Tag Archives: windjammer cruises in Maine

The Sow’s Ear

Good morning…. I believe I look a little haggard but the Jen couldn’t resist the “golden light” streaming in through the window. Even a sow’s ear looks pretty good if you put enough ketchup on it. I am feeling tired right about now. Preparing for any sailing season (fit-out) is a monumental task. This year with the coronavirus restrictions is especially difficult. Everyone is asking whether we will be able to run cruises this summer.

Here’s what I know: The captains of the Maine Windjammer Association are working harder than ever to rise to this challenge. We are creating operational guidelines for proposal to the powers that be allowing us to board guests and get underway with all due regard to the Governor’s 14 day quarantine requirement. The entire process is going to require patience and perseverance. You think you have questions?

If we are successful creating a plan in concert with the state, we then need “buy-in” from you, our guests. I can’t count the number of times I have said to our guests, “We are only here because of you.” This has never been truer than right now. Hang in there with us. Be patient and help us get through these crazy times. Help us by working with whatever guidance is created. We are shooting for the beginning of Phase II (July 1) “Don’t give up the ship!” As soon as we have something in hand you’ll be the first to know. Hang in there everybody.

Be good to yourselves. Be good to each other. Be safe. Be well. Do good. P.S. Remember Shaggy from Scooby-doo? Anyone out there cut hair? And my nails? Egads!

Tried and True

white pine for use in a schooner
A 63-year-old eastern white pine (pinus strobus).

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?

using a cant hook

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.

Unusual Summer

Auks

Good morning everyone! Summer is half way there here along the Maine coast. If you haven’t been “down east” for a visit you really owe it to yourself to get here. This has been quite an unusual summer. “Drier ‘an a boot” as some would say. The weather has just been spectacular. I feel for the folks in the cities where the temperatures and high humidities are just sweltering. That heat has reached the Maine coast as well but only to warm the waters enough for very comfortable swimming. Funny how every harbor we go to is the “harbor of warm waters.” We have had lots of swim calls.

Another unusual occurrence here along the coast has been the prevalence of wildlife. Nature seems to be putting on quite the show for us this summer. Up in the bay we have seen numerous razor billed auks, something we don’t normally see. Auks being pelagic birds are usually found outside the bays in the open ocean. My guess is that there must be something to feed on. “Tinker” mackerel are in abundance but they would seem to be a little big for an auk to choke down. I don’t really know what they are feeding on but the herring gulls are right there with the auks instead of hanging out at the local landfills. We fondly call these gulls “dump ducks.” Porpoise seem to be all around as well. I wonder if they feed on the same thing the auks are eating. I have been doing a lot of my photography with my iPhone but the wildlife have me reaching for my trusty old camera once again. My advice: grab your camera and come on “down east” for the greatest show on earth. You won’t be sorry.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

A Few of My Favorites

Good morning everyone! Here are a few of my favorite images from this past season. There are a few from other seasons just because they make my heart go pitter patter.

Be well. Do good. Enjoy time with family and friends this Thanksgiving.

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Flyin’ Downeast

maine windjammers, maine vacations, windjammer vacations

Look at her fly!

Good morning everyone. We had a fabulous past couple of days sailing. Sunday night’s rain broke into a sunny Monday. The fleet left their respective harbors and away we all went…downeast. Which of course means down wind and headed east. Remember that Maine trends east and west from Penobscot Bay, not north and south. Just check the compass next time you are aboard.
maine lighthouse tours, lighthouses in Maine

Bear I. Light, at the entrance to Northeast Harbor, is one of my personal favorites

Northeast Harbor, a new anchorage for me, was where we went ashore for walks before dinner. 44 miles, 6.5 hours, 1 amazing sailing day. This being our last 6 day trip of the season I was quite aware that I would be leaving Mt Desert astern for the last time this year.

Yesterday afternoon we anchored with the fleet at Great Cove, Brooklin, Maine for the Maine Windjammer Association’s annual Wooden Boat Rendezvous. Dancing to steel drum music, steamed mussels, the Wooden Boat School to tour, a fabulous sunset and a star-filled sky. What else could anyone ask for?

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

maine wildlife, wildlife tours, harbor porpoise , nature tours

Leaping for joy!