September 2002


The Friends of Flying Santa have once again planned for an exciting way to finish up the season. We invite you to come aboard Saturday, October 12th for our Annual Columbus Day lighthouse cruise on the beautiful waters of Narragansett Bay. We will again be sailing on the MV Vista Jubilee. Resembling a Mississippi River boat, it is three decks high, with the two lower decks offering 180-degree panoramic window views. The boat is fully carpeted, and offers either air conditioning or heat, whichever is needed. The top deck is open with a large sunshade cover. This is a great vessel for viewing the 17 lighthouses on the tour. We will limit the number of tickets sold to ensure that everyone has an unobstructed view of the lighthouses. Some of the lights that we will be viewing are: Nyatt Point, Conimicut Point, Bullock's Point, Hog Island, Bristol Ferry, Mussel Shoal, Prudence Island, Sandy Point, Gould Island, Gull Rocks, Rose Island, Goat Island, Ida Lewis, Castle Hill, Beavertail, Conanicut North and Warwick Point.

The ticket price is $35.00, which includes a delicious buffet luncheon. The discounted price for our senior Friends (60+) is $32.00. You may use the order form link below. Your tickets and directions will be mailed to you. The boat departs from the Blount Marine Shipyard, located on Water Street in Warren, RI. There is plenty of free parking. Boarding starts at 10:00AM for our 11:00AM sailing. We will return to the dock by 4:00 PM. Driving directions will be sent with your tickets, as well as the telephone number for the local Chamber of Commerce for those of you needing lodging information. There will be three onboard raffles, one featuring over $1500 worth of prizes as well as a 50-50 raffle, where one lucky guest will take home half of the money collected for that raffle. And of course, the drawing for our Lighthouse Adventure Raffle. So come along with us and bring a friend, for an exciting day of lighthouse cruising. As always, the funds raised by this event will go a long way towards the success of this year's Christmas flights.

Click here for ticket ordering info



"The entire week before our Father's Day cruise was just rain, rain and more rain. On Friday, the forecast did not look very good for Sunday - overcast, cloudy and a chance of even more rain. There is nothing more dismal than to set out for a day of lighthouses viewing in wet weather. On Saturday night, there was a glimmer of hope that the weather front would clear in time for our sailing the next morning. I was up at 5 AM, and it did indeed look like the front was almost beyond us. The decision was made to go and all of the necessary procedures were put in motion. It takes a lot of effort by many hands to bring everything together in a short time. All the supplies need to be transported to the dock, along with the box lunches, snack bar supplies, raffle prizes etc. We arrived at the dock at 10:30 AM and proceed with the help of our amazing crew of volunteers to load everything aboard. We had just a short window of time to complete our set up. Brian Tague had arrived early and been able to do a great deal of the set up work, which made our job a lot easier. A bit after 11:00 the guests started to come aboard and we were all set to get under way at noontime. The sun came out just as we were passing our first lighthouse, the Long Island Head Light. The delicious box lunches were distributed and Flying Santa's snack bar was opened. The seas were calm inside the harbor, but as we headed out to the Graves Light conditions soon began to change. The swells were running to 6 feet. It was very difficult for anyone to walk about the ship. In fact, it became apparent that if we did not alter our course, we would soon have quite a few seasick guests. It was quite a trip as the skipper headed up to Salem harbor and its calmer waters. Once we arrived the conditions were much better, and we able to see all the lighthouses of Salem Bay.

At that time, we were advised by the skipper that we would have to alter our planned schedule. It was necessary to drop our visit to the Eastern Point Light in Gloucester as well as Minot's Ledge Light in Cohasset due to the heavy seas. This of course was very disappointing, but we did have an alternate schedule in place - a delightful cruise through the calmer waters of Boston's Inner Harbor. It was amazing to see all the changes the harbor has undergone over the years. We wrapped up our cruise with a sail past Boston Light. Here we were met by USCG Station Point Allerton's 47-foot search and rescue boat. Our guests were thrilled with the demonstration the crew put on for them. As we cruised by the light, lighthouse keeper BM1 Pedro Gonzales stood proudly in the doorway and waved. Unfortunately for us, the number of guests (107) on the cruise was down from past years. However, that fact increased the chances of our guests winning a prize in our Giant Raffle. We had on board 104 prizes worth over a $1000 so almost everyone aboard won something. We arrived back at the dock in Hingham just in time to get everybody off loaded before the pouring rain returned. In spite of our altered schedule, everyone on board stated that they had a very enjoyable afternoon.


Friends of Flying Santa was first formed back in 1997 to carry on the "Santa of the lighthouses" tradition. As many of you know, these flights originated in 1929 with Capt. William Wincapaw and his son Bill, Jr. of Maine and were carried on for many years by famed author and historian Edward Rowe Snow. The goal of the Friends was to ensure that these holiday flights to the Coast Guard crews and families of New England would continue. To do this, we set about finding new and exciting ways to raise the necessary funds for the program's operation. This included offering many enjoyable boat cruises, bus trips and other fundraising activities. Our mailing list of supporters grew over the years as more and more people participated in our lighthouse excursions. Unfortunately, the competition in the lighthouse touring business has dramatically increased the past few years. In the past year, we have seen a decrease in the number of people participating in our cruises and bus trips.

We are currently researching new and unique activities to help us with our fundraising goals. In 2003, we hope to offer our supporters something a little different in lighthouse "adventuring". We would welcome any interesting suggestions from our friends as to what you might find to be an enjoyable activity or excursion. At the same time, we would like to ask each of you to assist us with broadening our base of Friends. If you could take a bit of time to introduce our organization to your friends, coworkers or family members who enjoy lighthouses, we would love to have them join us in support of the Flying Santa tradition. When you are through with our newsletter please pass it on to a lighthouse lover, or send us their name and address and we will add them to our mailing list. Be sure to log on to our website - - for hundreds of photos and a detailed history of the Flying Santa tradition. You can help spread the word by emailing a link to our site to the lighthouse buffs in your address book. We sincerely thank you for your continued support!



Once again we are sponsoring an exciting raffle to help raise funds for the Flying Santa flights. This year we are offering four wonderful prizes for lighthouse enthusiasts:

1st Prize: Boston to Cape Ann Lighthouse Cruise. The winner and 5 of their guests will enjoy a private charter cruise on board the 31' RELENTLESS to 9 lighthouses from Boston Harbor to Gloucester.

Courtesy of Nautical Adventure Charters -


2nd Prize: A lighthouse helicopter tour for one of Boston Harbor & the South Shore.

Courtesy of pilot Charles Edgar


3rd Prize: An overnight stay including dinner & breakfast for two at Cape Cod's Lighthouse Inn in West Dennis, MA.

Courtesy of the Lighthouse Inn -


4th Prize: An overnight stay for two at the Race Point Lighthouse in Provincetown, MA.

Courtesy of the American Lighthouse Foundation -


Tickets are only $2.00 each and you may purchase a book of six for $10.00. Tickets may be ordered by using the order form link below. Please feel free to share this opportunity with your friends. The winners will be drawn on our October 12, 2002 Columbus Day Cruise on Narragansett Bay. Order your tickets today and help support Friends of Flying Santa.

Click here for ticket ordering info



Narragansett Bay Lighthouse Cruise - October 12

We invite our friends to come along on our last fundraising excursion of
2002. A delightful cruise on the waters of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay
taking in 17 scenic lighthouses. Please check inside for more information

Fundraising Cruises & Tours Page


For the past three years, Friends of Flying Santa and Yankee Magazine have joined together in a unique partnership. Through their very popular Community Partnership program, we have been able to offer our friends subscriptions to the magazine at the discounted rate of $20 per year. Their regular rate is $24 per year. With each subscription order placed through the Friends, Yankee donates $10 to the Friends of Flying Santa Endowment Fund. To date the endowment has been enriched by almost $1500. If you are interested in receiving or renewing Yankee Magazine please click on the following link for ordering information:

Yankee Magazine's Commmunity Partners

This makes a great gift for your friends or family. Thanks for your support!

Newsletter Archives

Published 4 times
per year.
Brian Tague
The cost of printing our newsletter is partially funded by
the Plymouth County Development Council


PO BOX 80047
Stoneham, MA 02180-0001
Tel: (781) 438-4587