The Whistling Man Schooner Co. Story
The founder of Whistling Man had an old Charlie Chaplin wind up toy as a kid. When wound, Charlie twirled his cane and whistled. When starting this company in 1996, he was reminded of this childhood toy and he recalled a superstition that many sailors revere: whistling on a boat will conjure up fair winds and following seas! 25 years later, the Whistling Man Schooner Co. namesake has come to mean more than just old sailing lore. It's also the pleasant sound the wind makes when traveling through the rigging, and it's what we all like to do when we're having a jolly good time sailing on Friend Ship and Wild Rose.
From all of us at Whistling Man - Welcome Aboard!
Meet The Crew
Capt. Hannah "Diddy" Langsdale - Owner
After graduating from St. Lawrence University, Hannah learned to sail on Lake Champlain which she now considers her home waters. Since catching “the sailing bug”, it has been hard to get her off the water. Hannah’s pirate name is Diddy, which she earned her first season as a deckhand with Whistling Man. She was responsible for maintaining Friend Ship’s lines and sails, so she always had the “Ditty Bag” within arm’s reach. Diddy is passionate about learning and sharing Lake Champlain stories and being part of a tightly knit yet growing maritime community. Diddy now has what she considers to be the best job in the world, and she feels incredibly fortunate to be at the hem of such historic vessels and to be surrounded by this amazing crew.
Capt. Bill "O" O'Connor
As the son of US Navy parents, Bill grew up around some of the major ports of the US and Europe. His passion for all things nautical developed as he followed his dad on all kinds of seagoing vessels. Bill worked his way through college aboard a New Orleans tug boat, and has captained a number of vessels up and down the East coast, and once across the Atlantic. Since then, Bill has dropped anchor in Burlington, which he considers to be one of the most beautiful and historic places in the world.
Capt. Bob "Bubba" Bristow
Bubba grew up in Bristol, CT but spent all his summers on Lake Champlain. When he was old enough he spent three summers at Camp Tonset in Orleans, MA learning the art of sailing on Cat boats. It was during these summers at camp that his passion for sailing grew. Together with his family, Bubba experienced many wonderful adventures sailing and exploring Lake Champlain. After retiring in 2019 Bubba went back to school to get his captain’s license and feels very fortunate to share his experience and passion for sailing with others as a captain aboard the Whistling Man boats and with Sail Beyond Cancer. For the past fifteen years he has done numerous deliveries of boats up and down the east coast. When not sailing you can find Bubba enjoying time with his wife and his four grandchildren.
Raised in the Champlain Islands, Lucia is no stranger to wonders of beautiful Lake Champlain. A dinghy sailor since in the age of seven, she has spent her days sailing from the lakes thaw to freeze on boats big and small. In high school she was a part time sailing instructor and a racer for the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. She now spends her fall and winters in the waters of Lake Ontario where she attends school at Queen’s University. Lucia has a passion for everything sailing and is excited to be back for another summer with Whistling Man and this fabulous crew.
Alexis "Moxie" Kelly
Alexis first discovered the magic of sailing when she was __ years old and stepped onto a Rhodes 19 on Boston Harbor. From that point she was hooked and went on to spend every summer sailing, racing, and teaching on Boston Harbor. After graduating from the University of Vermont, Alexis spent some time sailing on the San Francisco Bay before deciding that she missed her home in Vermont and on Lake Champlain. Alexis loves nothing more than sharing her passion for sailing with others and is excited to work with Whistling Man for the first time this year. When she's off the water, Alexis is an elementary school special education teacher and enjoys adventuring around this beautiful state with her dog!
Capt. Cory "Dali" Dalsimer
Born and raised on the ski mountains of the Mad River Valley, Cory has been involved with the Vermont tourism industry his whole life. He worked as a snowboard instructor, wedding caterer, and creemee stand manager throughout highschool. Cory studied Engineering Technology at the Vermont Technical College before transfering to the University of Vermont where he has continued to study Mechanical Engineering. Upon moving to Burlington Cory's first priority was to grow his passion for sailing, which his grandfather introduced him to at a young age on Long Island. He has since become a self proclaimed 'wind addict' who spends every single windy day either kitesurfing or sailing. Cory is fascinated with the history of Lake Champlain and is greatly fulfilled sailing guests around what he believes to be the most amazing place in the world.
Capt. Tom "TomCat" Peterson
Tom had his first sailing experience at the age of four and has been hooked on it ever since. He has called Vermont home since moving here from Alaska in 1979. Tom has sailed extensively on the east coast from Maine to the BVI, but always loves coming home to his beloved Lake Champlain. In addition to sharing the lake with Whistling Man guests, Tom runs his own consulting firm, drives the Island Line Bike Ferry, and participates in storytelling events around town.
Marcia "BeBe" Bristow
Marcia is a native Vermonter and proud of it! She grew up in Middlebury Vt and spent summers enjoying time on lakes Dunmore and Champlain. However, it wasn’t until 1976 when she met Capt. Bubba that her interest and knowledge in sailing began. Together they have sailed all over Lake Champlain.
Marcia loves meeting new people and finds a sailboat to be a perfect place to draw people together. She is passionate about the rich history of the lake and enjoys sharing the wind, water and history with new and old friends. Having recently retired from a career as a registered dietician she is also always happy to talk about food and cooking.
As a fitness enthusiast, when Marcia is not on the water, you can find her in a CROSSFIT class, on a spin bike, a golf course or spending time with her grand children in.Vermont and Colorado.
Capt. Hannah "OB" O'Brien
Hannah has spent every summer since she was seven on sailboats. She learned how to sail at a sailing center in Boston Harbor and later became a sailing instructor there. She moved to Burlington and joined the Friend Ship crew in 2018 and is extremely excited for the season. Captain O'Brien is an ardent believer of Lake Champlain's lake monster, "Champ"! During the fall and winter seasons she enjoys hiking and snowboarding and exploring everything that Vermont has to offer.
Tricia "Treasure T" Senzel
As the daughter of a naval sailor Tricia came to the world with an affinity for boats and water. However, it wasn’t until an evening sail on Lake Champlain in September 2014 that her enthusiasm for the sport caught wind. Anchored in curiosity, she completed 3 American Sailing Association Certifications in summer 2015 and began volunteer crewing with Sail Beyond Cancer. By June 2017 she was crossing the North Atlantic between Tortola and Bermuda followed by a Caribbean Sea voyage to Bonaire in June 2018. Through her love of community and connection Tricia discovered WMSC. When not on a boat you can find Tricia navigating the waters of leadership development as Founder and CEO of her own firm. Lake Champlain is where Tricia soaks in some of the best sunsets on earth and she is passionate about sharing this experience with friends and family.
Elizabeth "Starbuck" Walker
Water is where Elizabeth loves to be whether she is sailing, swimming, boating, paddling, snorkeling, scuba diving, or fishing. She runs her own Integrated Holistic Health Coach Business and is a mother of two handsome teenage boys. Elizabeth always has a smile and many stories to share about her experiences here on Lake Champlain. She swears she saw Champ as a little girl. Growing up on the water between her time on Long Island and Lake Champlain has only solidified her passion for everything life has to offer in regards to water and adventure. She started sailing later in life for a local nonprofit and fell in absolute love with the wind in the sails and the sense of absolute inner calm and detachment from land that exists only with sailing.