Captain Paul G. Forsberg first served as a mate on his father, Carl Forsberg’s, boat fleet, where he worked until 1951. At the age of 12, he bought his first 24-foot boat, which he used to practice cruising the waters of Montauk. Today, he owns and serves as the head captain on his father’s Viking Fleet, working alongside a team of captains that includes his son and two grandsons. They ship passengers around the waters of Massachusetts and New York aboard a fleet of four private and commercial fishing boats, a high-speed ferry, and a cruise and whale-watching ship—many of which Captain Paul designed himself.
Captains may showcase local skylines, point out passing whale pods, or drag-race the Flying Dutchman aboard the Viking Starship, a 140-foot cruise ship with a climate-controlled cabin and seating on two outdoor decks. The custom-designed high-speed ferry Viking Superstar transports passengers, their bicycles, and surfboards across the water to Block Island, New London, and Martha's Vineyard. Anglers occupy ships including the Viking Star, Gulfstar, wooden Stariper, and sail-assisted Freedom on day and nighttime fishing trips, taking advantage of onboard gear and sleeping quarters where the crew stays up and talks about which boats are the prettiest.
The fresh breezes that buffet Mystic's shoreline probably feel much the same as they did 150 years ago, so it's a fitting place to find America's nautical history resurrected. Called Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea, includes 19 acres of exhibition space. In addition to the museum proper, the complex hosts a recreated 19th-century sea-faring village, a working shipyard, and extensive gardens that blanket the grounds. Live museum staff lead demonstrations and performances throughout, even welcoming guests aboard the National Historic Landmark vessels moored in port. On Wednesdays through Mondays, captains take visitors out on the water in a coal-fired steamboat to experience the river and town from a different angle. They also rent out their small boats seasonally, to visitors who can comfortably handle being in charge of a boat. When tired of ship studying and naval gazing, guests can head to the Treworgy Planetarium and turn their eyes to the stars, learning how to chart courses in the manner of ancient captains, modern astronauts, and late-night deliverymen.
Jim Scoggins first felt the rocking of a ship's deck in the 1950s on the rolling waters of Lake Champlain. Though he traveled south and found himself in healthcare administration for the next few decades, he never lost the passion for sailing—and eventually returned to New England to conquer more waves in the 1980s. With Sail the Sounds LLC established at three local ports, Captain Jim now uses his original sailing craft, an O'Day 39, as part of his training and charter fleet. He and his wife, Teresa, helm an ASA-certified training center, charter service, and cruising club to set guests out on the sparkling waters of Mystic River and Mystic Harbor. Captains pilot three Hunter yachts for chartered trips, as well as six Hunter 240 sailboats for captain rentals, sailing-club events, and classes teaching technique for keelboats, coastal navigation, and safely chartering parties of water-fearing cats.
Cofounded by the legendary Hollywood dancer himself, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio hosts a team of seven veteran instructors who specialize in ballroom and Latin dances ranging from the rumba to the waltz. Students can build their cache of moves in private lessons with personalized curricula or practice with their peers in the convivial atmosphere of group classes. High-octane Zumba classes help to combust calories, imparting Latin-inspired choreography in an atmosphere that is festive but doesn’t expose students to dangerous swarms of flying champagne corks. Youngsters build their poise in dance classes that cover five different styles, ranging from ballet to hip-hop, and engaged couples prepare to glide elegantly across the dance floor at their nuptials with wedding-oriented classes.
Thanks to the careful gardening of its "fiercely independent" local owners, Bank Square Books' shelves teem with all manner of pencraft, mingling best-selling fiction and nonfiction with lesser-known novels as well as the most expansive assemblage of children’s books in the area. Guests can nestle into cozy seats and browse the adventures of ex-Navy SEAL Max Moore and his wise-cracking sock puppet in Tom Clancy’s best-selling Against All Enemies ($28.95) or feast eyes on the bookery's numerous staff picks. Tyler recommends The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet ($15, paperback), which follows a young Dutch clerk as he navigates the dangerous political intrigues of samurai-era Japan's sole port to the outside world. Annie, meanwhile, loves Kristin Kimball’s The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love ($15, paperback), which chronicles one woman’s flight from New York City to start a farm in the North Country. Henry Kissinger's negotiation strategies in On China ($36) will prove invaluable to recreational diplomats who are tired of navigating the land mines in their feuding roommates' DMZ.
Certified aesthetician Sheri Muscarella pampers visages and exfoliates skin at Lushka Organic Skincare Studio. The microdermabrasion gently abrades the face, neck, and décolletage with aluminum-oxide crystals, removing dead skin cells to reduce the appearance of sun damage, fine lines, and age spots and reveal the face's vibrant underground youth scene. The Signature facial employs a custom cocktail of imported Éminence Organic Skin Care products from Hungary, with each treatment tailored to suit the client's skin type and face genre. Gentle facial massage stimulates circulation with or without steam depending on skin type, along with an enzyme mask, accompanied by a warm-mitt hand massage. After the technician removes the mask, she applies rejuvenating serums and lotions to burnish the face to a healthy glow.