Life, Liberté and the pursuit of happiness
With the completed vessel, Chris and Jane can easily travel the world in style, and they have the best porch view in town. For now, though, the couple is content splitting their time between Annapolis, Maryland in the winters and Falmouth in the summers, where they offer the Liberté’s many admirers everything from sunset cruises with delightful music and a cash bar to open daysails and private charters.
Weighing 40 tons, the original hull design of the Liberté is a Hout Bay 70, designed by Dudley Dix and built by Howdy Bailey. A three-masted, staysail rigged schooner, the Liberté has a draft of 7 feet. Stepping aboard is truly like stepping back in time, into a world where the simple joy of a day spent off the shores of Cape Cod is all one needs to appreciate the region. The Liberté can comfortably hold up to 49 passengers, and Captain Chris—affectionately referred to by crew members as “Cap”—is more than happy to share his love of the seas and knowledge of the Cape with everyone aboard.
“Chris loves to sail and be his own boss,” says Jane about why the pair decided to start their business with Patriot Boats. “He has a flair for theater as well, and the boat makes a great platform for that.” When the Liberté first started giving tours, Patriot Boats already had a market for fishing boats. What Chris and Jane offer is a much different experience—a chance for visitors to be a part of everything this couple loves. The Liberté offers three daily cruises all week long, weather permitting. The ship is also perfect for private charters with a full service bar and room for catering, making for exciting birthday parties, weddings, company outings, reunions and more. At least two dedicated crew members are always onboard to make sure guests are comfortable and drinks are full.
“Cape Cod has incredible sailing,” Jane says about how the location makes each trip aboard the Liberté all the more special. “The breezes are great, the water is clean, and the views are fantastic.”
Kenneth Graham once wrote of the joys of sailing in his famed novel, “The Wind in the Willows.” “One morning I shall wake to the song and tramp of the sailors, the clink of the capstan, and the rattle of the anchor-chain coming merrily in,” he writes. “We shall break out the jib and the foresail, the white houses on the harbor side will glide slowly past us as she gathers steering-way, and voyage will have begun!” Graham’s character, the Sea Rat, is talking about the joys of sailing south, but nevertheless, the excitement he feels at savoring the wind in his face and listening to the bustle of the crew is akin to the type of experience that Captain Chris and Jane create aboard the Liberté.
“We like people to know that we’re fun and easy to work with,” says Jane. “People ask us all the time if we’re going to put up the sails. Well, of course! We go sailing! We want every trip to be awesome and a sail on the Liberté to be the best day off.”
In “The Wind in the Willows,” Graham also writes, “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” It’s a mantra that Captain Chris and Jane fully embody, and one that the Liberté will continue to demonstrate to her lucky guests for years to come.
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