David Curtis: He’s Cruising for a Cause

This year, on the 4th of July, the Bay Mist will be cruising around Casco Bay underneath Portland’s fireworks show. Music will be playing on the boat, thanks to one “DJ Haunt”, and people will be “oohing” and “aahing” at the sky together in celebration of the birth of our nation.

And everyone on board will also be supporting a fantastic cause.

One of the best benefits that comes from working at Casco Bay Lines is having the opportunity to really get to know a wide variety of interesting people over the years. Whether those people are island residents, tourists who return every year with familiar smiling faces or those who charter the Bay Mist for weddings, corporate events or fundraisers. We become, essentially, one big family.

For the past fourteen years, David Curtis has been part of that family as he has chartered the Bay Mist for an annual 4th of July Cruise! Over the years, we’ve been majorly impressed with all the work he puts into planning and executing a party that never disappoints – even teaching himself how to DJ so that he could keep costs down and pick the best music!

We recently chatted with David to learn more about how he found his way to CBL and we discovered something pretty special – it’s more than throwing a good party that keeps David motivated.

In 2004, he began working for an agency that provided services related to HIV prevention in Maine. That agency had received a grant to throw an event and chartered the Bay Mist. The event was a success, but David realized, with a little work and ingenuity, he could turn this event into something that would also raise funds for their mission. David took over the event in 2005 and hasn’t looked back!

By 2013, David was working for Independence Association, a Maine nonprofit that supports children and adults with intellectual disabilities or autism to live as contributing members of their Maine communities. A portion of the proceeds from his Independence Day Cruise now goes towards helping others with their independence.

Through his “do-it-yourself” attitude and the event’s stellar reputation, David quickly sells out every year. In fact, he tells us that he starts getting inquiries for tickets as early as February. He provides discounted tickets for many of his clients at the Independence Association who don’t want to miss out on the fun. And he’s done all of this without raising the ticket price in ten years.

The cruise runs from 7 to 10:30 PM. There is a full bar available, snacks and a full range of pop, disco, and dance songs to get everyone up and having fun. When the fireworks start, David (aka DJ Haunt) pauses the beats to play some patriotic songs and John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

We love that David is a dreamer and hope he cruises with us for many more years to come. “I plan on doing this for a long time. I love Maine,” he says. “I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived.”

After having, as he puts it, “lived in many different places”, David moved to Maine from Miami in 2001. He lives now in Phippsburg and jokingly asks whether he’s lived here long enough to be considered a “Mainer”. We both know the answer to that question. Although, in our opinion, Maine (and Casco Bay Lines) is lucky to have him here. Click here for more information about the 2019 4th of July Cruise!