Downtown Magazine caught up with Captain Greg Freitas of the Full Moon, harbored in Brookfield Place. There, we found out a little more about the sailing life and what makes Greg tick.
Downtown: Where did you grow up and where do you reside now?
Captain Greg: I grew up on the south coast of Massachusetts, went to engineering school in Worcester, visited 38 countries while working as an Oceanographic Engineer, lived 28 years in the U.S. Virgin Islands, have a mountain home in western North Carolina, and currently live aboard Full Moon in North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place.
DT: When did you realize that you wanted to be a Captain?
CG: I realized I wanted to be a captain when I found crewing to be hard work. That was many years ago. I have had my US Coast Guard Master’s license for over 31 years. As Mel Brooks might say, “It is good to be the Captain”.
DT: What was your first vessel you ever owned?
CG: I built the first boat I ever owned. It was an 8’ wooden pram. The mast was made from a closet pole and my mother made the sails. After that, I decided to buy boats instead of building them. The best boat I ever owned was a 1975 Hinckley Bermuda 40 Mark III Yawl, painted “Super Jet Black” which American Airlines contracted for their national “Fly us to the Caribbean” advertising.
DT: Are you a captain of sail or motor vessels?
CG: I actually do both. When I first joined Classic Harbor Line (then Chelsea Excursions) in 2000, I captained Adirondack, our 80’ gaff-rigged schooner. I did that seasonally through 2002. The summer of 2003, I worked in Newport, RI, running Adirondack II. Now I drive Full Moon, our 65’ motor yacht.
DT: Is there a difference between the two for our audience?
CG: Generally speaking, the difference between sailing and motoring is simple, sailing is about the journey and motoring is about the destination. However, at Classic Harbor Line, we make the journey on our motor yachts and the destination on our sailing yachts a high priority. Saying it in a slightly different way, it is hard to go wrong on any of our vessels.
DT: What is your favorite place to navigate in our US waterways?
CG: Technically speaking, the US Virgin Islands is in our US waterways so I would have to say there. But, I find sailing and motoring in New York harbor both challenging and rewarding. Sure it is a little bumpy out there but heck, that’s New York.
DT: Welcome back to Classic Harbor, we hear that you have had a long career here then left and now you are back, why did you leave and what brought you back?
CG: It was early July 2000, I was living on my boat, Spitfire, in the Virgin Islands, and made it known to anyone that would listen, that I did not want to be there during the upcoming hurricane season. One of the few people who was listening was related to the owners of Chelsea Excursions (now, Classic Harbor Line) and made the introduction. The next thing I knew I was boarding a plane to NYC. I arrived at 8:00 PM on a Wednesday and had my first charter running Adirondack the morning after. I enjoyed it so much that I came back in the summer and fall of 2001 and 2002. In 2003, I worked in Newport, RI, and ran operations there. At the end of that season, I bought a charter boat company out of Caneel Bay Resort on St John and spent my time operating that business. Coincidently, it was another hurricane, Irma, that brought me back to CHL last year.
DT: You are full of great stories, can you share a New York one with our readers?
CG: Which one do I tell? How about the one of us sailing Miss Universe around the harbor? Or the first time I brought the Adirondack (CHL’s 80’ schooner) into North Cove? Or record-setting racing in the Mayor’s Cup? September 11 evacuation by boat?
DT: Tell us about the Full moon, why you like this boat and what you hope to see from this vessel?
CG: The motor vessel Full Moon was built in Chicago in 1950, lived on the west coast for a number of years, was moved to Maryland in the late 1990s and then to Boston in the early 2000s. Classic Harbor Line bought her in 2017 and she spent almost a year undergoing an extensive refit in Albany. Her engines are new but her lines are original. What I love about Full Moon is that she is classic, very comfortable and responsive. The main salon looks like a set from “Mad Men”. It is like a floating living room. I could see Full Moon being club-like that Battery Park residents would bring their out-of-town guests to go visit the Statue.
DT: Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers that I may not have asked you about?
CG: A cruise on Full Moon is like a trip to the country where you leave the hustle of the city behind. Plus, we serve great drinks!