Article from MAINE WINDJAMMER ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER ()
February 26, 2015
Keeping Busy in the Off-Season

Between the care of the vessels, the care of their guests and the continual attention to their businesses, windjammer captains have no time for idle time when they’re sailing. You might think they’d slow down in the winter, but that’s just not the case. For Captain Dennis Gallant of the Angelique and Captain Kip Files of the Victory Chimes, winter is a time to build, write, ski and generally get things done!

credit: Captain Dennis Gallant
“Sid” and “Susie” will be joining Angelique’s fleet of small boats this season, much to the delight of guests who will get a chance to try them out and explore new anchorages at the end of each day. An avid surfer and boatbuilder, Captain Dennis built these two paddle boards in his shop over the winter.

When the snow started falling, Captain Dennis decided that his guests might enjoy stand-up paddle boarding around the quiet protected harbors in which they find themselves at night. “It’s a great way to explore a harbor. The thing is, you’ve got to know, you’re going to get wet. I’ve been a surfer for years and the first thing I did was fall in.”

Every night the windjammers anchor off a quaint village or uninhabited island. What better way to really see the sights than by paddling along the coast? But as a long-time surfer who had spent years building his own hollow wooden surfboards, there was no way Captain Dennis was going to just go out and buy one. “I wanted to have a thing of beauty on board Angelique and couldn’t bear to have something made out of fiberglass sitting on deck.”

The two paddleboards he is building are made from all local woods that arrived in Captain Dennis’ workshop as boards with the bark still on them. After hours spent planing and sanding, Dennis has created an interlocking wooden structure that will provide hours of fun for his summer guests. “We’ve got guests who are very active – who love to go ashore and explore and who love to row around the harbor in our smaller boats. This is one more way for them to experience and enjoy Maine’s coast.”

courtesy: Mystic Seaport
Kip Files is taking some time this winter to work on a book about the Charles W. Morgan and his experience last year as captain of the 18th century whaling ship during her 38th voyage.

While Captain Dennis has been spending his time sanding and planing, Captain Kip of the Victory Chimes has been working on a book called The Charles W. Morgan: A Picture History of an American Icon. It’s about the Charles W. Morgan, the last of a wooden American whaling fleet that once numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat and an icon of the nation’s maritime heritage. The ship sailed on her historic 38th Voyage during the summer of 2014 with Captain Kip at the helm. The 144-page book is a photographic account of the story of the American whale fishery, the Morgan’s career as an active whaleship, as a museum exhibit, and her recent restoration and historic 38th Voyage.

When he's not in Rockland working on schooner projects, Captain Files can be found carving up the powder at Sugarloaf Mountain.

When he’s not attending book signings, Captain Kip can be found at Sugarloaf, one of Maine’s premier ski resorts where he appears as a regular correspondent for WSKI TV. At last count he was on Day 61 of skiing this season and says there’s been great skiing this year.

What’s clear is that the 2015 record snows haven’t slowed down these captains one bit.

 

For more information about Maine Windjammer Association vessels, click here.


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