A Whale of a Time in Massachusetts

Our Bay State adventure began in a new place for the Impossible Dream, Newburyport Massachusetts

Pulling out for a daysail in the Merrimack River

Our trip to a small seaside city in northern Massachusetts, began with an intriguing email we received this spring from a Newburyport local. The local was Alan Gamble, and upon responding to his email and speaking over the phone we knew we had to stop in Newburyport.

From the moment he first reached out to us, Alan and the Newburyport community opened their arms to Impossible Dream and swept us off of our feet. In the course of three short months, Alan arranged sails with multiple organizations, coordinated docking, promoted our visit, set up a fundraiser, and introduced us to many influential community members. Our trip to Newburyport could not have gone as smoothly and meticulously without Alan’s and the community’s support and aid. It is for all of that and so much more, that we are eternally grateful Alan reached out to us and the Newburyport community welcomed us. Our wonderful experience in Newburyport will keep us counting down the days until our return in 2019!

We knew things were off to a good start when on our first sail we spotted a Minke whale just outside of the Merrimack River with the cheerful group from Atria Merrimack, a community for the elderly and memory care. Our well packed sailing schedule had many highlights from the grins of our guests–who had a turn at the wheel from Opportunity Works, an organization that empowers those with cognitive disorders and brain injuries–to some of the best dance moves we have seen on the boat from the ladies of the Maris House–a women’s house for rehabilitation for drug addiction. Overall we had a splendid time meeting the community of Newburyport through our sails and look forward to even more next year.

Link House fellows out for a swim

In typical sailor fashion, our visit would not have been complete without a dockside cocktail party. Alan and others made sure to pack the boat and introduce our Captain and crew to many vibrant individuals and donors, including the Mayor of Newburyport!

After a night spent making new friends, we welcomed the jovial fellows of the Link House, a residential home for men and women who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions. They were so keen on making the most of the pristine weather and water, Captain Will stopped the Dream for a quick swim break in the revitalizing waters of the Atlantic. It was a wonderful time with wonderful weather, even if the ocean was a tad chilly!

That evening, the crew had the chance to unwind on a sunset boat ride on our brand new dingy donated to us by the great people at AB Inflatables. Captain Will, Paulina, and David explored in and around the dunes and marshes of Plum Island, a barrier island and wildlife refuge outside of Newburyport. The Captain and crew were excited to test out our new dinghy and explore some places the Dream can’t quite squeeze into!

Dinghy ride around Plum Island on our new AB Inflatable

The following morning we had the pleasure to welcome a guest crew of sailors made up of Alan Gamble and Gary Gastman on our transit to Boston. Gary is the executive director of the Link House and is also apparently good luck because during the sail we saw multiple Humpback and Minke whales just twenty feet from the boat!

Whale sighting between Newburyport and Boston!

As we bid farewell to our friends from Newburyport in Boston, we happily welcomed aboard or co-founders, Deborah and Harry(and Winter!).

Over the past four years, Boston has become a staple stop of our Summer tour due in large part to its reputation for world-renowned rehabilitation hospitals and organizations. One of which is our partner, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which is a cutting-edge hospital with a specialization in spinal cord injury(SCI) treatment, rehabilitation, and research. It is their commitment to SCI treatment and investment in improving rehabilitation that keeps drawing us back every year.

Boston Crew

We had three great sails with past and present patients from Spaulding, somehow dodging all the bad weather despite multiple storms being forecasted. Even David Storto, President of Spaulding Rehab Network was able to join us for a sail!

Each morning in Boston, we were treated with a delicious breakfast from our dock neighbours, Karen and John, who operate the floating bed and breakfast, The Green Turtle. We have gotten to know them quite well over the years. What amazing people!

A new partnership was formed in Boston with the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Veteran and family care organization, Home Base. An honourable organization, Home Base assists our Service Members, Veterans and their families in healing from traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress (PTS), and related conditions. A truly eye-opening experience, we are so thankful and humbled to have been able to welcome veterans and their families onboard for a sail and see great potential in working together in the future.

We have just arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, co-founder Harry Horgan’s homeport. The Impossible Dream will be docked at Casey’s Marina courtesy of our good friend Bill Casey from August 18th-25th. Do not hesitate to reach out if you are in town and want to visit! To help us keep sailing and making new connections every day please donate to Impossible Dream here. We hope you enjoyed our stories from Massachusetts and can not wait to share more with you from Newport. Scroll further down for some more pictures from our time in the Bay State!


Beautiful Summer night looking at Boston’s skyline from Boston Harbor


Our Newburyport to Boston Crew

Happy passengers from Spaulding

Night sail around Boston Harbor

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