Article from Maine Windjammer Association August 2018 Newsletter ()
June 29, 2016
Messing About in Small Boats

credit: Fred LeBlanc
With the Schooner Isaac H. Evans at anchor in the background, paddleboarders enjoy flat-calm conditions.

 

From larger yawlboats tasked with ferrying people to shore for afternoon explorations of uninhabited islands and quaint New England villages that dot Maines coast to stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) that offer guests a chance to quietly explore a protected cove or harbor, these little boats are the awesome after-party of a windjamming cruise.

When a Maine Windjammer Association vessel leaves its home port, not only is the gorgeous sailing ship carrying a dedicated crew, a captain who is an expert mariner and a couple dozen excited guests, shes also festooned with a few smaller boats that are an essential part of the windjamming experience.

 

credit: Meg Maiden
Some of the windjammers carry kayaks for guests to enjoy at the end of the day. For the more serious paddler, the Schooner Lewis R. French offers two special kayaking cruises that include equipment, instruction and a guided tour through the islands off Stonington.

 

Many of the small boats have sentimental value for the captains like New Meadows, a 100-year-old rowboat given to Captain Doug Lee of the Heritage when he was a boy of 12. Its been completely rebuilt, of course. Its tippy, more canoe like, and really a one-person boat. Guests love to go out with her early in the morning.

Stephen Taber carries a 14-foot wherry that Captain Noah built seven years ago. Guests are permitted to sail and row her at the end of a day. Its a delight to be able to drop anchor and take guests for a sail. You can take these smaller boats out to the ledge where seals are hanging out. Its just a closer up experience.

 

credit: Schooner Mary Day
Rosey, the Schooner Mary Days 1930s vintage Herreshoff livery tender provides guests with lots of opportunity to try out their rowing skills.

 

A number of the captains have started carrying stand-up paddleboards as well. Says Captain Noah, You dont have to be an expert paddler or a surfer. Its a great way to explore the harbor. Its really the most minimal boat you can have so its incredibly liberating. Ladona, Mary Day and Angelique also carry stand-up paddleboards.

Captain Dennis of the Angelique who built Sid and Susie - his two wooden paddleboards - says, Last year, guests used the SUPs most days. Id say 3 out of 4 days, those boards were in the water and not one guest fell in! I like to use them early in the morning like 5:30! everything is so quiet and you feel like youre really a part of it.

Captain Brenda of the Isaac H Evans carries two rowboats, one of which has a sail. She also makes kayaks available to her guests. If you love kayaking, its a great way to explore the islands. You can get close without disturbing the wildlife.

While these little boats provide essential service to the fleet, this is also where the captains show off some of their whimsy: with names like Lois Lane, Plain Jane, Roscoe, Cappy, Wally, and Obie, these hard working smaller boats are clearly the playful sidekicks to their majestic counterparts.

For more information about sailing aboard the nine vessels belonging to the Maine Windjammer Association, click here.

 


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