CPR for Schooners


Good Morning Everyone. Maintenance update from the global headquarters: windows, screens, skylight covers, lanterns, Suzannah. We have been busy in the office these last few weeks and I am ready to get going on some barn projects. Kaitlyn and Jen have managed to get a few things done out in the barn. Kaitlyn finished painting all the windows, fixing all the screens and painting those as well. Pictured here are the buff skylight covers all done, nary a brush mark to be seen. Kaitlyn and Jen did a great job. Sawyer started a refinishing project last fall, a small boat named Suzannah. That 8’ pram that I built years ago has been sitting in the dooryard for years and has proved great practice for Sawyer and Kaitlyn. You would hardly think that oil lamps need maintenance but they do rust out in the weather and I have been told by the local hardware store that the particular variety we have will no longer be available. Since we have so many spare parts for these I figured we better try to nurse them through a few more seasons what kind of new lamps we should use. The brown primer will get a finish coat today.

Last night we had our annual CPR refresher and update down at the ambulance service and the parallel between people and schooners passed through my mind. We are beginning in earnest that process of breathing life back in to Mary Day. OK, so maybe that analogy is a stretch but as I was reminded last night, caring for anything does take energy, pacing, and a good team effort.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Happy Birthday Longfellow


Good Morning Everyone. 18 degrees this morning and overcast but, all in all, still a good day for a swim in the sea of life. Today is the birthday of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the great 19th century poet, born in Portland, Maine on this day in 1807. He was a prolific writer with The Song of Hiawatha, The Ride of Paul Revere, My Lost Youth, The Village Blacksmith, and many more poems to his credit.

I remember having to perform Evangeline in high school and this phrase sticks with me:

Neither locks had they to their doors nor bars to their windows;
But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners;
There the richest was poor and the poorest lived in abundance.
Evangeline. Part i. 1.

We still don’t lock our doors. A few other passages for your day:

Where’er a noble deed is wrought,
Where’er is spoken a noble thought,
Our hearts in glad surprise
To higher levels rise.
Santa Filomena.

My soul is full of longing
For the secret of the Sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.
The Secret of the Sea.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Snow Bees


Good Morning Everyone. We had a glorious Sunday here with temps jumping up into the high 20s and crystal clear skies. Sunrise this morning is at 0624 and sunset is at 1726. We have just passed the 1st quarter moon on Saturday. High tide in Camden is at 0603 and low tide is at 1251.

Sawyer and I took a couple hours to go ice fishing again. He caught and released a beautiful pickerel (or pickle as he called it).

Jen and I figured the bees would be flying Sunday, cleansing their hives, so we went down to the field to watch them do their thing. Sadly 2 of the three hives seem to have given in to this past month’s extended cold snap. There was plenty of honey but the hives just couldn’t sustain the warmth required to keep the poor creatures from freezing. We opened things up to see how their food supply was and they seemed to have plenty of honey still untouched. We wrap the hives in black tar paper to help keep them dry and to give them a little solar gain on the coldest days. It seemed to make a difference last year but we did not have this 4 week cold snap a year ago. We try to do things as organically as possible but we have discovered that there are a host of challenges to bees besides the cold. Despite how healthy they may look in the fall we just never can tell. The one remaining hive, one original from 5 years ago, was just humming and many bees were “taking out the trash” as noted by the bee carcasses and brown spots on the snow. So goes the cycle of life. We will start again this spring with fresh nucs and hope for the best once again. As we taste the sweetness of their honey we taste with a renewed reverence for the life force that they put into this gift. Honey, like windjammer vacations, is not just about warm summer days. There is a whole winters worth of energy that makes the sweetness of summer possible.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Gone Fishin’


Good morning everyone. Well we had a blast fishing yesterday. The picture should tell it all. Sawyer caught this 15‚Äùbrown trout and I am not certain who was more excited, him or me. The ice was full of friends and families out enjoying a beautiful day. I can see ice fishing gear in our future, as a matter of fact sawyer and Courtney each came home with a complimentary ‚Äútip up‚Äù fishing rig. Like sailing, ice fishing seems to be filled with times of sedentary anticipation and enjoyment of the day interspersed with moments of exhilaration. Like any worthwhile process it takes patience but to see Sawyer‚Äôs beaming ear to ear smile made all the waiting worth its weight in gold. Sawyer’s first question this morning,”Can we go ice fishing today?”

Photo by CB Spady, Captured Images

Hope you have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Ruthie’s Fish Capers


Good Morning Everyone. We’re goin’ ice fishing today. Sawyer is pretty darned excited and I am dreaming of a big lake trout to decorate the fry pan. This will be a first for both of us and the weather looks to be just right. I will have a full report for you tomorrow. Here is a delicious recipe Mary learned from renowned cook and longtime summer resident Ruthie O’Connor when she was living out on Monhegan.

Ruthie’s Fish Capers

white fish fillets
¬Ω cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
¼ cup chopped onion
2T caper4s and juice
2T catsup
2tsp sugar
2tsp worcestshire sauce
4 bay leaves, crushed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
paprika

Combine ingredients, except fish and paprika. Pour sauce over serving size pieces of fish in a shallow baking dish, single layer. Let stand 30 or 40 minutes turning once.
You can then remove fish and reserve sauce for basting or you can bake the fish right in the sauce. Sprinkle with paprika before baking. 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

And the leftovers, if you manage to have any, make great fish cakes for lunch.

This and other great recipes are available in Mary‚Äôs cookbook,“Ring That Bell”.

Have a great day. Be well. Do Good.

Old fashioned


Good Morning Everyone. Yesterday I told you about our wonderful evening with “Lady” Jane and Mary Day Hawkins. I will attempt to relate to you a story that had me thinking and laughing. As we grapple with our current ADA dilemma I wonder about how we value “old timey” things, including windjammer vacations on cool old schooners and this story really got me thinking.

I mentioned that Jane is writing her memoirs. Sitting at home she does the “hunt and peck” thing that I can relate to. One day her typewriter up and croaks on her. Now what is a gal to do? So down she drives to the local “big box” office supply store. She wanders around for a few moments and a young clerk asks her if he might help. This young man, shirt half untucked, could be her great grandson for their difference in age. Surveying the aisle of keyboard word processing items before her she summons all the composure she can muster and asks him if she might be able to buy a typewriter, a regular ordinary “old fashioned” typewriter. I can see the centuries running headlong in to each other. As Jane is quick to point out she is not certain she has the time to learn to use a computer.

So the “associates” in this “big box” marvel put their collective brainpower together and find that they do in fact have 2 typewriters. They find the forgotten vestiges of a simpler time way up high on a shelf in the back of the store covered with the dust of the ages (no extra charge). “This’ll do,” she comments, “just like the model I have at home.” Not only that miracle but another as well, they have ribbon for these things too. “ You better buy all 9 ribbons maam”, he suggests. “These are the last ones we have and there is a woman that drives all the way from New Hampshire just to buy her ribbons here.” “I’ll buy 2 extra ribbons and take my chances” she replies while wondering how long this guy thinks she is going to be around.

Feeling not just a little self-conscious by now she pays for the typewriter and the 2 extra ribbons doing her best to keep her chin up and dignity together. She asks the young man if he might able to carry this “once upon a time machine” out to her car. Jane pulls up to the curb in her fire engine red sports car complete with sunroof, spoiler, and dark sunglasses with the sequins. After scraping his chin off the snow bank the young man gently places the typewriter in to Jane’s trunk and off she speeds.

The last the young man saw of Jane was her license plate “RAOK” bearing Jane’s life affirming motto, Random Acts Of Kindness. Don’t the ages have something to teach us all.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Photo by Jim Dugan.

Generations of Windjamming


Good Morning Everyone. We had gorgeous day here yesterday and looks like we have another one on tap. We are all feeling the returning light. I hope you can imagine how good that feels to us here in Maine. One of these days I might even be tempted to take off my long underwear…..but not yet. I am sure winter still has a few treats in store for us.

Speaking of treats…we had a delightful treat last evening. We had 3 generations of Mary Day sailors out for dinner in Camden. We were celebrating “Lady” Jane’s 90th birthday. Her life is an amazing story and she is a very funny and charming woman. She is one of my hero’s not just for the 23 trips she has sailed aboard the schooner but for coming through 90 years of thick and thin with humor and passion in tact. Jane is cousin to Havilah Hawkins, the schooner’s designer and original owner. Jane summered in Sedgewick, Maine on the Eggemoggin Reach and remembers the old cargo schooners. Sitting beside Jane was another equally amazing woman, a Sedgewick native who has lived an equally rich life, Mary Day Hawkins, for whom the schooner is named. She has been a friend to us since we bought the schooner and visits with her teach me lessons about history and life. Seated across from them were Jen and Courtney, the next generations of the Mary Day family. Web guru Jim Dugan and executive chef Mary Barney were there as well. I sat and marveled at the human story that this schooner has written. Many of you reading this are now a part of that story. I can’t wait to write the book.

Thanks to Jim for the photo.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Lighthouse Cruises


Good Morning Everyone. We are having a heat wave around here. Just crazy! I haven’t seen the 6 AM temperature this warm in a long time, a balmy 19 degrees. Today is a day for meetings in town and for working in the barn. Kaitlyn painted window screens and primed skylight covers in the barn yesterday. We also worked on one of the small boats. She will be back working in the barn today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.

Our web guru Jim Dugan has constructed a new lighthouse tour that you should take a look at. I would be interested to hear any thoughts you might have. The goal is to just do a simple tour of the lights that we might see in the course of a lighthouse cruise. I can see all manner of opportunity for developing a history of each light in this tour but we are just taking baby steps for right now.

Speaking of which, the Indian Island Light at the entrance to Rockport Harbor is a one I never see enough of. Rockport was once part of Camden and the lime kilns and ice trade made this harbor a busy place in the late 1800s. The original tower was built in 1850 and decommissioned 9 years later. That tower was rebuilt in 1874 and put into service again in January 1875. The square tapered tower look just like the ones at Grindle Point and Fort Point. The oil house was added in 1904. Finally decommissioned in 1933 and sold to a private owner the fifth order fresnel lens was removed and a pole beacon erected to guide mariners safely in to Rockport Harbor.

Thanks to Ted Panyatoff for his historical notes.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Happy Mardi Gras



Good Morning Everyone and a happy Shrove Tuesday to you all. We will be celebrating Mardi Gras ala Maine today. We‚Äôll be out dancing in the snowdrifts in our long underwear and eating the last of the venison before we have to give up something for lent. While I don‚Äôt have any confessions (to shrive) to make I do have reason to celebrate. According to weather reports from across the country we have warmer temperatures headed this way and thoughts of spring are not far off. The kids were talking the other day about putting out the maple taps. Sunrise is at 0633 and sunset is at 1718 (5:18 PM). That is 10 hours and 49 minutes of daylight and we‚Äôll take it, a full hour and a half more than we had at the winter solstice. Remember I told you that the cold is my friend and how much I do love the snow? Well Oscar, our propane delivery man, came yesterday and the bill for just keeping the barn from freezing was sobering. I may give up propane for lent. The sledding has been awesome as seen in the accompanying picture. The Appleton luge run down the driveway is about 600 feet and the real trick is stopping at the bottom before crashing in to the snow bank. So this has nothing to do with windjammers today except that Fat Tuesday reminds me that every week on a schooner gives me reason to celebrate. If you can’t wait that long to celebrate I recommend grabbing your sled.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Island Getaway





Good Morning Everyone. A cool blustery morning here with an inch of fresh snow on the ground. We had a great trip out to Islesboro yesterday to visit with friends. The ferry trip is always fun and to feel the vessel roll on the light swell was music to my bone marrow. I suspect the ferry employees thought we were just a few french fries short of a happy meal as we were the only people standing outside on the observation deck taking photos and basking in the beauty of the day. They kept looking out from the warmth of the pilot house, scratching their heads and wondering who let the wacko family aboard. The Camden Hills covered with snow, Grindle Point Light, long tail, golden eye, and bufflehead ducks, a loon fishing for crabs, and a walk in the spruce woods overlooking East Penobscot Bay were all a joy to see, smell, and feel. One lone fishing boat was out hauling crab traps which is the only winter fishery I know of up in this part of the bay and only a few folks do that. We can’t wait to go sailing!

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.