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Life, Liberté and the pursuit of happiness

Cape Cod sailing

Based in Falmouth, the Liberté offers an impressive sailing experience

It’s commonly known that the part of Cape Cod closest to the mainland is colloquially referred to as the “Upper Cape,” and as one travels through the region, they pass through the “Mid Cape,” “Lower Cape” and “Outer Cape,” respectively. But the origin of such terms is often up for debate.

Chris Tietje, captain of the 77-foot schooner Liberté, likes to share his version with guests aboard his vessel. Those who have ever sailed on Cape Cod, like Chris, know that the prevailing winds are normally out of the southwest. As he explains, to sail along the coast of the Cape to the west would mean tacking back and forth upwind, and to the east would mean sailing downwind—hence the term “Upper Cape” refers to the region of the Cape that sailors must tack “up” toward. “Down East,” according to Chris, was derived to refer to areas of coastal New England and Canada that involve sailing northeast, with the prevailing wind at your back, or downwind. It’s just one of the many fun facts that Chris likes to share about the region he loves so dearly and the activity he’s built his life around—sailing.

Chris’s nautical know-how doesn’t end with colloquial terminology. His passion lies with the sea, and he and his wife Jane have made a home on the ocean. The couple built the schooner Liberté in 2001 to their own set of specifications, and haven’t looked back since.

After a vast history in the sailing world, including trips across Europe and South America, Chris purchased the first Liberté in 1990. It was a traditionally rigged replica of an 1850s Pinky Schooner, which gets its name from having a narrow, or “pinked,” stern. Years of memories on this boat and a family with “the lovely Miss Jane,” as he refers to his wife, led to Chris trading in the original Liberté for the vessel he now owns, one that is a bit larger to comfortably accommodate the couple and their family. Today, that family includes all who come aboard the schooner to enjoy a pleasant trip around Vineyard Sound.

The Liberté was designed to be, as Chris puts it, POSH. “POSH stands for power, offshore, sailing, house,” he explains. Under these guidelines, he and Jane set out to create a vessel that met the demands of being a sleek, offshore sailboat while still offering a livable space and being manageable for one person under both power and sail. There is ample seating room aboard and enough space for a table amidship to hold dinner parties or enjoy a cocktail. Below deck, there are three cabins as well as a galley and great room—everything a man of the sea needs to enjoy his days with his beloved wife.

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