September 2001



The drawing for our helicopter lighthouse tour raffle was held Columbus Day at USCG Station Point Allerton in Hull, MA.
The three winning tickets were drawn by crew members of the station. The following are the lucky winners:

First Prize

Helicopter tour of Massachusetts Bay Lighthouses

(Courtesy of Charles Edgar of Chatham, MA)

Jim Kenworthy
Rockland, MA


Second Prize

Framed lithograph of the Lighthouses of the Massachusetts Coast

George H. Kelly
Hull, MA


Third Prize

Flying Santa Gift Pack: Sweatshirt, T-shirt, Cap & Coffee Mug

Tom Hettinger
Warminster, PA


Congratulations to the lucky winners and thank you to everyone who participated in making this a successful fundraiser!

Stay tuned for details on next year's raffle which will feature a custom lighthouse charter with Nautical Adventure Charters.


(or How We Found Two Lighthouses in the Maine Woods)


Yes, there really is a Santa Claus! Over the past few years, a number of our Friends have suggested that we put together a lighthouse bus tour to visit some of the lights in the great state of Maine. After looking into all the logistics involved in such an undertaking, we decided to give it a shot. It took a year to put it all together and would not have been possible without the help of so many of the wonderful Friends who assisted us. On Friday, May 18, at 7:10 AM, with our itinerary in place and the weather on our side, 50 of our Friends boarded a bus in Rockland, Massachusetts for a three day adventure to eleven Maine lighthouses, six museums and the world famous Lighthouse Depot. I was still a little apprehensive, hoping that I had crossed all the T's and dotted all the I's. With a quick stop on the North Shore to pick up a few more Friends we were off to the city of Portland, Maine. There was major road construction on I-95 just before Portland but we managed to breeze through it. At 10 AM, we arrived at the Spring Point Light & Museum in Portland Harbor. The Spring Point volunteers were waiting for us and quickly divided us into three groups to tour their light, museum and gift shop. I would like to applaud them for the tremendous job they did. Getting back aboard the coach, we took the short drive to the nearby "Bug Light". Our on board narrators, Doug Bingham and Norm Rogers recounted the history of this little light. After an enjoyable stop at the famous Newick's Restaurant for lunch we were off to the Portland Head Light and Museum at Cape Elizabeth. All was ready for us here with the Portland Head staff on hand to open the keeper's house. We had an unexpected surprise from BMCS Tom Dutton of USCG Group Portland. Through his efforts, the lighthouse tower was opened up for our guests to climb. I do believe most of our group took advantage of this opportunity and enjoyed the spectacular views from atop the tower. Tours were conducted through the museum and of course, ended up in the gift shop. Much to our surprise we met up with Captain Russell Webster, who has spent the past few years living at Cape Cod's Nobska Point Light while Commander of Coast Guard Group Woods Hole. I think he was checking up on us, for in the past, our bus trips have included a stop at his lighthouse. After a wonderful afternoon we moved on to the Cape Elizabeth Lights and with the help of our narrators learned some of their unique history. After an interesting tour of the Portland waterfront, we arrived at the Days Inn for a much-needed rest.

After a great breakfast in the hotel we were off for the second day of our journey. The weather was still great. The coach headed north on I-95 to Bath, Maine. After driving over the bridge and viewing the giant crane at the shipyard we soon came upon the sign directing us to the Doubling Point Range Lights on the Kennebec River. Our driver, Rick, looked at me like I was crazy, for the road leading directly into the woods was just barely wide enough to accommodate the bus. I crossed my fingers and assured him that we could get in and out. Rick said OK and started in, muttering " These lighthouse people are nuts". The road became even narrower before we finally spotted what we were searching for. After some very skillful maneuvers, Rick found a spot to pull over and let the group disembark. Rick did an excellent job throughout the trip and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have had such a patient and friendly driver. We walked about 50 feet to the Kennebec River edge and lo and behold, there were not one, but two lighthouses here in the middle of the Maine woods. We were met by Michael Kreindler, the president of the Range Light Keepers, who was amazed that a bus tour had found its way in. Our group was very impressed with his narrative of the history of these two woodland lights. Too soon it was time to leave for Pemaquid Point.

Heading north again, we turned off of Route 1 and made our way out to Pemaquid Point Light and the Fisherman's museum. Here, a special surprise was in store for our group thanks again to Chief Dutton. He had made arrangements to open up the tower for us and once again our guests were able to climb the steps of one of Maine's magnificent beacons. The Fisherman's Museum was fascinating and next door was a wonderful gift shop. It was getting near lunchtime so we were off to the famous Moody's Diner on Route 1. After a great lunch it was off to the Marshall Point Lighthouse at Port Clyde. Our old friends, lightkeepers Tom & Leeann Szelog, were on hand to greet us. Tom took groups up into the light and did a splendid job with the narration and history. The light's museum and gift shop were opened up for our group thanks to the outstanding volunteer guides. Next, it was off to our last stop of the day, the Rockland Breakwater Light. As we pulled into Rockland, the weather started to get misty with a bit of Penobscot Bay fog rolling in. When we arrived at the parking lot, I did not expect too many of our guests to venture out the nearly one mile walk to the light. Boy, was I wrong. Most everyone aboard the bus made the trek along the granite breakwater. We pulled into the Trade Winds Motor Inn at 6:00 and soon had everybody settled into their rooms. Later in the evening, after an enjoyable dinner at the inn, a number of our group took time to tour downtown Rockland.

After a good night's rest and a wonderful breakfast at the hotel, we were off to Owl's Head Light. The weather had cleared and it turned out to be a great day. Upon our arrival we found that Kyle Santheson, the commanding Officer at USCG Station Rockland had made arrangements to open the lighthouse tower for tours. An opportunity enjoyed by all. Our 2nd stop was in downtown Rockland at the famous Shore Village Museum. Ken Black, a retired USCG CWO as well as the museum's curator, was there to give our group his own personal spin on the hundreds of lighthouse artifacts in the museum's collection. It is a fascinating facility and we were all very impressed with Ken's presentation. Back on the road, we again took advantage of the fine menu offerings of Moody's Diner, including their famous 4 Berry Pie. In the afternoon, we made our way back down the coast to the town of Wells, home of The Lighthouse Depot, the world's largest lighthouse gift shop. On hand to welcome us was Tim Harrison, the owner of the Depot and president of the American Lighthouse Foundation. Tim was a perfect host. He had a welcome gift for all aboard the bus and donated another six gifts for us to raffle off on the way home. We lost track of time at the Depot and fell behind schedule by almost an hour. Continuing on, we headed out to York to view Nubble Light, the last light of our tour. The weather was just perfect for viewing and picture taking. From there it was back home, arriving in Rockland, MA just before 8 PM.

Since the trip, we have received many inquiries about the possibility of repeating the tour next year. We are happy to announce that we will be making the journey back to Maine May 17-19, 2002. Unfortunately, we can only take 50 guests. So if anyone is interested, please sign up early, we expect to sell out very quickly.

Click here for ticket ordering info


On Sunday, June 17, we hosted our 9th annual Massachusetts Bay lighthouse cruise. Despite a few glitches setting up on the MV Freedom (a new boat for us) and the makings of a drizzly day, we set sail shortly after noon with 129 hardy souls. Unfortunately, 40 or more of our guests had chosen not to make the trip due to the poor weather.

On board, the first order of business was to serve up the delicious box lunches from Z-Chef Caterers. Of course, the Flying Santa snack bar was open for business, featuring the award winning clam chowder from Schooner's Restaurant of Hull, MA. The worst of the rain held off as we made our way past Long Island, Graves, Marblehead and Hospital Point Lights. Our narrator for the voyage, Norm Rogers, charmed everyone on board with his accounts of the legends and lore of the lighthouses.

After passing Baker's Island Light, we started raffling off the 179 prizes that had been donated by our generous sponsors. With these odds, almost everyone on board won a prize. We would like to send a special thanks to all the sponsors who contributed to this raffle. Their participation has always made this a very successful part of our fund-raising. The lucky winner of the 50-50 raffle took home close to $200.00.

With the raffles finished we made our way in to Minot's Ledge Light. Whether sunny or cloudy, it is always a treat to see this remarkable light up-close. Making our way back up to Boston Harbor the skies finally opened up. Unfortunately, upon entering the harbor, it was raining so hard that no one on board was able to see Boston Light. Thankfully, by the time we arrived dockside in Hingham, the rain had subsided and our guests were able to disembark without getting soaked.

Thank you to all our guests, who like true lighthouse lovers, were able to make the best of what turned out to be one of our more inclement cruises. Next year we plan on being back on board our regular lighthouse-viewing vessel, the MV Massachusetts and hopefully, Mother Nature is a bit more accommodating.


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 $20.00 per year. The normal rate is $24.00 per year. With each subscription order placed through the Friends, Yankee donates $10.00 to the Friends of Flying Santa Endowment Fund. To date the endowment has been enriched by almost $1500.00. If you are interested in receiving or renewing Yankee Magazine please click on the following link:

Yankee Magazine's Commmunity Partners

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

October, 2001

Here's your chance to win a "Flying Santa's eye view" of some of New England's best known, but least accessible lighthouses. Due to the generous offer of Charles Edgar of Chatham, Massachusetts, we have been able to put together this unique fundraising raffle. Mr. Edgar has offered us the use of his two-seater helicopter and will pilot one lucky winner on a scenic aerial tour of Massachusetts' South Shore from Plymouth Airport to Boston Harbor and back.

This flight will be highlighted by spectacular views of six lighthouses including Minot's Ledge Light, considered the most dangerously situated light in America as well as Boston Light on Little Brewster Island, the last officially manned light in the Coast Guard. The winning ticket will be selected at the conclusion of our Columbus Day lighthouse cruise on October 8th, 2001. The flight will take place later in October at a time convenient for the winner and Mr. Edgar. You may have already received a mailing from us containing a book of raffle tickets. The tickets are only $2.00 each and you may purchase the whole book of six for $10.00, or please feel free to share this once in a lifetime opportunity with your friends.


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