The Maine Windjammer Association
Maine Windjammer Association Newsletter
March 2018
 / VOLUME 18 / ISSUE 3
Going the Extra Mile

credit: Angela Nache
Victory Chimes Capt. Kip Files sums it up nicely…when it comes to running a windjammer, “We are in the people business!”


While the history of each vessel, Maine’s spectacular scenery and the scrumptious food all combine to make Maine Windjamming an incredible vacation, it’s the captain and crew’s focus on people that brings guests back again and again.

Captain John of American Eagle agrees saying, “Whether it’s accommodating dietary restrictions (we’ve heard them all), making our own ginger ale, letting vegetarian guests’ lobsters go (before cooking them and after taking off their rubber bands!), or tailoring evening stories to the interests aboard that trip, we are always making sure that every trip is the best trip.”

That’s the same sentiment that drives Captain Garth of the Lewis R. French. He says, “My crew and I put in great effort to make sure each guest receives what they want out of their vacation. Some guests want to learn the ropes, tie knots, steer, navigate or furl sails, and we make sure they get those experiences. Some want to sit quietly, watch the islands go by and listen to the water, and we make sure they can enjoy that. So we listen, and because we only take 21 guests we are able to get to know them and make sure they are experiencing what they hoped for. And, of course, lobster. Lots and lots of lobster and other delicious food!”

 

credit: Patricia Campbell
Providing the time and space for guests to "do their thing” is all part of the windjammer plan! Here, an Angelique guest gets some quiet time on shore to write in his journal.

 

By making sure that guests are cared for and well fed, Captains guarantee an exceptional experience again and again. Every guest is special. Captain Dennis of Angelique says, “We make sure we get to know everyone. That’s something you can never get on a cruise line.”

 

credit: Captain Barry King
For many windjammer guests, the experience of getting off the beaten path and away from all the hubbub is the single most important part of their vacation. Favoring the most remote anchorages, Mary Day Captain Barry King likes to take his guests to places they would otherwise never have an opportunity to visit, providing those once-in-a-lifetime memories that his guests crave.

 

For Captain Barry, his goal is to get off the beaten path and show his Mary Day guests places they could never experience aboard a small cruise ship or even some cruising yachts. He favors more remote anchorages and sometimes he even intentionally goes where there isn't a cell phone signal. With modern technology that can track your every movement, Captain Barry is out to prove that “you can still hide a big schooner along the Maine coast even in the busiest part of the season.”

 

credit: Fred LeBlanc
Special diets? No problem! Capt. Linda Lee of the Schooner Heritage says, “We have dietary restrictions and special diets on nearly every trip and take them in stride, often serving up three variations of the same meal.”

 

Of course getting to know people means understanding and meeting a whole host of special requests. Captain Linda Lee of Heritage says, “Sometimes guests mail luggage, musical instruments, or wine ahead of time and it’s waiting in their cabin when they arrive. Repeat guests just check themselves in very early on boarding day and start visiting with their friends who are sailing on the same trip. We always get extra pillows, special blankets (if they’re allergic to wool), or a stool or ladder to help guests feel right at home in their cabin. Each cabin has a sink with cold AND hot running water; 110 v. power outlets are in every cabin for sleep apnea machines as well as recharging cameras, cell phones and tablets. There is always the guest whose trip would not be complete without some time at the wheel and we make sure that they can fulfill that wish. Also, we’re always teaching – about the sails, charts, schooner and rowing, as well as the islands, wildlife and maritime history. We also have many guests interested in what’s cooking in the galley and there are often spontaneous informal lessons on bread-making and the various dishes we’re making. Requested recipes are generously shared.”

Captains are so accustomed to going the extra mile to meet their guests’ needs that guests feel right at home as they experience the best sailing days of their lives. For more information about the historic vessels belonging to the Maine Windjammer Association, visit www.sailmainecoast.com.


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