For about 10 years Jen and I had the honor of hosting a Leadership Academy for a group of fraternity brothers from across the country. Each year Delta Tau Delta held several of these academies at different locations for chapter members from across the country. A couple days ago I received an email from one of the brothers who asked about a poem I recited each morning after I woke them up with a song. That poem was the Sanskrit Salutation to the Dawn. I first heard Tim Ellis recite this at every Sunday service beneath the towering “wolf” pine at Camp Chewonki. Tim’s version added a thought about the splendor of achievement; the idea of setting a goal for yourself each day.
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence;
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And Tomorrow is only a Vision;
But Today well lived makes every
Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, and every
Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
I wake up everyday like a little kid. Hope fills my heart. Even though yesterday was incredibly challenging and just about wore me down to a nub I greet today with optimism. As my young “Delt’s” email reminded me, you never know how you will touch someone else’s life in the few brief moments you touch each other. Who knew that 20 years later he would still be thinking about how to live each day with heart, courage, compassion and authenticity because of a poem.
So as you venture out into the craziness carry this poem in your heart. Be the best you there is. Be the faith you wish everyone would keep. Practice making others smile and laugh. Dole out compliments to people you don’t know and see how they respond.
“And in the end, the love you take, is equal to, the love you make.” Lennon/McCartney, ’69
I have photographed this piece of granite a thousand times. I captured this image on the last cruise of the 2019 season knowing for sure that the winter ice and cold temperatures would most likely roll this over the edge. I have been thinking this for the last 40 years since I first saw this rock.
I can’t be the only one who marvels at how precariously this rock is perched. There it is…seemingly all alone. And that is where this story gets interesting during these times of social distancing. We could quickly label this a glacial erratic but it isn’t really an erratic in the truest sense of the term. The boulder, while undoubtedly deposited during a period of glacial activity sometime before last Tuesday, is composed of the same granite as the surrounding landscape. Often the term erratic is used to describe glacially transported rocks of different composition than the surrounding landscape. There is an excellent example on the southeast side of Mark I off of Camden. I wish I had a picture of that to share. But don’t take my word for it. Come sailing so I can show it to you.
Fasten your seatbelts and hang with me for another moment. The beauty of the times we are living in is our ability to stay connected electronically. The challenge is to stay connected physically, emotionally, spiritually. Electronic communication is woefully inadequate as we strive for the fulfilling soul food of physical, emotional, and spiritual connection. It is all too easy to find ourselves feeling alone when in truth we are being supported by the very bedrock from which we derive our psychological existence. My heart aches when I think of how social distancing is making us feel isolated, maybe even unloved. Reaching out through email and text may be the best we can do for the moment. So I want you to print out my picture. When you look at this picture I want you to remember that you are loved and supported by the basic bedrock of your friends, family, and community.
So there you have it. If windjamming does nothing else, it allows me to unplug and take a moment to re-connect with the natural world. Ultimately I am actually re-connecting with my friends and neighbors. Friendships forged aboard the schooner while watching sunsets and bald eagles and beautiful scenery last a long time. So many of our guests keep coming back to see each other. They stay connected through the 51 weeks of the year they are not aboard. Take a moment today to shoot a very quick email or text or postcard to someone, anyone. Be the bedrock that supports the delicate balance in which we find ourselves living.
Have a great day. You are not alone. Be safe. Be well. Do good.
I am always wary of shiny new inventions that somehow purport to make life simpler. I am a firm believer in less is more, except when it comes to bringing things home from the transfer station, aka the dump. In that instance more is recycling. You see the difference?
But I digress. This is supposed to be about things tried and true like old boats and the old tools used to keep ’em going. This week during our mid-winter thaw we took the opportunity to get in some firewood and clear space for what eventually will be an addition to the barn. In the process, we set aside several straight, clear sections of pine and oak suitable for the sawmill I just finished repowering. More about that next week.
The tool you see being used to roll the logs out of the way is called a peavey. A variation of the cant hook (a cant is a squared up log). The peavey got its name from its inventor, Joseph Peavey who brilliantly modified the cant hook back in the late 1850s to be far more effective by adding a pick to the end and modifying the pivot for the hook. In the first image, I am teaching McKenzie how to set the 8.5″ hook. Once set, the handle, about 30″ on this one, provides leverage with which to roll the log. These are very small logs hence a small peavey. I have another peavey that has a 48″ handle with a 12″ hook for larger logs.
It didn’t take McKenzie long to get the swing of things. With a chainsaw in one hand and a peavey in the other, she has become a badass woodswoman. I only fear that I will come home from town one day and she and Jen will have cleared the whole 32 acres right back to the early 1900s when most of Appleton was cutover.
Have a great day. Be well. Do good.
If you want to learn more about Maine’s history, traditional sailing vessels, their construction and care, and how to use the power of the wind to go on an eco-friendly windjammer cruise join us sometime this summer. Check out our schedule of cruise offerings.
I was reading an article recently about the value of 3 day weekends. That third day is the real moneymaker. That 3rd day is the day you sleep in, that you don’t have to answer to anyone, that your time is your own to do with what you will. And that 3rd day makes all the difference between feeling compressed to get everything done in a normal 2 day weekend.
So imagine a 3-day vacation. Imagine that you are a few hour’s drive from leaving everything behind. Could you live without your cell phone ringing for 3 days? Could you allow someone else to do the cooking; serving delicious homemade meals straight from the wood-fired cookstove? Could you handle immersing your senses in a world that has no straight lines, where your hair can be a mess and no one cares, where the smell of the ocean and spruce studded islands fill your nostrils? What would happen if the hardest decision you had to make in 3 days was whether to have another lobster while sitting on a rocky beach in Maine?
These are the questions you can dare dream to answer. With 100s of islands, dozens of hidden anchorages to choose from, 3 days and no itinerary we have an answer for each of those questions. Aboard the schooner Mary Day, that’s what we endeavor to do every time we leave the dock. We aim to really leave it all behind and take you off the beaten path to places where time has largely stood still. With no engine, the wind plays the music that fills our days. Our sails are quite literally the canvas on which we paint each unique adventure. With no street lights on a clear summer night, the stars above remind us of our place in the universe.
Camden, Maine is a pretty cool town to explore before and after the cruise. If you ask us, 3 days is never enough time to spend in Maine. But for most of us, that is about all we get in this crazy busy workaday world. You owe it to yourself to get the heck out of “Dodge” and treat yourself to a little adventurous getaway. We are 3.5 hours from downtown Boston, 7 hours from NY City. Or if you really want to chill we can pick you up at the bus stop a stone’s throw from the harbor. However you get here, use that time to do some deep breathing. Relax your way into the journey. If you allow yourself to turn off the “noise” this quick getaway might just be the best 3 days of your summer!
Tony, Maija and Sarah tarred the rig on Monday. The smell of tarred wafted over the harbor bringing the denizens of darkness from off of their barstools out into the sunshine and fresh air. There is something about the smell of tar. It is more of an essence. As in essential. I would suggest that there is something buried deep in our amygdala that is nourished by that rich aroma. Pardon my political insensitivity but I tell the boy crew that tar is a chick magnet. Kinda like plaid. Who can resist tar and plaid? The healing properties of pine tar go far beyond the lonesome heart. Many skin conditions, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, seborrhoeic dermatitis….pine tar in the right dose has been anecdotally said to work wonders. But I am not telling you anything you didn’t already know.
Good morning! We hope you enjoyed your weekend. The weather continues to be absolutely gorgeous here in Maine. Isn’t that foliage incredible? Some ol’ colorful! The forecast says we are supposed to get some meaningful rain on Wednesday. We really need it. The swamp out back is drier than a boot. We have been scouting for deer and walking the property lines but haven’t scared up much. The coyotes have been quite close yippin’ away all night long which might account for the lack of deer at the moment. That…and the warm weather.
Jen splitting firewood.
Anyhoo…. Maija and Jen have been splitting firewood to beat the band. Maija cranked out the better part of 3 cords early last week and Jen is out there splitting away as I write. I took a couple pictures and made a short movie so you could see a little bit of what it looks like around here. So remember this next summer when the wood stove gets lit at 4:30 in the morning and all that great food comes out of the galley!
Good morning everyone! Autumn has made its first appearance here on the Maine coast. A cold front passed over the state yesterday bringing with it a lovely northwest wind. The air was crisp at sunset last night and we all enjoyed music and stories in the main cabin around the warmth of the fireplace.
All rightee folks, this morning I am in a philosophical mood so click off line here or be prepared for profundity Friday from the quarterdeck. A photographer friend of mine has been aboard this week and he took the time to introduce me to the photo editing software Adobe Lightroom. It has been on my laptop all this time but I had no idea what to do with it. What I find most interesting is how much information exists in a digital image. As I played around with the myriad filters I realized how much life is a lot like Lightroom. Each of us has an infinite choice of filters and which ones we chose to use is completely up to us.
We can take any situation, frame it anyway we chose, color it how we wish, even look at things in black and white. All of the information is there for us to adjust any way we see fit. All we need to do is access our inner Lightroom and decide how it is we want to focus, frame and color our worlds. Of course Lightroom takes a ton of patience and practice and experimentation. You have to be willing to see things in a new and different perspective.
So there is my challenge to all of you today. If life is feeling a bit overwhelming or lacking in color open up your inner Lightroom. Or maybe open up a friend’s version of Lightroom and check out their perspective. Refocus, reframe, recolor your life and open yourself up to a world of possibilities.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
A 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.
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.