The 193-foot Calixe is impressive enough as one of the largest yachts in America. But the folks in Toronto were even more awed by her when she rolled into the marina at John Quay late in the summer of 2009, causing quite a stir among the locals. Her appearance even resulted in a story in The Toronto Star, where a reporter noted she no doubt left local sailors stricken with envy. Calixe belongs to Wendy McCaw, owner and publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press, who keeps the yacht only for private travel, not charter. The ship’s five cabins and an interior designed by Terence Disdale should be a convenient place to hide from the spotlight: McCaw has been a lightning rod for criticism from newspaper employees who opposed her editorial interference and labor practices. At the height of a staff insurrection in 2006, McCaw was spotted cruising the French Riveria with fianc(and co-publisher) Arthur von Wiesenberger.
While her newsroom workers took issue with McCaw expressing her staunch animal-rights views in the newspaper, the ship’s crew doesn’t seem to have the same concern. Once, during a cruise off the Turkish coast, she sent crewmembers to swim ashore to free a tied-up donkey.
Calixe comes in at number 39 on America's Largest Yachts 2010
This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.