I laid in the cozy berth as occasional rain drops fell squarely on the deck prism above my head and the 95-foot Schooner Heritage danced on her anchor. Topside the crew began the cadence-driven routine of washing down the decks with seawater as the breakfast bell rang. Smoke from the 800-pound wood stove lightly wafted from the Charlie Noble as I mustered for chow. Though it felt as if I had gone back more than 100 years in time, it was just another morning on a Maine Windjammer.
Gathered around the Schooner Heritage were eight other schooners, some more than 100 years old. The fleet had gathered and anchored the night before in preparation for the 42nd installment of the Great Schooner Race, an annual schooner jamboree that reunites members of the Maine Windjammer Association.
These graceful ships spend much of the summer hosting guests on three- to six-day cruises all around the gorgeous Maine Coast. Today they gathered to hoist their sails and blow off a bit of steam in a friendly race to Rockland. This video from News Center Maine has more on the race.
As luck would have it, our schooner took line honors for the first time since 2003, finishing first ahead of the entire fleet. The rest of the fleet finished as follows:
The Cutty Sark Award for first place overall: Schooner Heritage, Captained by Doug & Linda Lee, Rockland, Maine
First Place: Schooner Stephen Tabor, Captain: Noah Barnes, Homeport: Rockland, Maine
Second Place: Schooner Grace Bailey, Captain: Christopher Trandell, Owner: Ray Williamson, Homeport: Camden, Maine
Third Place: Schooner Lewis R. French, Captain Garth Wells, Homeport: Camden, Maine
First Place: Schooner Heritage, Captains: Doug & Linda Lee, Homeport: Rockland, Maine
Second Place: Schooner J&E Riggin, Captain: Jon Finger & Annie Mahle, Homeport: Rockland, Maine
Third Place: Windjammer Angelique, Captain: Dennis Gallant, Homeport: Camden, Maine
First Place: Schooner American Eagle, Captain: John Foss, Homeport: Rockland, Maine
Second Place: Schooner Mary Day , Captain: Barry King, Homeport: Camden Maine
Third Place: Schooner Ladona, Captain: J.R. Braugh, Homeport: Rockland, Maine