Article from Maine Windjammer Association August 2018 Newsletter ()
May 1, 2013
Windjammer of the Month: Timberwind!

photo: Fred LeBlanc

Schooner Timberwind sets sail for a great day along Maine’s pristine coast.


In the fall of 1998, Bob Tassi brought his family to the coast of Maine on vacation. As a recording Engineer/Producer for Warner Bros Records in Nashville, two of his projects had just won Grammys and he was riding the wave of a current number one hit. But after one week aboard a windjammer, everything changed.

  photo: Courtesy Schooner Timberwind
   Captain Bob welcomes musicians aboard and many evenings are spent with the soft strains of guitars or concertinas playing.
Though Bob had been a life-long sailor, born into a family tradition of commercial fishing in San Francisco and Eureka, California, like most new passengers he had no idea what to expect. “It reached out and grabbed me in a way I still can’t explain.” Drawn in by the history of these vessels – most of them the last of their kind – and the obvious commitment by their owners to maintain them at such a high level, he experienced what he describes as a “true epiphany.”

At age 44, Bob returned to the Maine coast and joined the crew of the Stephen Taber in the spring of 1999 and has never looked back, serving first as deckhand, mate, and finally Captain. When the opportunity arose to purchase the Schooner Timberwind, he leapt at the chance. “The notion that you could share in this historic lifestyle while raising a young family, and offering such an incredible service to vacationers, was just too compelling for me to pass up.”

Challenged by the constant learning curve and responsibility of owning, operating and maintaining a schooner, Bob states empathically, “I never stop being impressed by the level of professionalism which defines the Captains of the Maine Windjammer fleet. These vessels are some of the last best vestiges of a bygone American independence, and it’s gratifying that we all work together so they can continue to flourish.”

Like all sailors, Captain Bob adores his vessel, and can see himself at the helm of no other, “I love the way she sails, she doesn’t try to change me, and she never lets me down.”

When asked what he likes most about offering Windjammer vacations, “It’s the opportunity to provide an experience that can reach into the hearts and souls of our passengers as we go from being strangers one day to life-long friends the next.”

photo: Courtesy Schooner Timberwind
The Timberwind is one of the smaller boats in the fleet carrying only 20 passengers.

Bob and the Timberwind are proud members of the Maine Windjammer Association, and as he puts it, “The honor to be a part of this fraternity of master mariners and shipwrights has been, and always will be mine.”

For more information about Schooner Timberwind or the Maine Windjammer Association, please visit our website.

Published by Maine Windjammer Association
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