Monthly Archives: June 2014

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.

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.

 

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.