The Maine Windjammer Association
Maine Windjammer Association Newsletter
January 2014
 / VOLUME 13 / ISSUE 1  
New Owners at the Helm of Angelique!

credit: Marjorie Gallant
Captain Dennis Gallant and Candace Kuchinski are the proud new owners of Ketch Angelique.


Owning a windjammer is more like owning an historic home than owning a business. It’s yours to appreciate, maintain and cherish for a certain period of time, and then it passes on to the next generation. We recently spent an afternoon with Captain Dennis Gallant to learn more about his experience of taking the helm aboard Angelique.


Maine Windjammer Association: You grew up in the mountains – how did you become a sailor?


Captain Dennis Gallant: I did grow up in the mountains. I’m from Bethel, Maine, and ran the snowboarding program at Gould Academy (a well-known ski and snowboarding boarding school). It was when I went to college that I discovered – and fell in love with – the coast. My wife, Candace also caught the sailing bug while in college. She’s been running small businesses on and off for years and so it’s great that we get to combine everything we love into one career and lifestyle.


MWA: How did you start windjamming?

credit: Brittany Orion Peters
Former mate aboard Angelique for ten years, Dennis Gallant is looking forward to his first cruise as Captain/Owner on Memorial Day Weekend.

CDG: I got started in windjamming when I met Captain John Nugent through a friend back in 1993. He offered me a job on his day sailer Olad. I was working in theater at the time and had summers off, but by the end of the first season I knew I was never going back. I first crewed on Angelique in 1995, filling in for a vacationing friend of mine on a week-long trip. It gave me a good “in” with Captain Mike McHenry and, that winter while I was in Antigua, I ran into Angelique’s mate. He said he was not going back the following summer…I spent ten years as mate over the next twelve years, taking two off to drive Olad. During those two years, a woman named Jenny Tobin filled in for me. Now she’s married to Captain Garth, (of the Lewis R French) but that is another story for another time!

MWA: In your estimation, what’s the best part of windjamming?

CDG: For me, the best part of windjamming is waking up in the morning knowing I’m in the best place on earth, doing what I love.

MWA: What do you notice about the experience of windjamming from a guest’s perspective?

CDG: I notice as the week goes on, guests start to relax and stop wondering what to do next because they are already doing it. That’s the whole point of windjamming. It is fantastic to see a group of complete strangers come together and share this amazing experience.

MWA: What, if any, changes do you plan to make this season?

CDG: We don’t plan on changing anything anytime soon. I learned what I know about running a windjammer from Captain Mike – I was his mate for ten years and I want to run the same great trips he ran for the past 27 years.

MWA: Tell us about the cuisine aboard Angelique.

CDG: We serve upscale comfort food with sweet indulgences. We use as much local produce and fresh ingredients as we can source. It’s delicious!

MWA: What sets the Angelique apart?

credit: Bert Ehling
Angelique stands out not only because of her striking, dark sails, but she is also the only ketch-rigged windjammer in the fleet, modeled after a British Brixham trawler of the 1890s.

CDG: One thing that sets the Angelique apart – and it happens to also be one of the favorite passenger spots – is the deckhouse salon, which is a lounge above deck. The deckhouse is completely protected from the weather, with lots of windows and even a small pot-bellied stove. Our guests love to gather there and enjoy themselves. Of course, you can always pick us out in a crowd by our red sails!

MWA: What do you do in the off-season?

CDG:We are busy getting the spring mailing ready, taking reservations, lining up crew and prepping for fit out. Right now, it’s early January and I went surfing this morning for three hours. Candace is at Roller Derby right now.... It’s a great life!

Check out the Angelique’s new 2014 sailing schedule or take a look at the entire MWA fleet.

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