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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A Friend of a Friend

schooner Mary Day, maine windjammer, windjammer cruises in maineA friend of a friend snapped this image of Mary Day passing by the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse during a recent lighthouse tour. The light in the sails is particularly pleasing to me eyes. The creation of “Oceanus” synthetic canvas by Nat Wilson and North Sails has had a dramatic effect on how the windjammer fleet is portrayed. These sails are not only lighter, stronger and more powerful they have created a new way of imaging Maine windjammers. “In the old days” light didn’t filter through cotton canvas quite the same way. I know the magic of digital imaging has changed the way we portray reality but just the same, as our imaging guru Jim Dugan would point out, light can make a huge difference in any image. Backlighting sails didn’t exist until 20 or so years ago. And now that they are here we have a whole new range of imaging possibilities. How cool is that? So there you have it. The law of unintended consequences, the law of unforeseen collateral damage so to speak, is proven out by the friend of a friend. Thanks Nat. Thanks North Sails. Thanks Sheri. And thanks to her friend whose name we don’t know but whose eye we surely do appreciate.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

 

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Miserable Beauty

Saddleback Ledge Lighthouse, windjammer, schooner Mary Day,  lighthouse tours in Maine Saddleback Ledge Light as seen from the schooner Mary Day during a recent windjammer lighthouse tour in Maine.

Good morning everyone. I am back ashore for the winter. The schooner is under wraps (more on that later). Autumn is descending on the Camden Hills in all its glory. And now I have a few moments to sift through my laptop folder titled “Unedited Images”. Most of it is junk but the memories stirred of one of the best summers of my life will keep me warm all winter.

Pictured above is the present day Saddleback Ledge Light built in 1839 and automated in 1954. At the outer edge of Isle Au Haut Bay in eastern Penobscot Bay this rock and its lighthouse have always captured my imagination. How miserable a place to be stationed  and at the same time how awesome and beautiful it must have been to live and work there. Imagine the energy of the entire North Atlantic knocking on the door in a southeasterly gale. Imagine a family of nine living in such cramped quarters. And you thought the schooner cabins were a little tight? The image below shows the vastly expanded living quarters added on to Saddelback Ledge Light at a later date.

lighthouse tours in Maine, windjammer cruises, lighthouse history, Maine lighthouses

Pharologist Jeremy D’Entremont has some great information about the Saddleback Ledge Lighthouse that is fun to look at.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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Breaking Patterns

maine windjammer, windjammer cruises, schooner Mary DayGood morning everyone. It is easy to get into routine patterns with any job even when one drives a schooner to work. Not that all patterns are necessarily bad as you can see in this beautiful piece of driftwood. But there is nothing I enjoy more than trying to see each trip as a new adventure…which, by the way, it is. You would think that after 30 years of poking around the coast I would have seen most everything. Not yet! Breaking patterns is not always easy or even intentional but as these few photos may suggest it is well worth the effort.

maine geology, maine windjammer, windjammer cruises, schooner Mary Day

As you can see, even patterns in the rocks sometime experience abrupt changes.


We discovered yet another very cool beach for a lobster picnic at an island I have been to many times. I don’t know why I never saw this beach before.It was like I saw this little hole in the wall cove for the first time. Of course the wind was from a direction I had never experienced at this particular island which makes everything look completely different. I have bushwhacked across

maine windjammer at anchor, maine schooner, schooner Mary Day, schooner cruises, windjammer cruisesthis island on a few occasions and to find a trail through the woods I never knew existed was a huge surprise and quite the bonus. Will wonders never cease!

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

 

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Double Eagle

aine windjammer, working vessels in Maine, sardine carrier, windjammer cruisesGood morning everyone. There are some working vessels along the coast that turn heads. Double Eagle is one of them. Loaded down with herring (I presume) and steaming hard to get fresh bait to the lobstermen Capt. Glen has her digging quite the hole with the power and grace that only a sardine carrier can pull off. Look at that wave along her side that stretches almost bow to stern. She is one of my favorites working boats out here.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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Teeming with Life

minke whale, whale watching, maine windjammer, windjammer cruises, schooner Mary Day
Good morning everyone. The Maine coast is teeming with life these days. There is something about a beautiful day in mid-July that brings all creatures, great and small, to the surface to feed. There is so much going on that just getting out of Camden is an ordeal. We gave our usual security call before departing our berth. Evidently the captain of the sailing yacht “Prevail” hailing from Buzzards Bay doesn’t feel the need to communicate with the rest of the world maintaining radio incommunicado. While we frantically tried to stop the schooner from running up his quarterdeck he blithely cut in front of us and proceeded to start and stop in the channel oblivious to the VHF radio and a series of 5 rapid blasts of the horn (3X none the less!). Our days end was met with just the opposite, a yacht club rendezvous with 20+ boats from Boothbay hooting and hollering in what is normally one of the quietest anchorages along the Maine coast.

The “intermission” between yesterday’s start and stop was filled with a very different kind of life. I can’t remember the last time I saw as much wildlife feeding as we did yesterday. Terns, puffins, auks, gannets and shearwaters were hovering and diving on small silver fish, herring I assume, where the swirling currents of Isle Au Haut Bay and Jericho Bay meet. By the hundreds, pelagic birds could be seen flying back to nearby Seal I with bits of silver in their beaks to feed hungry fledgling chicks. And as if that were not enough excitement we were all startled by the breath of surfacing minke whale just yards astern of us.schooner Mary Day, common tern with fish, maine coast seabirds, maine windjammer, windjammer cruises

And then this conversation dawned on me. Whale: Goodness it must be July…they are back. Humans gawking and picture taking. Paying no attention to where they are going. Disturbing the fish. Getting in the way of me swimming and feeding. Yeesh. Tern: What. You never seen a bird with a fish in its beak before? Stop scaring the fish will ya! Me: Sorry folks. Your home is beautiful and we are just a little bit curious about your lives. We are in awe of what you might consider your everyday ordinary lives. By the way, what do you do during the winter?

Have a great day. be well. Do good.

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