Sail Training for Big Kids

Good morning everyone. This week we are in sail training mode once again as we invite a group of adults to live as deckhands aboard the schooner. So if you ever wanted to work aboard a large sailing vessel when you grow up this is a chance to try it out without having to clean heads or stand night watches. In conjunction with the Wooden Boat School we are exploring “Schooner 101” with a varied group of sailors from all over the country. Some folks have plenty of small boat sailing experience and some are completely new to sailing. The challenge to being a deckhand is learning the ropes and learning how to work as a team to handle sails. Participants get a chance to get their hands dirty learning navigation and knots, sail trim and steering. At the end of Day 1 the students smartly tacked the schooner up into Mackerel Cove here on Swans Island and even learned how to sail a schooner backwards. (Backing the schooner three boat lengths under sail was performed in a closed course by professional drivers wearing proper safety equipment including helmets, gloves, knee pads, and parachutes. Please don’t try this at home.) After the anchor was dropped the student at the helm turned to me with a very big smile and said, “How cool is that?” Very cool. Very, very cool!

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.


  1. I will never forget my week aboard for the "Wooden Boat Course" several years ago. While I have forgotten too much of what I learned the experience was fantastic. I have given serious thought to doing it again.

    I hope everyone aboard has a great time and learns all about sailing the Mary Day.

  2. I would love to take the wooden boat course, but unfortunately, the company I work for has an end-of-quarter in July. Not only are we not allowed to take any time off during the last two weeks of July; we have to put in many hours of overtime. On a positive note, I use my OT $ to pay for my trip and for spending money when I go to Maine. 🙂

    Maybe when I retire, if I'm not too old and decrepit, I can take this course. Sure looks like a wonderful experience.

    Abrazos from the land of overtime.

  3. Eve'n Cap't,

    I'm home; showered, fed, wet clothes in the tub, just sitting here relishing our six day adventure aboard your schooner. Trying, as you reminded us, to savior the moment and not let reality creep upon us too quickly

    It was a magnificent experience, filled with both small moments that we shared with our 20+ new friends as well as once in a lifetime (hope not) opportunities to sail the way it was done over two hundred years ago.

    Your love of the ocean and your willingness to share not just your boat, but also your knowledge of the sea, made this trip one of the best (working) vacations I have ever had.

    I'm looking forward to viewing my several hundred pictures and receiving same from many shipmates.

    Thanks again to you, your hard working crew and Schooner Mary Day for enriching my life.

    Bill Cavanagh

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