Monthly Archives: October 2008

Spooktacular Sailing

Good afternoon everyone!

Is this a trick or a treat? Well, if it has anything to do with sailing aboard a windjammer it must be a treat. During our last cruise we had some very special guests drop by as you can see. They were the life of the party and quite a windy party it was. We will be at the school All Hallows Eve celebration and then a little trick or treating in Camden. Courtney is going to be a pirate (as the bumper sticker says, pirate chicks kick butt) and Sawyer is going to be a mummy (where old schooner linens make their last public appearance). Hope you folks have a great Halloween celebration.

Have a great evening. Be well. Do good, wicked good.

Thanks for the photo Jim Dugan

Hip, hip, hooray!

Good morning everyone. Well it was a wild weather weekend here at the global headquarters. Storm force winds were observed offshore and I am guessing they made here. We tried to sleep with the windows open but the wind was just too loud. Nature has a way of “reefing” the trees against the density of the cold winter winds and Saturday did a good job of depositing quite a few piles of leaves in the dooryard. Jen and I were up most of Saturday night on watch, checking the mooring lines and chafe gear. The house didn’t move much more than a inch or so off the foundation. Trees were down across the driveway. Sawyer and I had a few hours of bucking up firewood and chipping limbs. We had a few calls with the fire department sawing tree tops out of the local roadways.

Friday night we hosted our annual crew dinner here at the house with a surf and turf celebration. Sawyer built the campfire complete with tiki torches. Jen prepared a huge feast. I doubled as grill master serving sirloins and marinated chicken, and lobster chef. Once again, they couldn’t finish it all! Even Rob who seems to have a hollow leg reached maximum capacity. As I looked around the room I was humbled by the presence of such an amazing group of people and how they had found their way through what I will guess is the hardest summer of their lives. I am amazed at how well they accepted each other as team mates not just with tolerance but with absolute joy. They sat around the table and sang “I’ll Fly Away”. Jim Dugan Dot Com just couldn’t keep his hands off our computer tweaking a few things that will surely keep our learning curve on the steep. Mary just couldn’t keep out of the galley arriving several hours ahead of the fete to give Jen a hand with the food. I come away understanding just how blessed I am to know each of these individuals. They have taught me to laugh a little more, to be a little more patient. We can’t thank them enough for all that they have given. Three cheers for the crew. Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray. Hip, hip, hooray!

May you all be as blessed as we have been this season to be surrounded by such amazing people. Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Clear as a Bell

Good morning everyone. We have been enjoying a beautiful stretch of weather these past few weeks. With all of the brilliant foliage and sunny days this has been an Autumn to remember. The crew have been hard at it aboard the schooner. With the cover in place we can get to all of those cover-dependent projects like painting the mast heads. We paint the mast heads in the fall to provide the best protection during the very long winter. And it is looking like a long winter with snow forecasted in the western mountains of Maine this evening. Under cover the gaffs and topmasts have been getting the first of several coats of varnish. The white plastic shrink wrap allows enough solar gain to heat the air to a reasonable painting temperature yet not hot enough to cause all of the wood to dry and check.

With all of the nice weather we have been having and the full moon casting shadows through our woods at night I have been amazed at how brilliant the stars have been, even with the moon. Towards the end of our sailing season I was really astounded by the rising winter constellations on my evening trips to the heads. Like an old friend Orion was twinkling in the night sky, his dogs still just below the horizon. The Milky Way streamed across the sky overhead rising from the spout of the teakettle part of Sagitarius, the archer. So many guests had never seen the galaxy through the rigging of the schooner and the chance to do a couple night sails gave us some wonderful opportunities to really appreciate just how far we live from the city lights. Every so often we anchor where the glow of a nearby town can be seen but that is quite rare. This month’s National Geographic lists Acadia National Park as one of the places where excellent stargazing can be found away from the impacts of light pollution. Unless of course you count the kerosene deck lamps I think we get to enjoy some of the best light free areas the Maine coast has to offer. I treasure the chance to lay on deck under the stars. Already I am counting the days.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

PS Sorry this was late getting online. The computer crashed (yes, even a Mac has a bad day once in a great while). By the way, the new cookbook with recipes from the fleet is available online in the Boatique. We have a limited supply right now but can get more. Order online or give us a call and we’ll get one on the next pony express. Photo by Neal Parent.

Under Cover

Good morning everyone. Hope you folks have been enjoying the crisp autumn air as much as we have. You can’t imagine how busy we have been this last week. Getting back ashore involves many hours of dismantling and down rigging. The crew have been hard at work. We did take this Columbus Day Weekend off and escape to the North Woods thanks to some very generous friends that allowed us to share their small cabin on the shores of a beautiful lake over looking Mt Katahdin. We even met a few of the locals. Folks often ask where we go for vacation and these pictures should tell you why we seldom leave the state of Maine.

We returned home to the frenzy and yesterday unrolled the shrink wrap. Capts. Garth and Jenny from the Lewis R French turned to and helped with our cover and we reciprocated. Two schooners covered in one day! The final shrinking is still to be done but the cover is tight enough for the moment. Today we start sanding and painting the mastheads and winterizing yawl boats. Letting go of the sailing season is not easy. Rosie remains in the water so that we might grab a few last moments sailing in the autumn breezes.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good. Keep breathing (advice to self).

Bowing towards Winter

Good morning everyone. Well we have finished the sailing season in very fine fashion. Notice the bow-in winter configuration and the lack of sails on the spars. I won’t try to gloss over the amazing wonders, and challenges, that have given this season its unique twists. A few short sentences can’t sum it all up. I have been marveling with wonder at the amazing people and places we have been. While I will miss the bay very much I will also tell you it feels good to be ashore back with family and friends. These last few cruises were certainly challenging with weather systems moving through like a ball in ping pong match. The foliage is like nothing I have seen along the coast in years. My jaw hung open Saturday as Jack Frost’s magic spread far and wide across the entire Camden Hills. A photograph just couldn’t capture it all. The foliage on the drive from Camden to Appleton is astounding. So life here is good… no, great! We have just a few very busy weeks to get the boat put to bed before the crew head home.

I will say it several more times in the coming months but here goes anyway… Thanks! Thanks to all of you for your patience and your support this summer. For those who made it aboard… we enjoyed seeing you. For those folks who traveled elsewhere, we missed seeing you and look forward to sharing some memories through the blog in the coming months.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.