August 28, 2017

Christened in 1922 as a private yacht, Ladona was refurbished in 2015-16. Captain J. R. is the first to take the helm since her complete restoration. We caught up with him this season to ask a few questionsÖ


credit: Courtesy Schooner Ladona
While Captain J. R. has been sailing the Maine coast for years, this season marks his 2nd year at the helm of Schooner Ladona.


Maine Windjammer Association: Whatís your favorite season in Maine?

Captain J. R.: Fall, definitely. Because at the end of a nice sailing day, everyone gathers below decks by the wood stove.  It really brings people together sometimes. The cook stove is the heart of the windjammer.


M.W.A.: Whatís your favorite lighthouse?

J.R.: Heron Neck Light way down on Greenís Island which is the southern end of Hurricane Sound off Vinalhaven. Thereís a tall cliff that faces southwest and looks out to sea, and when youíre sailing under it in the late afternoon, right when the ocean is settling down at end of day, you can see the lighthouse in sunset which is spectacular. Some lighthouses look out into bay, this one looks out into ocean. Itís really majestic.


credit: Courtesy Schooner Ladona
Lobster bakes are a favorite part of every cruise. Judging by these happy guests, itís easy to understand why.


M.W.A.: Every cruise comes with a lobster bake. Tell us about it.

J.R.: Lobsters are delicious. Iíve been creating beachside lobster bakes for over 20 years and I still love it. The other thing we offer is flank steak thatís been marinating all day, then cooked medium rare, sliced against grain on a beautiful sandy beach.  Thatís for the guests who prefer turf over surf. Nothing better than creating this magical feast for a small group at the end of a fabulous day sailing.


credit: Courtesy Schooner Ladona
The 92-foot Ladona is a comfortable, fast schooner, as evidenced by Capt. J. R.ís win at this yearís Great Schooner Race in the Leeward Class division.


MWA: WoodenBoat is the seasonís last gathering of the fleet. Are you heading there?

J.R.: Absolutely! Wouldnít miss it! WoodenBoat is the last rendezvous with the fleet for the season.  Itís a chance to tour WoodenBoat Magazine and the boat building school.  Thereís music, refreshments and Eggemoggin Reach!


For more information about the Ladona and other historic vessels belonging to the Maine Windjammer Association, visit


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