The Great Schooner Race – It’s One Very Special Week

sailing adventures on the schooner j & e riggin
Taking a turn at the wheel for a moment while the galley has a rest. Photo by Susan Land
the great schooner race with Maine's tall ships
Our competition. Are we ahead or are they?! Photo by Susan Land
Our tall ship fleet gathers for the exciting Great Schooner Race from Islesboro to Rockland the week of July 4th.  This exhilarating day of collegial racing is followed by a festive awards ceremony and party with live music and treats from all of the chefs in the fleet. This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the Great Schooner Race and includes pre-race festivities such as a fireworks display and zany small boat races by the crews of all the vessels, complete with themes and costumes.
Maine's small boat races for the great schooner race
Small boats gather to begin racing. Looking super organized. Photo by Susan Land
Our Viking crew with yarn beards! Photo by Susan Land

This festive day is one of our few fleet gatherings of the summer and one of the biggest days of our season.  Hosted every summer since 1977, The Great Schooner Race is hailed as the largest annual gathering of traditional schooners in America, this year at least twenty schooners are expected to participate in the race. The dates of this special trip are July 2nd to the 7th this year.


F.A.Q.’s – What’s the Weather Like in Maine?

Questions and the zest for learning – we love it.  Now, if you’ve sailed with us before, you might already know the answer to some of these questions, but maybe not all.  Over the next several e-newsletters, we’ll be sharing some of our most frequently asked questions. See if you know the full story…
“What will the weather be like when I sail?”
Your guess on the weather is as good as ours! When you think of packing for your trip, imagine what you would want or need if you were staying in an unheated cottage for the week.  Then imagine that you don’t have to do any cooking or cleaning and you are totally relaxed and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what your trip will be like.
The best we can do is to provide you with a packing list. Follow our list and you’ll be warm, dry, and comfortable no matter the weather. We generally sail rain or shine, but we will stay in port rather than endure rough seas. Please understand that our policy is as follows: in the unlikely event that your trip is delayed or shortened due to prolonged severe weather we do not issue refunds for time spent in port. We’ll still be feasting, singing, and laughing together rain or shine!

Mother’s Day Special!

Come play outside with us!

In honor of all of all the times our moms said, “Go outside and play!”, we offer you this Mother’s Day weekend special so that you can do just that – go outside and play – with us!

Book on either the June 8 to 11th or July 2 to 7th trip and receive 25% off, plus a bouquet of flowers from Annie’s garden to great you when you arrive. 

Also – to all you knitters out there – our knitting trips are so successful, we’ve added another with the fantastic Mim Bird, August 24 to 27.  Maybe come with your mom?  A friend who is a mom?  Spouses are welcome too – even if they aren’t mom’s.

Come breathe the fresh Maine air! We’ll love to have you.  

**Offer expires Monday, May 14, 2018 

F.A.Q.’s – Do We Get to Help Sail the Riggin?

Questions and the zest for learning – we love it.  Now, if you’ve sailed with us before, you might already know the answer to some of these questions, but maybe not all.  Over the next several e-newsletters, we’ll be sharing some of our most frequently asked questions. See if you know the full story…
“Do we get to help sail the boat?”
Well, we sure do hope so, but you need to come sailing first!  You can do as much or as little as you like.  Of course we encourage everyone to be a part of the team that gets us going in the morning, sails the boat during the day, and helps us anchor at night. The galley also needs plenty of help and we nudge everyone to do their share at the dish basin. You can even take a turn at the wheel if you like or have Capt. Jon teach you to navigate. Learning is fun and as are all the aspects of running the Riggin.   We hope you’ll be a part of our summer.


Sailing the Riggin!

One Boat Back in the Water, One to Go! 

Signs of spring are happening, and by that we mean it’s haulout time, where for a few days the Riggin is pulled out of the water which allows access to the whole hull.  This is the time to inspect the hull; wash and paint the bottom; and change the zincs.  Routine maintenance is also coupled with tending to anything that needs mending or replacing under the water line while we have access to these spots.  The shipyard can be a satisfying time because it really starts to feel as if we truly will be sailing soon.  It’s also a time when stories are made – like the year we shoveled snow off the rail way before hauling in mid-April (and that wasn’t this year!).  And doing projects late into the night by the light of the truck headlights to get off the railway as quickly as possible.  
Riggin haul out
The Riggin hauled out on the rail way at North End Shipyard
The Riggin is now back in the water – bottom painted and inspected, hull sanded and partially painted, and a couple of little things taken care of under the water.  Now she waits for a couple of coats of paint and her sails to go on so that she can once again sail Penobscot Bay with all of us. 
The Timberwind, our other vessel, is in Belfast not Rockland.  She came out of the water yesterday in a completely different way.  Front Street Shipyard, instead of a railway, uses a large travel lift which picks her up out of the water and transfers her to the yard where she rests with a number of other large vessels.  She is supported “on the hard” with jack stands placed strategically all around her hull.  You’ll see from the photo that the foremast is un-stepped.  We’ll work on the top part of the foremast, an area tough to get to while it’s in place, replace the servings around the shrouds and be ready for the mast to be stepped right after the boat goes back into the water later this week.
Timberwind haul out
The Timberwind hauled out at Front Street Shipyard with a travel lift
When both are back in the water, we’ll be that much closer to sailing with you all!