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Monday, March 17, 2014

Maine Windjammer Week, Introducing the Fleet

Don’t fret. While still under the beastly spell of winter here in New England, the Maine windjammers will soon take to the waters for another memorable season. This week I’m excited to delve into the history of these tall schooners that ply the waters of Penobscot Bay, the activities including specialty cruises, the food highlighting the quintessential lobster bake, and the majestic scenery found along the mid-Maine coast. I’ve been fortunate to go on three Maine Windjammer cruises, all with my dad and his wife Ginny, and I’ll never forget the smile on my father’s face when asked to take the wheel by the Captain and sail that big boy. It’s a memory I cherish.

The 8 tall ships in the Maine Windjammer Association start plying the waters of the Maine coast in late May. Spring features ideal winds, quiet harbors, and the lowest rates of the season, averaging $140 per person per day, including berth, food (an all-you-can-eat lobster bake!), and activities. It’s hard to go wrong with any of these historic vessels, so choose whatever’s available. 
Each boat has a story to tell. The Victory Chimeswas built in 1900 in Bethel, Delaware, to carry lumber within Chesapeake Bay. Today, she’s the only remaining three-masted schooner on the East Coast. The 92-foot American Eagle was built in 1930 as part of the Gloucester fishing fleet. It was revamped in 1984 and, along with Victory Chimes, Lewis R. French, Stephen Taber, and the Isaac H. Evans, a historic Delaware oyster boat built in 1886, are all National Historic Landmarks. The red sails on Angelique are similar to the sails used by fishing trawlers in the 1880s to fish the North Sea. Heritage might be one of the latest schooners, launched in 1983, yet it also gives a nod to tradition by using an authentic 1921 deck engine. Launched in 1962, the 90-foot Mary Day was the first windjammer built specifically to take guests on overnight cruises. 
If you want an authentic Maine experience, where you can breathe in the fresh salty air dusted with the scent of pine, grab a berth on any of these schooners. You can follow me all week on Twitter @ActiveTravels to hear about some of the specialty themed cruises being offered in 2014, the source of an upcoming story for The Boston Globe. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/17/14 at 10:54 AM
Sailing • (4) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Looking forward to your items in Globe..You have spotted one of the best vacation options out there !!!!

Picture of Anne Wood Comment by Anne Wood
on 03/17/14 at 10:52 PM

Glad you agree, Anne! The Boston Globe story will appear in late April. Thanks for chiming in! Steve

Picture of Steve Jermanok Comment by Steve Jermanok
on 03/18/14 at 11:29 AM

Hi Steve, I'm a photographer based in Penobscot Bay and I run Downeast Yacht Shots. If you need windjammer images for your upcoming Boston Globe story please let me know. I have many and you can see a sample on my website...just let me know. Great to see your story, it is a wonderful area. Thanks, Ted

Picture of Ted Fisher Comment by Ted Fisher
on 03/18/14 at 01:06 PM

Ted, thanks for checking in. Maine Windjammer Association usually supplies stock for this type of round-up. It's on themed cruises.

Picture of Steve Jermanok Comment by Steve Jermanok
on 03/18/14 at 01:12 PM

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photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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