LeBlanc 08
 photo courtesy of Fred LeBlanc
Schooner American Eagle Newsletter
February 2010
In This Issue
Cruise News
Our Small Boats
Ralph's Food Shot
Winter Projects
Tasteless Humor
Latest Postcard
Good-by Lobster
 by Holman Day
We've gazed with resignation on the passing of the auk,
Nor care a continental for the legendary rok;
And the dodo and the bison and the ornith-o-rhyn-chus
May go and yet their passing brings no shade of woe to us.
We entertain no sorrow that the megatheriun
Forever and forever is departed, dead and dumb;
But a woe that hovers o'er us brings a keen and bitter pain
As we weep to see the lobster vanish off the coast of Maine.
Oh, dear crustacean dainty of the dodge-holes of the sea,
I tune my lute in minor in a threnody for thee.
You've been the nation's martyr and 'twas wrong to treat you so,
And you may not think we love you; yet we hate to see you go.
We've given you the blazes and hot-potted you, and yet
We've loved you better martyred than when living, now you bet.
You have no ears to listen, so, alas, we can't explain
The sorrow that you bring us as you leave the coast of Maine.
Do you fail to mark our feeling as we bitterly deplore
The passing of the hero of the dinner at the shore?
Ah, what's the use of living if you also can't survive
Until you die to furnish us the joy of one "broiled live"?
And what can e'er supplant you as a cold dish on the side?
Or what assuage our longings when to salads you're denied?
Or what can furnish thunder to the legislative brain
When ruthless Fate has swept you from the rocky coast of Maine?
I see, and sigh in seeing, in some distant, future age
Your varnished shell reposing under glass upon a stage,
The while some pundit lectures on the curios of the past,
And dainty ladies shudder as they gaze on you aghast.
And all the folks that listen will wonder vaguely at
The fact that once lived heathen who could eat a Thing like that.
Ah, that's the fate you're facing- but laments are all in vain
-Tell the dodo that you saw us when you lived down here in Maine.
 (not to worry, there will be plenty of lobsters next summer)



five loons in the cove this week

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As you may have guessed, almost all the pictures in these newsletters are your contributions.  Thank you for each and every one.  We don't see much of each other this time of year so here's a warning of a sort:  I'm volunteering in the Maine Tourism Pavilion (it's huge) at this year's New York Times Travel Show.  I'll be there at the Javits Center Saturday afternoon February 27th and all day Sunday the 28th.  Stop by if you're in town.  There's also a drawing after the show for a schooner cruise as well.
Cruise News
The featured trip this issue is our six day Lighthouse Cruise boarding July 11th.  Between the Lighthouse Museum and the buoy tender Abbie Burgess in Rockland, there are plenty of lighthouse connections before we even sail Monday morning. 
Every lighthouse along our coast has stories, and I've learned some of them in the last forty years:  Did you know that Pond Island Light faces Jordan's delight, which is the barren island were they used to keep the ram?  The sheep on Pond Island knew. 
Do you recognize this lighthouse, guaranteed to not be seen on our cruise?  

Cape Horn Light
 photo courtesy of Tom Geisler & Elfi Berkowitz
It's Cape Horn Light, shot a month or so ago by two of our peripatetic shipmates. 
We top off this special adventure with a group sail by the Breakwater Light at Rockland followed by an evening raft up.  We'll try to get the price per lighthouse down to $50 or less. 
$975 per person, including admission to the Lighthouse Museum and an Alan Claude lighthouse calendar.
Our Small Boats
 Dinnie's Small Boat Picture
 photo courtesy of Dinnie Aldridge           All Sails Set! 
The three ship's boats on the American Eagle represent good examples of what one got about in a century ago in these waters.  The seine boat I modeled after the net boats the schooner used while mackerel fishing in the 1930's and 40's. She was built in our old shop in 1985 while the schooner was undergoing her big restoration.
Seine Boat 
Rowing ashore to explore an island or village is a terrific group endeavor: light exercise and a lot of fun.   Twenty four seasons and we haven't broken an oar yet!

skip brown 18 photo courtesy of Skip Brown

Roscoe is a bit more of a story:  The original boat came off a dumpster in Northeast Harbor and was built on Mt. Desert around 1900.  I built several of them in the old shop; this one my wife Kathy painted dark red and named after her grandfather. 
Although it has a sailing rig, it makes a better rowboat for one person in a quiet harbor.
photo Garrett Lovell Rudy Haase 
The senior in the side boat fleet at 100 years plus is Cappy, North Haven dinghy #27 of the oldest sailboat class in the United States.

Skip Brown 29
photo Skip Brown

Copied after a summer resident's schooner's side boat in the 1880's the boats of this class are still raced on North Haven Island.  When the club went to fiberglass, a number of the wooden ones came to the mainland in Penobscot Bay, where Erland "Cappy" Quinn rebuilt this one.
 Skip Brown 22
photo Skip Brown
Twenty years later we've rebuilt her again and take her sailing to harbors around the Gulf of Maine.

Ralph's Food Shot
 courtesy of Ralph Smith

Wouldn't it be great if we had breakfast like this all year round?  Real maple syrup, real butter, fresh fruit.  It's a signature first morning breakfast on the American Eagle.

Winter Projects...the tug CADET 
Admittedly keeping ahead of the needs of the schooner only takes up about half of my waking hours in the winter.  The rest:  snow plowing, and an ongoing project prompted by Kathy's comment when I showed her pictures of a 40 foot boat in the bushes in East Boothbay, Maine, "If you fixed her up, I'd go cruising with you."   
Cadet in the Bushes in East Boothbay 

arriving at the ShipyardCadet Arrival at Shipyard 

That was nearly nine years ago, and it's still not done.

Cadet in progress Feb 16 2010

The Cadet was built for the Army Corps of Engineers in Kennebunkport in 1935; we have two of the three original sheets of blueprints dated 1928.  After government service in Boston harbor, the little tug was sold to a series of marine contractors in Portland.  One fellow used her to build the Cousins Island bridge.  He did such a good job they named the bridge after him,  the "Ellis Snodgrass Bridge".  Honestly!
In the course of the past winters the stem and stern have been reconstructed, new frames steamed in, all replanked with oak, new deck framing, deck, and rails, cabins, and machinery. 
Cadet Feb 16 2010
Between what was left and what was supposed to be there from the plans we have restored her to better than new condition.
Within another year we'll have to find winter work for her afloat.
Tasteless Humor
 Skip Brown's Thunder Hole
 You may recognize this sign from the rocky shore of Acadia National Park.  Wonder if the Sign Department noticed?
Latest Postcard from the edge...of the Americas
This is a postcard of the Chilean training vessel Esmerelda. Modeled after Spain's four masted topsail schooner Juan Sebastian de Elcano built in 1927, the Esmerelda is rigged as a barkentine. Note the staysails between fore and main masts.  She went into service in 1954.

That's more than enough for this month. Until March,
 John and the crew
Captain John Foss, Schooner American Eagle

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Schooner American Eagle
P O Box 482 
Rockland, ME  04841
(800) 648-4544