Jacob Pike

maine windjammer, Jacob Pike, Mary Day

The herring carrier Jacob Pike as seen passing Mary Day, a Maine windjammer.

Good morning everyone from the global headquarters of the schooner Mary Day. It is a blustery rainy morning outside. The power is out, again, so I write this thanks to a small generator humming away in the woodshed. Times like these make me think of warm summer days on the bay. This image is of the Jacob Pike, now a lobster smack working the Maine coast under the ownership of J&J Lobster out of Rockland. These folks have been putting her to work buying lobster in distant harbors and bringing them into Rockland at the end of the day. I believe I have seen her sitting in the Fox Island Thorofare just off North Haven village buying lobster. You can see the derrick with its boom for getting 100 pound crates of lobster aboard. She has a pile of lobster crates on deck at the ready to receive the days catch just forward of the main hatch.

Built in 1949 by Newbert and Wallace in Thomaston she carried herring to the sardine factories in the day. Later on she carried herring for use as lobster bait. Just 80′ on deck she can carry up to 90 tons of cargo and still slip along along at 12 knots which suggests a streamlined hull form and a strong diesel power plant. Folks often wonder why the “pinked” stern. I have been told that a double ended hull allowed such a vessel to back right up to a fish weir’s gate for ease of loading herring. It also allows the stern to split a following sea which may be more to point since having the stern get lifted up and tossed about by the swells certainly wouldn’t help her handling. You can see that she hardly leaves a wake as she steams along.

Anyway, she is a handsome vessel, no matter how you slice it. If I ever grow up I could imagine spending my days cruising the coast in a boat like the Jacob Pike, although that is not what she was meant to do. She is a classy working vessel and ought to stay that way as long as she makes her owners a living. I just love seeing her out there.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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Pulling the Rig

schooner rigging, windjammer cruises, Maine schooners, schooner masts

Pulling the foremast of the schooner Mary Day, a Maine windjammer offering scenic vacation cruises along the coast of Maine.

Good morning everyone. Pulling the rig? What the heck is that? Well, in a nutshell, it involves pulling both masts and the bowsprit and its associated rigging, deadeyes and lanyards. The process involves a crane, moving the schooner to where a crane can reach the masts and casting off the rope lanyards that hold the mast rigging to the schooner. There are 3 sets of lanyards for each side of each mast. We also have to disconnect the head stay and the spring stay, that cable which connects the two mast heads. Oh, and then there is the part about lifting the mast out of the schooner without taking out all of the interior decorating. The masts are not plucked out by their mastheads but instead by their bases…or somewhere close to the base. In our case we use the saddles which are securely fastened to mast. As you can see from the picture above the line (big, strong line) leads from the saddle to a hitch taken around the mast just above the mast’s balance point. Simple, right? Nerve wracking…yes.

The masts, as you can imagine, are quite heavy. The 68′ main mast weighs in at 4900 lbs and the 65′ foremast just 300 lbs. less, 4600 lbs. The bowsprit is surprisingly heavy weighing in just shy of a ton at 1700 lbs. As you will see in the accompanying video (By JimDugan.com) the bowsprit is such a tight fit that we had to do a lot of wiggling to get it out. So enjoy the video, 2 hours compacted into 1 minute, 11 seconds.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

 

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Umami

windjammer cruises in maine, Beeers of the Maine Coast, Schooner Mary DayGood morning everyone. What a beautiful stretch of weather we are enjoying here in the Great State of Maine. We are out and about exploring the coast again this week with Maine Master Naturalist Erika Rhile and Photography and Web-Guru JimDugan.com. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As many of you know last week was our annual Beers of the Maine Coast Cruise. Last week was a hoot but not in the way many of you might imagine. No, it was not a drunk-fest. We really did learn to savor and appreciate the many complexities and nuances of beer. Whoda thunk it? Right?

Our human taste buds, as it turns out, allow us to enjoy bitter and sweet,  salty and sour. But have you heard of umami? Deliciousness is the best translation of this Japanese term that has been around for longer than we westerners have acknowledged. Someone back in 2000 figured out that umami is an actual savory genetic taste recognized by a particular receptor in our taste buds. I like this word umami. What a nice way to describe beer or anything else for that matter. Folks may not appreciate a beer that is too sweet or too bitter but everyone found at least one of the 45 beers we sampled to have deliciousness.  I was shocked how much I enjoyed fermented cider, a beverage I had written off long ago.

Cider is not a beer of course but the point is that umami is more than just a taste. Deliciousness is a feeling as well. I like to use the word delicious when describing good naps. Or anything else that brings me the warm fuzzy feelings of relaxation. What tastes of umami for you?

 

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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Grateful to be Livin’ Large

windjammer cruises in maine, maine sailing vacations, maine windjammers, schooner Mary DayGood morning everyone.This image caught my eye in the sunset last evening as we lay at anchor in Northeast Harbor. For those of you who have not had a chance to travel here let’s just say that folks here are living large in their summer homes. By the way that means they have winter homes too. Maybe they even have spring and autumn homes. That’s OK but for those of us sitting aboard the schooner last evening watching guillemots dive and crows chasing bald eagles in the sunset we were witnessing a beautiful world while most shoreside estates stood empty. Richness was ours to enjoy. But before I start getting cynical about folks I don’t even know (some of whom made Acadia National Park possible) I just want to say “thank you.” I am grateful for this beautiful place we call home and all of you folks who have sacrificed to allow us to enjoy the simple riches. Relaxing at sunset, sailing the coast of Maine, astounding views of Acadia National Park rising from the ocean, enjoying stories shared by folks who were strangers three days ago and now share a story that is still unfolding. Thank you one and all.

Have a grateful day. Be well. Do good.

 

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Connections

schooner rigging, connecting people, windjammer cruises, schooner Mary Day, a maine windjammer

Good morning everyone. We are off and running for Mary Day’s 53rd season. Though not without a few bumps and bruises the crew is beginning to see what all that hard work was about during April and May. Mary Day herself is just beautiful. The simplicity, complexity and symmetry of the rigging is a wonder to behold.

I know I just used the words complexity and simplicity side by each but they both hold true. There is a complex physics behind the connections between each and every string and wire. There is a simplicity in the final result which allows 4 (or sometimes fewer) people to pass the sails from one tack to another. I believe it was Buckminster Fuller, designer of the geodesic dome and a Maine island rusticator, who coined the term “synergy,” the idea that the individual parts create a much larger whole.

The same holds true for our beautiful guests. A complex group of human beings come together every week and by trip’s end are one community bound by the strength of their unique experience. The connections made share that same unique quality and can never be replicated in quite the same way. Like the evolution of the schooner rig the basic simplicity of the experience doesn’t change but the synergistic result is inspiring. Remove any piece of rigging and the experience changes completely. Enough philosophical ramblings for one blog. Get out there and try to recognize for yourself the rigging that holds your life together. Try to notice, without judgement, and imagine how the connections keep you stayed allowing you to sail smoothly through life. Be the schooner!

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

 

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Tappin’ Time Is Here

maine windjammer photography cruisesGood morning everyone. Today being the vernal equinox, spring is here and so with it the rising hope of warmer weather and the rising sap in the trees. Knowing that winter has officially passed most folks look for flowers. Our crocuses (is it croci??) are still under a few feet of snow. It is time to tap and time to get the sap boiler up and running. There is still plenty of snow in the woods and around around our house where we live in the woods. The driveway is ankle deep in mud ,the songbirds are showing up at the feeder, ole man porky pine has taken up residence in one of the kids climbing trees and the sap is flowing. Maine Maple Syrup weekend is just a few days away!maine windjammer cooking

At a ratio of 40 gallons of sap to1gallon of syrup our red maples in dooryard produce what we fondly call “liquid gold”. This year’s fuel for the sap boiler will be free range, organic pine and hemlock limbs taken down for us during the ice storm at Christmas. The real wood-fired professionals use hardwoods such as maple, oak, beech and birch cut, split and stacked a year or so ago.

maine windjammer maine maple syrup

Another tradition we have here is pancake Sunday. Sawyer wanted to share with all you one of his favorite recipes.

Banana Cakes

Makes approx. twelve 4” cakes

6 T. butter
 1 c. flour
, 2 T. sugar
, 2 t. baking powder
, 1 t. salt
, 1 very ripe banana, peeled
,1 c. milk
, 2 eggs
, 1 t. vanilla, and a lot of 
maple syrup warmed on the back of the woodstove.

Cut the butter into 3 equal parts. Melt two of the pieces in a pan and save the third part for cooking the pancakes. Mix in a bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Mash the banana in a different bowl. Add the milk, eggs and vanilla to the banana. Then mix the dry mix to the banana mix. Batter should be a little lumpy. Spoon batter on griddle and cook until a few holes form on top of each pancake and flip. They should rise a little and turn golden brown. Serve hot with warm syrup. 
Enjoy!

Have a great day. Be well. Do Good.

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The Taste of a Memory

maine windjammer cooking, windjammer recipes, maine schooner cookingGood morning everyone. Apple Topped Gingerbread Cake with Maple Cream is a seasonal favorite that Jen found somewhere along the path of life. It is our family’s taste of the holiday season. It certainly warms our hearts as much as it does our tummies and is rich with memories of holidays past. With the winter solstice upon us this cake also forms a bridge between the seasons from autumn to spring with its appealing combination of fall apples and spring maple syrup. The apples keep this cake moist. As to what type of apple to use…well, that is a debate for the ages. Jen prefers a Macintosh but admits that apples are such a personal preference that she just as soon steer clear of telling anyone which variety to use for this particular recipe. I prefer a sweet-tart variety like a Northern Spy or, believe it or not, a Macoun which is usually reserved as a hand-apple. Maybe a pippin? Depending on where you live local varieties will dictate what is freshest. I steer away from the sweetness of the Delicious varieties. This is just my personal preference so for you highly opinionated apple afficianados out there…..relax.

Here is the recipe which is best cooked in a glass pan:

Apple top:

  • 4T butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 apples peeled & sliced

Melt butter, add sugar and spread in bottom of 8×9 pan. Arrange apples on top.

Batter:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Mix all together. Pour on top of apple mixture. Bake 35-45 minutes at 350′. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and serve topped with maple cream. Best served warm!

Maple cream is very easy. Mix 1 cup of whipped cream with 1/4 cup of maple syrup. As Jen would tell you, the maple cream is divine and so simple you might be tempted to skip it. But don’t do that! Don’t worry about calories. The maple syrup balances out any calories that might be found in the whipped cream.

Have a great solstice and enjoy this holiday recipe. Let us know how it comes out and give us your opinion on your favorite variety of apple. Be well. Do good.

 

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Off Center Harbor

maine windjammer, cruises in Maine, maine windjammer, schooner Mary Day, Good morning everyone. Hope you folks enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends and family. Some of you folks lucky enough to have sailed with us during our Seamanship and Sail Training course several years ago may remember Steve Stone, filmmaker extraordinaire. Steve spent several days interviewing guests and documenting the process through which students become working crew. Though it doesn’t appear in this video Steve even documented how to sail a schooner backwards…parallel parking, if you will. I can’t wait to see that footage. At any rate, here it is, the finished product:The Schooner Mary Day, An Evolutionary Remembrance.

If you have never seen it, OffCenterHarbor.com is a membership website that brings you inside the world of classic boats. Their growing collection of 140+ videos give you rare access to the leading craftspeople who build, restore and sail these wonderful boats. Though the link above gives you free trial access to their website this is a subscription based service so don’t expect to get all this talent and hard work for free. It is well worth the price of admission. I can’t speak highly enough about the quality of the work these folks produce and guarantee the token subscription pales in comparison to all the hard work and years of experience these highly revered professionals bring to Off Center Harbor.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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Survey Says!


windjammer family, family portrait, maine windjammer, windjammer cruise, your hosts
Good morning everyone. As you can see we have a heavily favored image. But before we get to that Jen and I want to thank you all for your passionate involvement. I don’t think we have ever had as much feedback on anything we have ever put out there. And personally I was amazed at how many old friends contacted us. What all of that means is a mystery to me but we are very grateful for all the wonderful insights.

Drum roll please: With 18% of the votes cast we have #3 as our third place winner. With 24% of the vote, #1 is the silver medalist. And our grand champion with 68% of the vote, #2 was clearly the favorite with comments like: “out-of -the-box”, “fun”, “even the dogs are smiling”, “!!!!!” and so many more. We also received plenty of sage advice to perhaps use a combination. We have taken that advice to heart and will actually be using a combination 1 and 2. The lobster buoy in 1 needs to be toned down as several of you mentioned but hey, we are not afraid to use Photoshop. Once again, thank you for all of your wisdom and insights and the excitement you folks generated around our windjammer family picture.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

P.S.

Richard, I feel the same way about the Portuguese fisherman’s sweater. Jen knit that for me when we were back in graduate school oh so many years ago and the warmth it brings is well beyond its insulation value.

Can Photoshop make fix my hair? Maybe this would be help?

Barry-the-bodybuilder

 

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Opinions Wanted: Windjammer Family Portrait

windjammer cruises, maine windjammers, windjammer family, your hosts aboard a maine windjammerwindjammer family, family portrait, maine windjammer, windjammer cruise, your hostswindjammer family business, maine windjammer, windjammer cruises in Maine, your hosts for a windjammer cruise
Good morning everyone. We are looking for your opinions. Presented in no particular order are 3 images created by our friend Marti Stone. Jen and I narrowed down a field of 100 images to these 3 and we need to go to press with our brochure in the very near future. So which image do you like best? Stoic, fun, laid back, the coast of Maine? These are a few of the words that may come to mind but we aren’t the ones looking at the brochure trying to decide which windjammer to sail on. Some of you have real life experience with marketing stuff like this. We will announce the winner when this goes to press next Monday morning (11/25/13) so you have to make a choice before then. The water mark (marti stone photography will be removed of course) and a few other blemishes can be removed. My hair is a mess!

So we would love to hear from you either in the comments section of the blog, where we share on facebook or by emailing the global headquarters at captains@schoonermaryday.com. Just tell us which number you like best and we will take it from there. Thanks so much for your time and highly valued opinion.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

 

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