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Maine Windjammer Association captains know tides will turn

Just as the currents and tides ebb and flow, so does the news of the day.  However, unlike nature’s balance on the seas, the news has tended to flow in all one direction lately. One thing we know with all the certainty is that the tides will change and someday the present fear of viruses will wane. We also know with equal certainty that once it’s safe to travel again, a windjammer vacation will be exactly what eco-travelers will carve. The chance to surround yourself with nature’s beauty, fresh food and the feeling of movement across the bay with boat and wind in balance will be the most soothing experience imaginable.

We asked the Maine Windjammer Association captains to share some inspiration and offer some insight into life in their corner of the world.  We heard back from a number of captains with news updates we thought you’d like to read.

Captain Mary Day from Schooner Mary DayFrom Captain Barry King of the Schooner Mary Day

“We are well…keepin’ on moving, keeping the faith through challenging times, remaining cautiously optimistic, excited to see you as soon as is practicable. Please be patient, please persevere. If I know one thing about each of you it is that you have inner strength you have yet to discover. You are pretty darn amazing. Let’s “git ‘er done.”

 “If windjamming does nothing else, it allows me to unplug and take a moment to re-connect with the natural world. Ultimately, I am re-connecting with my friends and neighbors. Friendships forged aboard the schooner while watching sunsets and bald eagles and beautiful scenery last a long time. So many of our guests keep coming back to see each other. They stay connected through the 51 weeks of the year they are not aboard. Take a moment today to shoot a very quick email or text or postcard to someone, anyone. Be the bedrock that supports the delicate balance in which we find ourselves living.

You are not alone. Be safe. Be well. Do good.”

Captain John Foss of the Schooner American EagleFrom Captain John Foss, via Schooner American Eagle’s newsletter

“We all appreciate structure and stability, so this spring has us thrown for a bit of a loop. Will the pandemic peter out in time for us to sail in June as planned? Will any of you who have already reserved feel like coming with us in light of contagion and national financial instability?  We’re concerned about your safety and our own and have no intentions of risking anyone’s well-being, as much as we love sailing.

Having said that, it’s too soon for us to push back our sailing start date. Should you decide to take a rain check for a later trip either this year or next, or prefer to request a full refund, I understand. It’s going to be a tough year for breaking even at best; half of the costs of getting the schooner ready for sailing has already been invested in winter work and repairs.

When this storm has cleared, a sailing adventure aboard the American Eagle is still the best way to appreciate this rugged and beautiful coast of ours, to enjoy an outside experience, and to sail with terrific friends new and old and familiar crew.”

Captains of the Windjammer AngeliqueFrom Dennis and Candace aboard windjammer Angelique

“Greetings from the coast of Maine!  We hope everyone is staying safe and coping as best as you can in these difficult times. As for us, we are looking forward to a full sailing schedule in 2020 as we celebrate Angelique’s 40th anniversary and Maine’s 200th birthday this season. Spring outfitting is already underway per normal.   We know that once it’s safe to travel again, time spent outdoors in the peace and serenity of Maine’s stunning scenery will be just the kind of healing that travelers need after a tough and challenging spring.  

Yet, we know many of you have concerns about planning vacations and travel while the coronavirus pandemic continues. Please know that we are keeping a weather eye on the ever-evolving situation and share your concerns. We are a small business doing our best to keep the safety of our family, crew, and guests our highest priority.

Currently, we are optimistic that our 2020 sailing schedule will proceed as planned and we are still taking reservations. Spring is here and we will begin getting Angelique ready for the season which is still months away.

We have created a webpage to keep you informed of changes to our policies and trip departures in response to the rapidly changing situation –

We trust that our guests share our optimism for the sailing season to commence as planned, but the reality is that the future is uncertain. We understand this and have instituted a more flexible reservation policy.

There is no crystal ball to tell us exactly when things will return to normal. However, we can say without a doubt that better days are coming, and we will be ready to take you on a sailing adventure of a lifetime when it’s safe to do so.”

From Sam and Cara aboard Victory Chimes

“Cara and I are excited and optimistic for the upcoming season and hope that it will be full of people happy to get out on the water after isolating. This is VICTORY CHIMES 120th season, amazing to think that this vessel survived two world wars, the great depression and all of the recessions in between, I think she will survive this challenge as well.” 

When we imagine ourselves on the water, we imagine freedom, connection to nature, the water, the ocean unfolding around us in its vastness, falling away into the distance expanding and encouraging our minds to relax and find peace in its expansiveness. But rarely do we think of the connection we have with our ship. The ship is the vessel that brings us closer to the sea. She is the means by which we are able to connect and feel this oneness with the ocean. Well loved by Mariners worldwide Joseph Conrad, wrote “Fortunately, nothing can deface the beauty of a ship. There is no restraint; there is space: clear water around her, and a clear sky above her mastheads, with a landscape of green hills and charming bays opening around her anchorage. She is not abandoned by her own men to the tender mercies of shore people. She still shelters and is looked after by her own little devoted band, and you feel that presently she will glide between the headlands and disappear.”

This depiction of the feeling of being at sea from the Ships perspective is something that is rare and will be a new experience for those who enjoy the opportunity to sail aboard a wind powered vessel when it’s safe once again to do so.”

Captain Garth and familyFrom Captain Garth and Jenny aboard the Schooner Lewis R. French

“We want to thank all the health care workers and volunteers who continue to fight this health emergency both behind the scenes and on the front lines.  They are risking their own health to save lives and we are dearly indebted to them.”

Feel free to visit any of the members of the Maine Windjammer Association fleet from the comfort of your own home. To keep social distancing easy, simply click on any of the links below.



Categories: Cruises, Maine Windjammers, Sailing Events

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