An Unforgettable Day Setting Sail On Stunning Yacht Kelpie

All aboard Yacht Kelpie!

Hamptonites have charted a clear new course to enjoy safe, luxurious, and unforgettable outdoor experiences….on the water!  Chartering a private yacht or boat for an intimate group to cruise to hidden harbors and coves from Shelter Island to the North Fork is the only way to go for those in the know.

My favorite experience of summer was spent aboard the breathtaking classic schooner, Kelpie (, hosting my sister Kim who was visiting from Charleston and a small group of friends. With wind in our sails, Captain Shannon Carleton whisked us from Sag Harbor around the North Haven peninsula under perfect conditions, blue skies, and warm sunshine.

She’s named Kelpie, after the Scottish name given to a shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the lochs and pools of Scotland. Many myths tell the story of beautiful and beguiling maidens or mermaids that are able to change form into water horses. Designed by Francis Sweisguth and built at the Harvey Gamage Shipyard in 1928 in Maine, Kelpie is a 78.8ft traditional gaff-rigged schooner once employed by the U.S. Coast Guard to hunt German U-Boats during WWII.

Captain Shannon Carleton

Kelpie’s beautiful Captain Shannon shares, “How does one describe doing the thing you love most, sailing on one of the finest yachts in the world? I have built a business around my passion for quality and hospitality, indulging guests with decadent, gourmet spreads, deluxe service, and leisurely sails to beautiful destinations on this dazzling, airy, elegant vessel.”

GIRL POWER! Kelpie’s crew consists of three mermaids and one man.

Shannon adds, “As restrictions started to clear on the East End, small family celebrations, weddings, and intimate gatherings cancelled due to COVID-19 were hosted safely aboard Kelpie. Offering a turnkey booking process, custom menus, chefs on hand, and dock to dish menus already planned for unforgettable sails. We take safety precautions to a new level with white glove service for the protection of our guests in addition to routine antibody testing, daily temperature check performed by our Red Cross certified crew.”

We were welcomed on board with a refreshing sparkling sake.
My sister Kim Hopkins visited from Charleston.
With my bestie Melanie Brandman
Our gorgeous table setting.

Also aboard was “The Oyster King” Kevin Joseph above left (@kevinjoseph) who shucked up the most over-the-top oyster pairings using his trademark molecular gastronomy and chef Evan of Kissaki restaurant in Water Mill indulged us in a seven course Omakase menu with incredible sake pairings. Kissaki is unequivocally the best new Japanese restaurant in the Hamptons, be sure to go! (

Chef Evan blew us all away with his Omakase menu.

Our final dessert course, below, which was mochi over watermelon on a buttery cookie.

“A mermmelier is to oysters what a sommelier is to wine,” shares Kevin Joseph who served a variety of oysters including local Montauk Pearls. “Shaved horseradish with a squeeze of fresh lemon is my favorite way to dress oysters, or with my  homemade Japanese mignonette.”

Below is a closeup of the molecular sphere which Kevin created that burst with mezcal over the oyster as we ate it! Be sure to follow the adventures of “mermellier” Kevin Joseph here: @empire_oyster, @theoysterhood and @kevinjoseph

As the Hamptons season winds down, Shannon will steer Kelpie south to Charleston for the off-season. Visit HERE for updated information on Half Day, Full Day, Brunch Sail, and Sunset Sailing options. Contact Captain Shannon Carleton here:  m: 631.875.3611; w: e: