Article from Maine Windjammer Association August 2018 Newsletter ()
February 26, 2017
Big Boats and Boy Scouts –What an Adventure!

credit: Richard Saulnier II
Rick Saulnier, a Boy Scout leader and mechanical engineer from Londonderry, NH, has sailed dozens of times aboard Windjammer Angelique. While he also enjoys sailing his own Catalina 22, he and a buddy make an annual trek to Camden every spring to help with Angelique's fit out.

Scout leader Rick Saulnier has lost count of the number of times he’s sailed aboard Angelique over the last 15 years, but he pegs the number at something like 25-30 trips. We asked him about his experience chartering the vessel with younger passengers.

Maine Windjammer Association: How did this start?

Rick Saulnier:

In the early years, our Boy Scout troop would sail Angelique every Memorial Day Weekend for her shake-down cruise. This is the first cruise of the season. It gives the Captain and crew a chance to make sure everything is working fine and to fix anything before the season is in full swing. One activity we’d do with the scouts would be to divide them into 3 groups to work with a crew member washing the decks, polishing the brass & copper, helping the chef prep for the meals, helping the mess crew wash the dishes and even cleaning the heads. This gave them the “full experience” of what it is like to work as a crew member aboard a windjammer. The scouts really took to it and the crew was always amazing when working with the boys. When it came to raising the sails and sailing the boys would jump right in. There was always plenty to do and see that kept them busy and engaged.

credit: Rick Saulnier
(left) Teamwork in action! (right) With 3 squares a day plus snacks, these Scouts keep the galley crew busy.


MWA: What about the cruise makes it special for the boys?

RS: Experiencing the coast of Maine aboard a windjammer is much more amazing than from land. You’re totally immersed in nature and how the sea is alive with seals, birds, wind and tide and is constantly changing.

Every trip included a day where we’d drop anchor off of an island and row ashore. The scouts could explore the island and get a little hike in while the crew would be preparing a cookout on the beach for us.

We’ve sailed in great weather and not so great, one trip in tee shirts & shorts needing sunscreen, and the next trip in long johns, gloves, hats and down jackets. But we always had a great time! Years later, I’ll run into a former scout who’ll bring up his experience aboard Angelique and mention that it was one of their memorable trips.

MWA: Anything you can share for people who may be considering a charter?

RS: When it comes to my experience of chartering Angelique for our group, the biggest challenge is the logistics of putting the trip together, getting all those interested to sign up in time so that we can book the trip, arranging transportation to Camden, etc. Captain Dennis & Candace have always been great to work with when putting these trips together. They will go out of their way to address any issues or concerns and make the process as smooth as possible.

I’ve always been impressed over the years with the crew. Although they’ve changed over time, the common denominator is that they are hard working, friendly and always helpful. They go out of their way to make sure your experience is nothing short of perfect. They really make you feel welcome from the moment that you step aboard… I don’t know what the captain’s secret is, but they seem to have a knack of putting together a great crew.

credit: Rick Saulnier
Relaxing aboard Angelique.

MWA: Can you name a few of the features that really make chartering a windjammer work for your group?

RS: First would have to be the Captain & crew. They are so accommodating and really go above and beyond to make sure that we have a great trip.

I‘d say second would be the vessel herself. With 100 ft of deck, there’s plenty of room for even a group of 30 to spread out. The deck house, which is unique to Angelique, is a great feature where we can gather to get out of the weather or just to socialize. There are 3 compartments for cabins... Forward, Amidships and Aft. The cabins typically have 2 bunks and each cabin has a sink. In each section, there is a head. There are also 2 showers. So accommodations are great!

The third feature would have to be the food! The Captain takes it very seriously when looking for a chef to feed the passengers and crew. He knows it is a huge part of the overall experience for his passengers and so he works hard to find just the right one. And I have to say, I’ve experienced several chefs over the years aboard Angelique... I’ve never been disappointed! These folks delivered! It is nothing short of a miracle to experience the quality and taste of the meals that come out of such a small galley. Their culinary talents are second to none.

Memorial Day Boy Scout charter.

Sailing aboard Angelique is a true adventure vacation. No matter how many times I’ve gone every trip has been different and unique. It’s so great to truly escape the hectic world we live in and get back in touch with yourself... You can really come back fully relaxed and recharged to face the world.

For more information about sailing or chartering any of the Maine Windjammer Association vessels in 2017, visit the Maine Windjammer Association website.

Published by Maine Windjammer Association
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