cruise with our #1 crew – Gail and Rudy.

Happy New Years!

Although Vigilant won’t be launched until the third week in April, I do plan to do a few posts over the winter to catch up on some stories I missed in 2017 and cool gear. In the meantime, here’s wishing everyone a great 2018 and happy boating on Buzzards Bay.