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Autumn Getaway: Fall sailing on the Coast of Maine

A fall Windjammer cruise might be the autumn getaway you’re looking for. Fall is one of our favorite times on the Bay. The wind is strong. The air is brisk and clear making the sailing exhilarating. In the crisp daylight one can see for miles along the coast and at night the skies put on a magical performance. Sure, you’ll need some extra layers and a warm hat, but when properly outfitted, you’ll enjoy the vitality of each day. Throw in a few favorite fall traditions and events and you’ll see why fall sailing can’t be beat.

Nick Parson Guests aboard Schooner Heritage raise sails on a crisp September morning. Photo: Nick Parson

Celebrate traditional sailing during our Wooden-Boat Sail-In fleet gathering

Every September the Maine Windjammer Association hosts the “Wooden Boat Sail-In” in Brooklin, Maine, home to the Wooden Boat Magazine campus. This gathering of the Windjammer fleet is our last fleet gathering of the season and offers a chance to witness all the boats arrive under full sail (weather permitting) and anchor together in Great Harbor. On board during the day, the excitement builds as the Windjammers approach over the horizon from various directions. When you’re finally abeam the other boats it’s thrilling to anchor in each other’s company.

Wooden Boat Magazine is one of the foremost magazines highlighting the world of wooden boats. Their saltwater campus  houses boat sheds and sailboats for teaching boatbuilding and sailing classes. Guests can go ashore to take a self-guided tour of the grounds. Also ashore guests can enjoy refreshments and some wicked good music. This year we were delighted to have the Gawler Family Band with Bennett Konesni perform. They’re a self described “fun-loving, folk-singing, fiddle-playing family from the heart of Maine” and such a fun band to dance to!

 If you want to join us next year, the 2023, the Wooden Boat Sail-in is scheduled for the week of Sept 10th!

The Gawler Family Band with Bennett Konesni and Cara Lauzon Photo: Fred LeBlanc
@Linda_Cunningham Contra dancing on shore Photo: Linda Cunningham
Nick Parson The windjammer fleet prepares to leave the harbor and take advantage of a beautiful sailing day. Photo: Nick Parson

Release your inner artist and carve a pumpkin

Many guests tell us they didn’t realize how much they would get to do during their trip. In addition to the sailing, we like to throw in a few old childhood traditions. For example, at the lobster bake, making s’mores is a hit. And during most trips guests can help crank homemade ice cream. In the late fall, there’s often a chance to carve a jack o’lantern and sip hot mulled cider. Rekindle your passion for these childhood activities that you didn’t know you missed.

Guests and crew try their hands at carving pumpkins aboard the Lewis R. French. photo: Becky Wright

Then warm your inner artist with seasonal fall cuisine by the warmth of the wood stove

As the days cool off come mid-September, you’ll appreciate the warmth of the wood stove. Settle into a seat in the galley to read, play games, chat with shipmates and have more cider!

All our Windjammers strive to serve seasonal cuisine. Your lunch might include this recipe for lentil, spinach squash soup as well as homemade bread and salad. Dinner might include stuffed pork loin, sautéed autumn harvest vegetables, and garlic mashed potatoes. And there’s always dessert — cookies, pies, cakes, crumbles, crisps, the list goes on.

The galley or salon is a great place to hang out.  The Schooner Mary Day has this wood stove to warm up guests on chilly days. photo: Jen Martin
photo: Jenny Tobin

Relish the clear September skies.

The days are slowly getting shorter but that gives us more time for sunsets and stargazing. Maine’s skies are dark skies, and many communities in Maine are making efforts to regulate nighttime lighting to keep it that way.  Looking at the night sky in Maine will make you remember just how small we are and how much is out there.

Peter Ralston Night sky from WoodenBoat Harbor photo Peter Ralston

Categories: Fleet, Maine Windjammers, Sailing Events

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