KDHamptons Lifestyle Diary: Shannon McLellan Sets Sail On Her Catamaran, Heron
It all began when Capt. Cameron McLellan acquired Heron in 2009 and sailed her 1500 miles to the Virgin Islands, alone. There, he briefly met Capt. Shannon Carleton [above] and she was hired on as delivery crew from Portland, Maine to the Virgin Islands the following year. Having no more than a handshake and a verbal resumé between them, Cameron and Shannon set sail on a Monday in November. They were engaged 6 days into the passage, and married less than a year later. How’s that for sailing off into the sunset? Now, summering in the Hamptons, Shannon and Cameron sail the Heron [below] through the intricate bays of Eastern Long Island from Sag Harbor to Montauk, offering private luxury sailing charters. Shannon shares her unique east end life living on the water in this NEW KDHamptons Diary, below:
KDHamptons: How long have you been living in the Hamptons? Why do you love it so much out here?
Shannon McLellan: I moved to Southampton in 1999 to attend Southampton College. I love it here for so many reasons! Mainly because of that feeling you get when you’re driving down Route 27 and you reach Southampton- time just seems to slow down.
KDHamptons: Tell us more about how Heron charters was launched?
Shannon McLellan: A few years ago I decided that the perfect job would be to blend my three favorite things; hosting, sailing, and luxury. My husband Cameron and I then moved onto a 63-foot custom built catamaran, sailed to Trinidad to have it completely restored, and founded Heron Yacht Charters. Heron is certified for sailing with up to 38 guests and since all charters are private, it really is like hosting a decadent party in my home everyday.
KDHamptons: What would a perfect day in the Hamptons look like to you?
Shannon McLellan: It depends on where I wake up. Sometimes it’s in Sag Harbor and other times it’s in Montauk! In Sag Harbor, I love walking the streets like a tourist and popping in and out of the shops with my dog, Andy [she’s a Coconut Retriever I rescued from the Virgin Islands, below]. There’s usually a visit to Salon Xavier for some kind of beauty treatment, and then Cameron and I finish the day with a cocktail at the American Hotel to visit our favorite barkeep, Vinny. In Montauk, waking up in Fort Pond Bay before all the boats arrive is heaven. I can watch the crew at Navy Beach setting up for the day while I have my coffee [I love people watching!]. I know at some point Leyla Marchetto [Navy’s owner] will arrive with her dog, Mochi, and she and I take the dogs paddle boarding and then to Buddha Berry for frozen yogurt.
KDHamptons: What is your favorite Hamptons restaurant? Do you have a favorite dish & drink you get every time?
Shannon McLellan: You can probably tell already that Navy Beach is my favorite Hamptons restaurant. It reminds me of being on St. Barth. I like to eat clean, so my favorite dishes are the fresh tuna salad [above], or the Kale Salad with a side of Mexi-corn, and a glass of perfectly chilled rose. I’m pretty good in the galley, but I simply cannot recreate that mexi-corn at home!
KDHamptons: What does a typical Hamptons charter look like?
Shannon McLellan: We propose to our guests a glorious afternoon spent under the sun, sipping rosé and anchoring off the secluded beaches of Napeaque for swimming and paddle-boarding. Sunset sailing compliments a Hamptons wedding remarkably, or guests can host a decadent dinner onboard, or sail with your friends to your favorite waterfront restaurant. We serve Heron’s signature cocktail of rum punch topped with fresh nutmeg. Guests are welcome to bring anything they like in addition (except for RED wine), and they may also have arrangements made by our onboard hostess for anything from champagne to cheese pairings to a most decadent spread.
*Visit www.syheron.com to find out more about how you too can live this unique lifestyle.