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Chartering The Whitman Yacht provided a rejuvenating bonding adventure for my family

Yacht 1By Hollie Moore Barnidge

My family and I chartered The Whitman Yacht in late April to celebrate my daughter’s birthday and my mother’s perseverance over some medical issues she’d been dealing with. We figured it would be the perfect way to mark several special occasions, and we were not wrong.

Upon arrival at the marina, Steve, the yacht owner, greeted us warmly and jovially, as if we’d all been old friends. With one hand, he picked up our cooler and with the other, he held my young daughter’s hand and helped her down the slippery pier toward the yacht. She immediately took a liking to him, even though she’d only just met him – rare for her!

At the boat, Steve and Capt. Bennett Bacon welcome us aboard their gorgeous vessel, which Bennett had been busily preparing. They helped all five members of my family on board, explained some rules and safety procedures, strapped my daughter into her life jacket, gave us a tour below-deck, and offered us refreshments. Steve had brought snacks, and so had we, so we settled in with our munchies and headed down the Wilmington River.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. Steve and Bennett told us that if they could order the perfect sailing day, that would have been it. Bennett cranked up some tunes and they both made sure we were comfortable and happy. The crew encouraged us to explore the boat, make ourselves at home and speak up if we needed anything.

We took turns sailing the yacht for a short time, stretched out in the sun on the bow, and listened as Bennett gave is a brief but intriguing lesson on coastal ecology and marine wildlife. It was apparent he is incredibly knowledgeable. Both Bennett and Steve pointed out all kinds of local landmarks and answered every question we came up with.

We all shared and passed around snacks and drinks, chatted animatedly, told stories, laughed, marveled at the sights, took about a million photos, and just immensely enjoyed out charter adventure. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a more incredible experience. We were thrilled!

We sailed back to the marina, still admiring the nautical sights and sounds. My family and I were all so relaxed and rejuvenated by this amazing day spent out on the water with a crew that is seriously experienced, knowledgeable and hospitable. We felt like they were family, too, by the time we docked.

It may sound like an exaggeration, but escaping for a day on The Whitman Yacht was positively enlightening. Never had my family felt closer and more in-tuned with nature and the astonishing coastal landscape. Also, it was a real bonding experience for us, and we made fantastic memories that will last forever. Undoubtedly, we will be back!Yacht 3