The Maine Windjammer Association
Maine Windjammer Association Newsletter
March 2015
 / VOLUME 14 / ISSUE 3  
Off-Season Winter Projects

During the sailing season, the Maine Windjammer Association captains wake up most days on board an historic vessel, drink freshly brewed coffee and muffins baked in an old-fashioned wood stove, then decide where wind and tide might take them and their guests for the day. During the day, they’ll anchor in a quiet harbor, tell stories, maybe sing songs and then snuggle into their bunks under a blanket of stars. Off season, though, there’s no telling what the captains are up to. This month, we’re catching up with Captain Brenda of the Isaac H. Evans and Captains Doug and Linda Lee of the Heritage to see what assortment of activities fill their off-season days.

credit: Captain Brenda Thomas

Kai and Kamea’s wish for snow came true, providing endless hours of outdoor play, art projects and shoveling.

Anyone who’s ever sailed with Captain Brenda knows that kids 6 and up are always welcome. It’s no surprise that she enjoys fun food activities with her own kids during the off season—maybe some of these treats will make an appearance during the sailing season, too!


For Captain Brenda, mother of two young kids, her days are predictably kid-focused. Between tubing with the kids at the local mountain or just sledding in the back yard, Captain Brenda’s days are filled with kid-friendly activities. They’ve painted flowers on the snow banks, visited the ice castle in New Hampshire, and dug ice caves in the piles of snow in their yard. “The only kid-free recreation I have had time for is ice hockey and shoveling,” says Brenda.

credit: Captain Brenda Thomas  
In her spare time, Captain Brenda found time to enter this photograph in the Maine Photography Show where it will be on exhibit in Boothbay Harbor beginning in April. Congratulations Brenda!  


With all that activity, Captain Brenda still found time to enter the 10th Annual Maine Photography Show - a juried show that opens in Boothbay Harbor in April - and received word that the jurors chose one of her photos is to be in the show. She says, “It's an image I created during the season - a sunset on the water shot. Last year 342 photographers entered a total of 933 photos and the show is, in terms of participation, one of the largest in the state. They choose only 100 photos each year to be in the show. An interesting connection is that the juror this year was Tillman Crane. When I was fresh out of high school in the summer of 1987 (I was 17), I took a photography class at the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport. It was their first-ever offering of a class called "Young Photographers.” We called ourselves ‘Yo-Phos.’ Well, Tillman was the assistant instructor for the class. And here we are 28 years later and he has chosen one of my images to be in the show.” Congratulations Brenda!


Collecting cars is just one of the Lees’ many off-season interests.

The Captains of the Heritage are no less busy. Always on the lookout to improve their collections, the Lees are frequently found at flea markets and auctions. Their car collection just hit one dozen: ten Excaliburs, one Zimmer and one 1928 Dodge.

Baby, aka Killer the Coon Cat, enjoys a warm winter at home with Captains Doug and Linda Lee.


For several months, the Lees cut, split and stacked 45 cords of wood that will be used aboard the Heritage this season, as well as in their home and at the Shipyard.

Of course, winter in Maine means taking care of the house in the cold, snow with lots of shoveling and tending the fires.

Captain Linda writes, “We seem to be very busy with our ‘hobbies.’ One of our cars is being restored and we’re doing smaller projects on several of them. Our Maritime History collection of photographs needs lots of attention - we're a few years behind on getting them sorted out and properly archived. We often help out with other people's books and with museum identification requests.”

With the help of his crew, Captain Doug Lee replaced some frames and refastened the Heritage’s entire rowboat, Lois Lane.

For exercise, the Lees could be found stacking firewood and cross country skiing. The Great Windship Heritage will enjoy her 32nd birthday on April 16th, 2015. “We are thinking about a new yawl boat engine to have as a spare. We completely rebuilt one of our small (almost 18' long) row boats this fall with the help of the crew. Lois Lane was completely refastened and refinished - ready for next season.”

And while the winter has been beautiful and thoroughly enjoyed, the Lees are clear about next season: “We're looking forward to a great sailing season with lots of happy guests who will be able to enjoy all the special components of every trip. We can't tell you how much we enjoy sailing on the coast each summer.”

For more information about sailing this season, visit our website.

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