Maine Windjammer Association Cancels Gam, Great Schooner Race and Parade of Sail

As the Coronavirus pandemic persists, no corner of our lives has been spared.  Travelers put their vacation dreams on hold, and while windjammer captains move full steam ahead on fit-out season, the question remains on when they can sail this summer.  A shelter in place order remains in place through May leaving everyone to wonder when Maine will once again become Vacationland.  In addition, the Governor’s Gradual Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy calls for a phased re-opening with limits on the size of gatherings.  This has impacted the Maine Windjammer Association’s plans for fleet-wide events.

Most importantly, the Maine Windjammer Association fleet’s highest concern is for the safety of their captains, crews and guests.  Due to restrictions on travel to the state of Maine, all the May cruises scheduled by Maine Windjammer Association boats have been cancelled.  In addition, all of the of the fleet-wide early summer events have been cancelled too. 

Knowing that social distancing practices should still be respected, and restrictions on gatherings of more than 50 people will be in place, the annual Gam raft-up and toast to the season scheduled for June 8, 2020 has been cancelled.  This event gathers too many people in one place to be safe.  In addition, to honor the need for social distancing on the Rockland Breakwater and the Governor’s restriction on gatherings of more than 50 people, the 44th Great Schooner Race, scheduled for July 3, 2020 and the annual Parade of Sail, scheduled for July 10, 2020 have also been cancelled. The Maine Windjammer Association is hoping to keep the tradition of the Great Schooner Race going for the 44th year later in the season when they hold a much smaller, private race, in the original tradition of this event. The rest of the fleet’s events are being considered depending upon updates to the Governor’s plan. Stay tuned. Boats racing in Penobscot Bay.

Each of the eight members of the Maine Windjammer Association are carefully monitoring directives from the CDC, state of Maine, and Coast Guard and updating cleaning and safety protocols, along with plans for abiding by ongoing requirements issued by the Governor’s office. Additionally, each captain is working with guests to accommodate changes in travel plans. Cruising schedules for all Maine Windjammer Association members are fluid at this time.  It’s best to check with the individual boat on which you plan to sail for schedule updates. 

No one wants to sail more than the captains and crews of the Maine Windjammer Association this summer.  Yet, the health and safety of the guests and crew is their highest priority. 

When it’s time once again to sail, the members of the Maine Windjammer Association will welcome guests with the ideal salt-air, wind in your hair getaway.  Shed the armchair vacation dreams and enjoy the real thing – a nature-based vacation filled with uninhabited islands, lobster cookouts on the beach, on-deck feasts and the unbridled joy of being outside surrounded by the beauty of Maine’s Coast. Once you can finally unplug from nightly updates and in-home schooling, a Maine Windjammer will be the ideal bespoke vacation. Consider it your own summer camp experience this year.

Use the convenient search tool found on the home page of SailMaineCoast.com to find the cruise that fits the dates you seek, or visit each of the Maine Windjammer Association’s individual vessel’s schedules online at their websites by clicking below.

Schooner Heritage

Boats racing in Great Schooner RaceSchooner Mary Day

Windjammer Angelique

Schooner Lewis R. French

Schooner Ladona

Schooner Stephen Taber

Schooner Victory Chimes

Schooner American Eagle

(Photos above by Andre Albert and Bob Angell)

 

 

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