2013 SEASON BY THE NUMBERS
Midcoast, Maine— Every season, the Maine Windjammer Association captains keep careful records of everything from average wind speed and miles logged to whale sightings and pounds of coffee served. Once those numbers are tallied, the captains can get a clear picture of the season. For 2013, what has emerged is a picture of delicious, fresh meals, camaraderie among diverse travelers and safe, sailing adventures.
From late-May to October, 4,000 guests travelled from all over the United States plus 9 countries to enjoy cruises aboard Maine’s traditional sailing ships. They consumed 5 tons of lobsters, 209 pots of chowder, 660 trays of freshly made sticky buns and 1,000 pounds of piping hot coffee, just to name a few menu items. It took 28.5 cords of wood to heat the stoves and cook the lobsters.
This season, the youngest Maine windjammer guest had just celebrated his 2nd birthday when he climbed aboard as part of a charter group. On the other end of the spectrum, a hale-and-hearty 95-year-old enjoyed every moment of her vacation.
Maine’s windjammers offer the perfect destination for gatherings of every stripe including family reunions, class reunions and corporate retreats. This year alone, the captains performed 12 weddings – a few of them spontaneous! But the fun didn’t stop there – the captains also welcomed 30 newlywed couples.
Maine’s unique geography – with her thousands of islands and peninsulas – means that there are over 3,400 miles of rugged shoreline to explore. In 2013, the Maine Windjammer Association fleet logged 23,047 miles along Maine’s coast including trips to 28 different islands. Every captain reported seeing at least 25 different lighthouses over the course of the season; Captain Foss of the American Eagle logged 55 Maine lighthouses, thanks to his Gloucester and Downeast cruises. Whales were sighted on 16 different trips, while seals were seen at least once on all 229 cruises.
In terms of the weather, temperatures fluctuated between 33 – 89 degrees with the average temp coming in at a comfortable 61 degrees. The average wind speed on the protected waters of Penobscot Bay was a gentle 5 mph with occasional gusts averaging 19 mph. And while water temperatures at the surface of West Penobscot Bay only averaged in the 50s, that didn’t keep 20% of all passengers from taking a bracing dip to get the blood flowing and have a break from spiking summer temps in the 80s. Of the 148 sailing days, only 38 saw any significant precipitation, and of those days, only 10 included a thunderstorm.
It would be wrong to judge a vacation strictly by the numbers, but by all accounts, 2013 was an excellent sailing season. For more information about sailing in 2014, visit the Maine Windjammer Association’s website at www.sailmainecoast.com.