Monthly Archives: September 2009

Celebrate Mary’s Life

Friends are Invited to a
Celebration of Life

to Remember Mary Barney

baker, cook, musician, friend
4 p.m., on Sunday, Oct. 11th
at Blueberry Cove Camp, Tenants Harbor, Maine

All are welcome. Please bring a pot-luck dish, preferably one with ties to Mary (from her cookbook or one that you’ve enjoyed with her). BYOB.

There will be some prepared remarks but also free time for all to
share memories of Mary. A slide show will also be run. Digital
pictures of Mary can be sent to by Oct. 5 at the latest.

Bring musical instruments for music and dancing. Bring items knitted by Mary.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary’s memory may be made on the day or can be sent to either

Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice House
c/o Kno-Wal-Lin
170 Pleasant Street
Rockland, ME 04841


The Mary Barney Memorial Garden
(to be sited at at the Trailing Yew)
Donations may be sent to:
The Mary Barney Memorial Garden
c/o The Trailing Yew
Monhegan Island, ME, 04852


Blueberry Cove Camp is in Tenants Harbor. From Thomaston at the Knox Mansion (Montpelier), turn off Rt. 1 and take US Route 131 South, towards St. George/Tenants Harbor. Follow Rt. 131 through the town of Tenants Harbor. Continue to follow Rt. 131 toward Port Clyde (The road veers to the left).

Take a left turn onto Harts Neck Road, a short way after the ball field (10.7 miles from Rt. 1). Blueberry Cove Camp is located at 22 Blueberry Cove Road. The driveway is on the left about 0.5 miles down Harts Neck Rd.

If anyone needs overnight accommodations contact Deb Small at 978-779-6860.

We hope to see you there as you too were part of Mary’s family. If you can’t make it but would like to share memories, email them to

Hail Mary

My heart is heavy with sadness as I write this particular blog. Since the beginning of August our dear friend and cook for the last 12 years, Mary Barney, had been struggling with cancer. I have intentionally respected Mary’s privacy and I apologize to you for not sharing any news about Mary’s health sooner. On Monday afternoon Mary passed away very peacefully at home, surrounded by friends and “family”. Her departure was as graceful as the rest of her life. Many people, including Jen, have been doing heroic work to support Mary these last few weeks.
Oddly enough Mary was never very excited about transitions though this was about the fastest transition she ever made. And as I struggle to let go of Mary I realize I am terrible with transitions as well. We used to joke about how we liked things just the way they are, thank you very much, so why change what is working already even if it might be less labor intensive. Hard works is its own reward. I used to joke about getting Mary a Cuisinart for the galley and she would just shudder and shake her maple rolling pin at me.

One recent transitional cook couldn’t understand how Mary could work with so few tools. I appreciate his efforts to get us through this difficult time and wish he could have witnessed the miracle of what Mary created with hands and heart. I swear I have never met anyone who can bake like Mary. Mary would swear that her cooking and baking were an out of body experience. Mary’s chocolate cake was an out of body experience. Her loaves of bread were raised with more than just yeast. Her focacia, her anadama, her oatmeal, and Italian bread stuffed with spinach and pepperoni… these are the breads that memories are made of. She always blushed when I complimented her on how soft and warm her buns were. On Friday afternoons I would sneak down into the galley and take a warm dinner bun from the rack and she would pretend to not see me. It was our game of companionship. I can taste them now and will forever more. And I will miss Mary’s loving friendship.

I was able to visit Mary this last weekend. Her house was a continuous stream of people. On Saturday I brought my guitar and sat by her bed singing softly to her. Several weeks ago Mary told me that she wanted to take singing lessons when she got better. I told her she sang just fine reminding her of how she used to sing Rosin the Bow. I played her a few requests… “Let it Be” and “Home on the Range” as well as a few silly songs that made her smile. When I saw her on Sunday it was clear that she was letting go. I kissed her cheek and told her I loved her at which she opened her sparkling eyes and gave me one last smile that I will never forget. I knew she was at peace already.
Now I have a cardinal rule that I never talk religion or politics aboard the schooner or anywhere else for that matter. I am not smart enough to say anything intelligent about either topic and it seems to me that more problems are started over these conversations than are ever solved. As the humorist Dave Barry observes, ‚ÄúPeople who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.‚Äù But I am going to break my own rule and offer an observation, not because I want to start a conversation, (see, Dave Barry is right) but because Mary and I used to talk about our search for meaning in this world. If you look through Mary’s stacks of books on her living room floor you will know how important the spiritual journey was to Mary. I loved our thoughtful conversations and Mary helped me realize that the unanswered questions are the ones that keep us young. Neither one of us practice any organized religion but we certainly agreed that we are spiritual beings. Mary must be an old soul for how else could every turkey dinner taste like Grandma made it special just for you. I am of the opinion that Mary finished her spiritual journey in this realm and ready or not it was time to move on. I saw it in her smile as she looked at me that one last time. These thoughts are the only way I can make sense of my loss. Besides, I am going to assume that Heaven was in quick need of another angel and a darned good loaf of bread. And a beautiful angel they got. But, darn, I will miss that bread. God bless you Mary.

Have a great day… you just never know. Be well. Do good.

Great photos by Jim and Jen.

Photographs from a Maine Windjammer

Good morning everyone. Mt heart is still flying from a fantastic week and I wanted to share a few of the photographs from this past week. As advertised, Maine photographer Neal Parent was aboard coaching our picture taking efforts. I think we fed off of each others energy. I for one really pushed my envelope. I kept my camera in manual mode all week meaning I had to think about aperture, speed and ISO settings with every shot. A very few of the results are here with photo credit given. There were tons of great pictures(286 in our Friday night slide show) and I just can’t put them all on so forgive me if you were on the cruise and don’t see one of you photos here. If you weren’t on the cruise I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed an absolutely beautiful week filled with windjammers, Maine islands, great people, and very nice sailing.
Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Windjammers Sailing Penobscot Bay

Good morning everyone. We had a dandy sail yesterday as a light northwest wind came gently off the Camden Hills, We sailed in company with the rest of the fleet. This afternoon we gather at the Great Cove in Brooklin for our annual Windjammer Rendezvous. This is our last 6 day cruise of the season. That brings sadness to my heart like you don’t know. This season has flown by way too fast.
We had some great photographic opportunities as windjammers comparatively sailed side by each (aka racing). The light on the water was its usual Penobscot Bay run of the mill awesome. Maine photographer Neal Parent is aboard helping us get the most out of our cameras. As we will be anchored with the fleet this afternoon I took the opportunity to hide away in this tiny little cove. We’ll wait for this morning’s gentle showers to clear off before we get underway. Life is good here in our little windjammer world.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.


Good morning everyone. Sorry to bore you with another broken record tale of a great day sailing. But yesterday was quite exciting. The wind came onshore from the south about 1030 and away we went. We saw 5 lighthouses including a close up view of the Blue Hill Light. The light is long since gone from the lantern room but the green beacon atop the skeleton tower stills guides mariners into the bay.The light was very conducive to taking many pictures. The lobster boat pictured here pretty much says it all. Though built of fiberglass her handsome lines caught my eye. Notice the windjammer in the background. Is the irony lost on anyone else? The Maine windjammer Angelique looked particularly stunning in the light. As a replica of a Brixham trawler she comes from a traditional background on the other side of the pond. We didn’t tire of watching her ease between the islands.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Lighthouse Cruisin’

Good morning everyone. The weather here continues to be dry with chilly mornings and warm sunny days. This week we are looking at lighthouses and our resident pharologist and friend Ted Panayotoff is sharing marvelous stories about the keepers that made these lights live and breathe. On Monday we saw 8 lights close up and one off in the distance. Tuesday we sailed offshore to visit Mt Desert Rock Lighthouse and Great Duck Lighthouse. Hurricane Bill really battered Mt Desert Rock several weeks back and destroyed the bottom floor of the barn adjacent to the keepers house. The boathouse is completely gone, save on wall that is still standing. Just imagine the seas that must have been washing over the Rock to have done damage the likes of which hasn’t been seen in many years. I have been told that the water was up into the first floor of the keepers house.

Yesterday we had a chance to walk out to the Bass Harbor Head Light from the harbor of the same name. We also had a fine chance to sail in company with the Victory Chimes. She is the largest commercial sailing vessel in the country and looked just fabulous as she always does. Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Camden Windjammer Festival Weekend

Good morning everyone. The windjammer fleet arrived here in Camden Harbor yesterday afternoon. The harbor was packed with schooners as far as the eye could see through the forest of masts. There was a terrific talent show last night followed by fireworks over the harbor. This celebration is as much about the guests and the communities surrounding these vessels as it is about the vessels themselves. This is the last and largest fleet of large commercial sailing vessels in the country… a national treasure of sorts. This is the greatest show on earth and it happens every week here in Maine. How cool is that!

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Thanks to Jim Dugan for these terrific photographs. He climbed Mt Battie to capture the fireworks and then the main mast to capture the fleet. That says alot about Jim and his continuous quest to share his very unique perspectives with the world.

Not Half Bad

Good morning everyone. Sorry to shock your systems like this but 2 blogs in 2 days? Does this man ever sleep? Not nearly enough some days of the week.

If you looked up perfection in the dictionary there would be a picture of yesterday. Not that there really is any such thing as perfection but yesterday wasn’t half bad. We went ashore briefly at Swan‚Äôs I to see my dear friend Earl‚Ķ the Earl of Swans. Many of you have been up to see Earl and know what a treat it is. Summer is winding down for Earl as Labor Day looms too close for comfort and his summer friends begin to head home leaving Earl to survive the winter on ‚ÄúAlcatraz‚Äù as he calls it. Compared to his very busy social summer schedule life does slow a bit for Earl during the winter. I am not sure when I will get back to see Earl myself so I felt a special bit of sadness myself.
One of the guests asked in jest for a white sand beach for our noon time lobster picnic. Of course I had to produce just to prove that here in Maine we have it all. The water was as clear as a bell. Lots of folks went swimming. By the way… when we claim to offer an all you can eat lobster picnic we aren’t kidding. We were literally begging people to eat lobster. Now when was the last time that happened to you?

I was up very early this morning to watch the space station pass over. One of our guests, Doug, works on guidance systems that control the space station and he is also a heck of a photographer. He has actually read the manual for the camera! Thankfully we have the same cameras and he and I created the image of the rig against the starry sky. This is a copy of an image Neal Parent created aboard a few years ago with the use of a flash light to paint the rig which normally wouldn’t come out this clear even in a twenty second exposure. So thanks to Neal and Jim and Dudley and Doug for the inspiration to get up early and create a cool image. I know I am slow on the uptake guys so thanks for your patience.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

The Seasons Turn

Good morning everyone. We are certainly savoring this stretch of weather. The air is noticeably cooler and and we have seen our first flock of cormorants headed south signaling a turn in the seasons. But with clear days and starry nights we can’t say that we have too many cares other than how many lobsters we’ll eat at the picnic today. On Monday we left Camden with just about the most perfect nor’west wind. We sailed all day and dropped the hook at Islesford in time for dinner 45 miles later. I am always fascinated by Bear Island Light which guides sailors in to the principal anchorages on the south side of Mr Desert. Privately owned for many years now the keepers house and light must afford quite a view of Acadia National Park to the north and the ocean with all its moods stretching as far as the eye can see to the south’ard.
Have a great day. Be well. Do good.