Saturday, January 27, 2007

Wine and Song (and cheese) and Schooners

Most boats in the windjammer fleet seem to have a specialty. Schooner Stephen Taber has always been known for music and story telling.. Add wine to the list. Capt. Noah Barnes married a wine expert and she can give you a sailing tour of wines from around the globe. Jane Barnes will host 3 wine tasting cruises this year. June 7 and August 25 are 4 days. Sept 17 is a whole week of wine. Don't worry about the cheese.

Midcoast Maine Mystery Link


Good Morning

Lobster Boat at Stonington Dock: Morning of June 2, 2006
Photo by Me

Friday, January 26, 2007

Good Night and Stay by the Stove

Galley of Schooner American Eagle on the evening of June 2. 2006

Piano Adventure Bear Club

Another blog visit. This site has audio links to duet piano performances by kids and their piano teachers.

Piano Adventure Bear Club

Pine View Astronomy

An Astronomy site visited here today. There is some good info on stargazing and some great photos.

Pine View Astronomy

Lighthouse Link: Rockland Breakwater Light

Rockland's harbor is protected by a mile long breakwater. You can walk out to the lighthouse at its end. The light is the first major sight you see as you leave on one of the town's windjammers and it will greet you as you return.

Maine Windjammer Association sponsors a "parade" cruise that includes all the windjammers anchoring in the harbor and running shore trips to take tours of the Rockland Breakwater Light. The cruise takes place on the 2nd week of July this year.

Night Sailing on Isaac H. Evans

Captain Brenda Walker has three night sailing trips this season. She is the only captain to offer after dark sailing. Here is her description:

"Full Moon Night Sailing! Enjoy the unique opportunity to sail past sunset on our exclusive full moon adventures. Although this takes additional planning, it is an experience not to be missed! We'll spend a relaxing day on an island where you can enjoy our famous lobster bake, hike, swim, visit with your new friends, or find a secluded spot to relax on your own. We will get underway mid-afternoon, sail through dinner and past sunset. When we drop the anchor depends on the wind and weather but is typically sometime between 10 pm and 12 am. There is nothing quite as romantic or personally moving as sailing at night!"

The first sailing is during June's "Blue Moon"
Sailing dates are June 27, Aug. 25, Sept. 25. All are 4 day cruises.
Call Brenda at 1-877-238-1325
or click the Evans link on the sidebar to the right.

Queen of Substitution

Ann Mahle on cooking aboard a windjammer:

"My mom calls me the queen of substitution. In my cookbook At Home, At Sea: Recipes from the galley of the Maine Windjammer J. & E. Riggin, I include many recipes that allow for variation and substitution. I’ve had to develop this skill AND it’s come naturally to me. While we are out sailing each week during the summer, it’s not as if I can stop by the local grocery store on my way to the galley to pick up the last few items I need to complete a recipe. “If we don’t have it, we don’t need it,” is our motto. So I’ve had to be creative and not worry when even a key ingredient is missing. Okay, if we are having turkey dinner and the turkey is missing, I worry."

Taken from the latest "Cooking With Annie" newsletter.

Featured Place to Stay: Berry Manor Inn

One of the most impressive historic B&Bs in New England. Located in Rockland.


Visit the WoodenBoat School

WoodenBoat School, Brooklin Maine

Good Morning

courtesy Main Street Bath

Winter Blooms

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Good Night and Good Luck

Bucks Harbor in early June

Featured Windjammer: Nathaniel Bowditch

Schooner Nathaniel Bowditch is the only classic sailing yacht in the Maine windjammer fleet She was built in East Boothbay and designed by American Naval Architect William Hand as an offshore racing yacht.

As " SV Ladona" she competed successfully in Bermuda Cup races of the 1920's. She is fast and maneuverable. Hand specified similar construction strength to his famous "Arctic" schooner Bowdoin which is now the training vessel for Maine Maritime Academy. Bowditch carries far more sail. She is the only vessel in the fleet to fly a "Fisherman" sail.

  • Schooner Nathaniel Bowditch
  • Launch: 1922 by Hodgdon Brothers
  • Rig: Topsail with fixed keel
  • Auxiliary Power: Single Diesel Inboard
  • Length On Deck: 82 Feet
  • Beam: 21 Feet
  • Draft: 11 Feet
  • Capacity: 22-24
  • Owners: Captain Owen and Cathie Dorr
  • Home Port: Rockland Me.

Live from Midcoast Maine

Growth of "Webcams" in every location is becoming disturbing. Still, some are a neat chance to see places you are not at now but are thinking of going or places you were and would like to get a look at again (I'm tired.) So jump right in and have a look at some live and blurry pictures of midcoast Maine, starting with Rockland's "Breakwater-cam". Now that's technology.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Good Night and Good Luck


Lighthouse Link: Owl's Head Light

Take a look at the Light that guards the southern entrance to Rockland Harbor

Windjamming Book Selection:

Get into the spirit of old fashioned sailing and learn some Celestial Navigation. This is the way it was done before electronics and still is if your gps fails.

This inexpensive book is a pretty complete overview whether you want to get a Sextant or not.

Wooden Boat Store Link

Jeff's Unofficial Role Playing Gamer Cruise

Things look set for my first foray into sailing role playing. I will host gaming sessions for willing participants on the Schooner Timberwind during "Gam" week (June 18-23.) These will be real life, face to face to face, un-electronic old style D&D adventures.

Likely players so far include Dawn, Will and Emily Tassi. Dawn and I are close in age and played the game in the late 70's into the 80's. I will use the actual paper books and real dice. These things go well with Timberwind's cozy galley and the possibility of playing by lamplight.

I will make the game suitable for younger players and adults as well.

Timberwind sails from Rockport Maine. This voyage is one of five 6 day sailings this summer. Boarding is on the evening of Sunday, June 17. We return on the morning of Saturday, June 23. I'll have updates on my game plans over time.

State of the Union: Energy Policy

I was pleased to hear the President re-state his support for some energy conservation and alternative fuels. I hope he realizes that with this new congress he may actually have to follow through by signing real legislation.

We can all encourage him and Congress by writing them and expressing our desire to see this happen soon. I feel we cannot blame our legislators for lack of action if we don't believe in such goals ourselves.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Good Night

Peaceful Galley of Schooner Timberwind

Maine Mystery Site


"Bells from Everest" Benefit Announcement

From Anne Mahle of J&E Riggin:

Hosted by Carver Hill Gallery & Dinner by Anne Mahle

For those of you that are in the area and are a fan of Annie's cooking, please join us for this facinating slide show, talk, and dinner "Bells from Everest:An effort to Clean Up Mount Everest" at Carver Hill Gallery on Saturday Jan. 27, 6-9 p.m.

This is a benefit to help Jeff Clapp raise awareness of his work and generate funds to help him return to Everest to reclaim oxygen canisters left there by so many expeditions. He also plans to teach the local people how to recreate his stunning bells and ornaments to promote work for them and also aid in cleaning up the enviroment.

Donation includes a gourmet four-course dinner by Author, Captain and Chef, Annie Mahle and a Mount Everest Ornament ($15 Value).

Menu for the Dinner
Soup Pear and Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Pecans and Devonshire Cream
Salad Mixed Green salad with Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Plum Tomatoes and Gorgonzola Cheese
Main Course Choices Poached Salmon with a Tri-Pepper Dill Salsa Layered Casserole of Organic Local Herbed Potato, Mixed Winter Greens, and Roasted Shitake Mushrooms served in a ramekin Rosemary Rubbed Beef Tenderloin served with an Herbed Herbed Aioli
Desserts Mango Crème Brulee Chocolate to die for dessert

Donation price includes the slide show and talk by Jeff Clapp, an 'Everest Ornament' (value $15) and a four course dinner by Annie Mahle. Choice of three main courses. Wine available upon request.

Advance reservations only. Donation price is $75.00 per person. Please call 207-236-0745 by Thursday, January 25th at 5pm.

Good Morning

Pulpit Harbor
July 7, 2006

I'm off into Philadelphia to get crossmatched for blood transfusions on Thursday. There will be fewer posts today. That's O.K.. There's probably too many already.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Good Night

Penobscot Bay Sea Floor

Take a look at the floor of Penobscot Bay. (from Penobscot Bay Watch Site)

Maine Mystery Site


Getting to the Midcoast

Many folks have never heard of the area that the windjammers sail from. It's a pretty out of the way place. Midcoast Maine is kind of in a hole between Portland, and Bar Harbor which are the towns most people know. Most residents there like it that way.

Rockland, Rockport and Camden are located next to one another on Penobscot Bay. Driving is pretty simple but there is only one coastal road which can be congested in mid to late summer. Making up for the traffic on Rt. 1 is the scenery. This road goes through several pretty towns between Portland and Rockland. Among these are Brunswick, Bath, Damariscotta and Thomaston.

Taking public transportation used to be very difficult or impossible; No longer. Many flights now travel to Portland Jetport. You can take a van or limo for reasonable prices from the airport. If you don't mind smaller planes you can fly right to Knox County Regional Airport just south of Rockland with only one change from many places.

Concord Trailways offers good bus service from Boston/Portland for very low cost. The ride from Portland is about 2 hours. Boston is 4 hours from Portland ( approx. 6 total.) Train service has been restored by Amtrak between Boston and Portland. Both train and bus operate from the same terminal in Portland.

Maine Coast Windjamming Book Selection

One of the most common sights on the bays is the "Lobster Boat." These fishing craft are the working staple of the area. This is the best book about them currently available,

I am a huge fan of these boats and know a great deal about them. Maine LobsterBoats is written largely from the builder's and lobsterman's point of vew. There are many interviews and quotes from Maine's most famous builders and several fishermen. The personalities are prominent and there is a great deal of genuine Maine charm.

The author, Virginia Thorndike and her husband own a 32 foot pleasure version of one of these boats built for them by Holland Boatworks of Belfast(hull and deck) and finished by Eric Clark of Southwest Harbor Their boat reaches 30mph. Wooden Boat Store Link

Sailing Calender: June

June is the beginning of the windjammer Season in Maine. Some ships start their schedules in late May.

This time of year is my favorite time to sail. Wind conditions are the second best of the year. Days are the longest of the season and the harbors are far less crowded . You see other windjammers but fewer private boats. These factors result in the most ideal chance to see uncrowded anchorages and achieve longer sailing range. Fewer tourists means better access to the towns.

The greatest drawback of June for many is the temperature, particularly early in the month. Days can be cool and nights can be cold. There can also be more fog and mist. I like these conditions as they provide great atmosphere and make gathering around the galley stove very pleasant. June is a great chance to see a more accurate view of the Maine coast and the fares are less expensive too.

Good Morning

Breakfast begins on American Eagle in Buck's Harbor. May 31, 2006

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Good Night

Stonington viewed late at night from from offshore.

Maine Mystery Site 2


Windjammer Primer part 2: Cruise Characteristics

Windjammers trips in Maine have some key things that make them different than other cruises besides the ships themselves.

  • Most board the night before departure. The main exception is for short "weekend cruises" that often board Friday afternoon and return Sunday.
  • No set itinerary: Wind, current,weather and your captain's whim determine your route.
  • Limited electric power.
  • Meals cooked on either wood, kerosene or diesel stoves within your view.
  • Passengers are encouraged(but never required) to become part of the crew for sailing, anchoring, and mealtime chores.
  • Very simple and compact accomodations
  • Drinks other than the basics such as water, juices, and coffee/tea are brought on ship by passengers according to their own desires.
  • Entertainment is informal: Cards, Music, Storytelling, Reading...etc.

2007 Sailing Schedule

My 2007 sailing schedule is now arranged. I will be sailing during the last two weeks of June.
On June 17 I will board Schooner Timberwind in Rockport for "Gam" week. All the schooners will anchor in a chosen harbor for one night. There is the possibility of a raft-up.

On the 24th I will go to Rockland to sail on Nathaniel Bowditch for the cruise to Boothbay Harbor. There is a midweek festival and a large multi-schooner lobster bake on Cabbage Island. I will write some details of each of these boats over time. Why not consider joining me? I will be taking this blog with me and posting on board journal entries from on the water and in the ports we visit.

Good Morning

Stephen Taber leaves Rockland Harbor on the morning of July 2, 2006 (photo by me)