December Sunrise 

Schooner American Eagle Newsletter
December 2010
In This Issue
Cruise News
Crews News
Ralph's Food Shot
Why do we go windjamming?

To provide a bit of adventure and a lot of fun.

To preserve perishable skills

To pass along what little we have learned of what our sailing predecessors forgot

To share the art and fabric of working sail in our small but beautiful corner of the oceans

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No sailing pictures this issue. I can only suspend your disbelief so far. Instead here's the view out the shop window on a December morning.  The tree is most of the way up the mainmast and the bowsprit, well, it's ashore waiting to be replaced.





Dinner Guests


While we're on the scene outside the window this time of year, this is the sight that greeted me outside our house window on Thanksgiving Day.   Really - there were eleven turkeys at the edge of the woods at home on Turkey Day and three on the table.



Cruise News:  Capture the photos that tell the story
boarding June 5th      $670 per person
Greg Gettens Adventure Photographer

photo by Patsy Gettens  

Greg Gettens is an avid adventure photographer. He has photographed off small cruise ships from Alaska to Antarctica and from the Schooner American Eagle over twenty times. Greg feels that sailing aboard the American Eagle presents a photo rich environment for photographers. The workshop will start with examples of his work, both digital and printed to give you ideas for your photography. Informal lecture and demonstrations will be used to cover the A B Cs of Adventure Photography, the use of cell phone, point and shoot and the DSLR cameras as well as working with tripods. Weather protection and care of camera gear along with what he carries in his camera bag will be presented. Techniques for sunrise, sunset, backlighting, and the use of lantern light in image capture will be explored. Greg will illustrate his workflow from capture to print and devices for photo viewing and storage in the field. Bring your camera and spirit of adventure to photograph and tell your story of a cruise aboard the Schooner American Eagle.


Capt. Doug used the shipyard crane to take out the American Eagle's bowsprit in October.  Upon inspection, there turned out to be two soft spots in it which, after 25 seasons, wasn't unusual.  Time to replace it! 

After a bit of looking around, our friend and logger, Peter Green, came up with a replacement: a big white pine growing in sight of Penobscot Bay in Lincolnville.  (On a historical note, Peter Green  served as engineer bringing the American Eagle up from Gloucester in 1984 for restoration and found most of the lumber for our rebuild 1984-86.) For a new bowsprit, we were looking for a stick as clear of large knots and defects as possible.  The first cut from the pine is 38 feet long. We'll see how it transitions from log to spar over the winter.

This one John

"This one, John?"

Here's the big white pine, with Jake on the left, Peter on the right, and the skidder on the far right.

Need a sharp chainsaw

The back side has been notched and Peter's making the final cut. There are orange plastic wedges set in the cut to keep the saw from binding. I am taking pictures at a safe distance, hoping to sail for many more years.


The tree in mid-fall.

Leaving the Woods

Peter hauls the logs out with his skidder. The long log is nearly three feet in diameter at this end and two feet across at the small end. It
should be at the sawmill by New Year's.
Crews News
     It's not all salt spray and sunburns.  This is the time of year we cut, split, and stack firewood.  The pile before you will keep the galley stove going in 2012 and 2013.  We'll update you with an impressive stack when we're done.

Firewood Delivered

That's our paint and woodshed behind the pile.

Firewood Delivered
This maple, oak and birch is destined for that schooner in the distance.

Ralph's Food Shot 

  Holiday Pumpkin Pie

photo courtesy of Ralph Smith 


Let's bypass the seasonal turkey and go right to dessert: pumpkin pie from the galley.  Can't wait. 



I couldn't find the one Bridget sent from Istanbul (note the turkey theme), so here's a link to our animal friends as overvoiced by some very clever people. Click on the screen. Monty Python has competition!

British Animals
Hope to see you aboard when the firewood is stacked and the new bowsprit is in place,
Christmas Kitty
 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