August 24, 2013
Windjammer of the Month Mary Day!

courtesy: Mary Day   

Captain Barry King of the schooner Mary Day hails from Marblehead, Massachusetts on the North Shore of Boston where his father ran boats, his brother ran boats, and he, himself, at ten years old, found himself at the helm of his very own small boat. And leisure time in the King house? Think boats. Throughout his childhood, family vacations meant sailing vacations. He says, “Clearly, it’s something in the genes.” At nineteen, Captain Barry took his first professional job on a yacht and then he began working as a wilderness guide. These two career tracks – sailing and wilderness education – found a happy alliance in the windjammer business.

Twenty-one years ago, at the age of 29, Barry found himself happily married to Captain Jen, also a wilderness educator, and the couple was looking for their next adventure. That’s when the two began their love affair with the schooner Mary Day. Initially working as a relief captain, Barry and Jen slowly took over the business from the previous Captain and they haven’t looked back.

credit: Fred LeBlanc
Mary Day catches a fall breeze along the Eggemoggin Reach.

2013 marks their 15th summer as owner/operators. Captain Barry says “Both Jen and I have backgrounds in experiential education – it was a no-brainer for us. We thought, here’s a way that we can follow our passion for teaching, natural history, folk music, sailing and the Maine coast. You roll all that up into one and you get a windjammer. I get to combine all this, in this place that is really home to me. I feel really blessed!”

What does Captain Barry love most about windjamming? That’s easy: it’s the guests. “That’s what it is for me. Really, it’s just a boat but when you start putting guests on board and you put the crew in there, she comes to life. Mary Day is involved in a fleet of vessels that do something you can’t do anywhere else in the world.

credit: Captain Jen Martin

“We have so many guests that keep returning every year. We build relationships with our guests and with the environment. We do all our themed cruises around natural history and photography – to me it’s all about relationships and that’s what I enjoy most.

courtesy: Mary Day
The King's lab, Colby, enjoys a ride in the yawlboat with Captain Barry.

“I see seals and eagles and whales and it never gets old. Windjamming is remarkable this way. For example, I’ve seen two eagles hunt together. They work an island – each one comes in from a side and they go over and eat the chicks. To them, they’re like canapés. That’s amazingly cool to see.”

In the off season, Captain Barry works as an EMT and a fireman. During the winter, he and Jen spend as much time as possible skiing with their two children.

Visit our website to learn more about the Schooner Mary Day.

Published by Maine Windjammer Association
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