Skip to main content

Halloween Haunts

With Halloween fast approaching, sailors across the nation are finding ways to combine the holiday with their love of the water. Here are a few family-friendly options that you may want to consider: 1. Haunted Ship Tours Forget haunted houses; let’s talk haunted ships. Many vessels become supernatural hotspots during the Halloween season, offering both guided tours

With Halloween fast approaching, sailors across the nation are finding ways to combine the holiday with their love of the water. Here are a few family-friendly options that you may want to consider:

1. Haunted Ship Tours

Forget haunted houses; let’s talk haunted ships. Many vessels become supernatural hotspots during the Halloween season, offering both guided tours and actual paranormal investigations of the ship using EMF detectors. The USS Salem in Quincy, MA and the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA offer an assortment of tours that will give you goosebumps long after you vacate the eerie engine rooms.

2. Halloween Regattas

If you feel the urge to act like Captain Jack Sparrow, instead of just dressing like him, sign up for your local Halloween regatta. The Snipe Halloween Regatta at the Atlanta Yacht Club in GA offers a Southern-style dinner and a live band, while the Cortez Racing Association in San Diego, CA awards prizes for best team and individual costumes. From the race itself to a costume party following the competition, attending a regatta is a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend the holiday—just don’t forget to make a pal dress up as Barbossa.

3. Underwater Pumpkin Carving Competitions

Underwater pumpkin-carving contests have become an annual tradition in many cities across the country. One of the most widely recognized contests takes place at the Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo, FL. Judges award prizes to the top three pumpkin sculptors who create the most impressive jack-o-lanterns (with dive knives) while 30 feet under water.



4. Maritime Museums

Many museums host exhibitions combining sailing history with a spooky Halloween theme. The “Superstitious Sailing” program at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, DE, presents museum-goers with fun facts about maritime superstitions, Davy Jones’ Locker and cursed ships. A haunted lighthouse is the backdrop of the Marquette Maritime Museum’s “Real Ghost Stories” tour, during which participants hear ghost stories about former keepers and shipwreck victims.

5. Pumpkin Festivals

What does a festival dedicated to a squash have to do with water sports? Let us introduce you to a new kind of regatta. At the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Tualatin, OR and the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta in Damariscotta, ME, competitors race toward the finish line in 1,000-pound, hollowed-out pumpkins. We’ve seen weirder things…maybe.



This is only a sampling of the maritime-related Halloween events around the country. With a little digging, you’re bound to discover activities in your neck of the woods.

Related

maintenance

Cruising: Old Sailors Never Die

“Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.” It may be a hoary old joke, but one of my problems at age 79 is I can no longer get easily in and out of a little dinghy, and neither can my (several years younger than me) wife. For this, and various other reasons I will ...read more

01-LEAD-DSC_0953

The Mighty Compass

Here’s to the humble magnetic compass, without a doubt the sailor’s most reliable instrument onboard. It’s always there for you and with the rarest of exceptions, always operational. Yes, I love my chartplotter, autopilot, radar and AIS. They help me be a safer and more ...read more

02-En-route-Jost-Van-D

Chartering: Swan Song in the BVI

Joseph Conrad once wrote, “The sea never changes.” And while this may or not be true, something most definitely not open for debate is the fact we sailors, “wrapped in mystery,” as Conrad put it, are continually changing—whether we like it or not. I found myself thinking these ...read more

220307FP51_1JML0332

Boat Review: Fountaine-Pajot Aura 51

If you can sell more than 150 catamarans off-plan before the resin has even hit the fiberglass, you must be doing something right. Despite costing around $1.1 million once fitted out and on the water, Fountaine-Pajot’s new 51 has done just that. The French yard has been at it ...read more

00LEAD-IMG-9035

Ready to Fly a New Sail

It’s a typical humid, southern Chesapeake Bay summer day when I show up on the doorstep of Latell & Ailsworth Sailmakers in the one-stoplight, one-lane-roadway, rural tidewater town of Deltaville, Virginia. I’m late getting here to work on a new jib for my 29-foot, Bill ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Dates for the 2024 America’s Cup Announced

Ever since making the controversial decision to hold the next America’s Cup in Barcelona, Spain, instead of in home waters, Defender Emirates Team New Zealand has been hard at work organizing logistics for the event.  The Racing Area for the Challenger Selection Series and the ...read more

00LEAD

A Force for Change: Captain Liz Gillooly

I first heard about Capt. Liz Gillooly in 2016 from my cousin while working three jobs in our shared hometown on the North Fork of Long Island and living with my parents to save money for a boat. But despite being the same age and growing up only 13 miles apart, Liz and I never ...read more

291726157_3222349914654950_8713674249134934221_n-2-1024x684

Sailing in the Growth Zone

The Goal This year, I’ve had a specific goal to be a better sailor. Some people have laughed and said, “Why do you need to be a better sailor? This was my 22nd year racing on the same boat, with the same crew. I like to win and want to make sure we stay at the top of the fleet. ...read more