Great Lakes Christmas Sail

By Matthew K. Weiland
Based on the Voyages of Bridget Nagle

here has long been a certain fascinating mystique surrounding the notion of a solitary Christmas somewheres – a lighthouse, a forestry service fire tower, a rural AM radio station, the caboose of a 20th century limited smoking through the midnight clear – where a small choir of angels, convened through chance or circumstance, light a candle, exchange a gesture, and toast a nog to peace on earth however distant is their hearths and homes.
Such came to mind recently while watching a ship slip over the horizon two weeks back, following its own north star on a cold, lonesome lake. Where might they be going? Where will they find their yule port? Where might their midnight choir sing? How would Santa find them?
Rally in the Galley
Bridget Nagle | Photo by Marianne Mangan

“Holidays are extra special,” says Bridget Nagle, cook, steward, Santa’s helper and host extraordinaire, who has been aboard the 630-foot Manitowoc since May of 20 aught 10.

“I’m definitely a boat mom. I go crazy cooking and baking this time of year. It’s a three-day feast of gluttony for a crew of 17 along with the captain and first mate. These are my boys. I truly love them and their families. I’ve tried 100 different meat loaf recipes until I found the best one. Some of the must loved recipes belong to the mothers, wives, and grandmothers that have been graciously passed along to me.”

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