Schooner American Eagle Flying Along 

 Eggemoggin Reach
Photo courtesy of Harry Sandler 

Schooner American Eagle Newsletter
March 2011
In This Issue
Cruise News
You can get here from there
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

Schooner Logo
visit us at our website
Would you like to receive our FREE newsletter?
Would you like to share this newsletter with friends and family?
John planing the bowsprit

Spring must be under the snowbanks somewhere as the new bowsprit for the American Eagle is due to go in in about a month.  Brad and Gerard have a lot of sanding left to do before varnishing.  I remind them the spar has to be shiny before the finish goes on.



Once in a while I actually use a hand tool.



John planing the new bowsprit



Cruise News


Whales & Seabirds  -- 6 nights, boarding Sunday night, August 7th, returning Saturday morning, August 13th --  $945 


Feeding whale

Photo - Becky Hermanson


Admittedly, August can be warm, even here along the cold coast, but on the hottest summer day it's a lot cooler a few miles offshore.  Offshore is where we find petrels and shearwaters, often cleaning up after those big messy eaters -- whales.  Observing them under sail is as exciting as any yacht race and a challenge for even the quickest photographer.
Whale of a Tail

Photo - Becky Hermanson

On this cruise, when we return to port you will have a ticket to the Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors Show going on in Rockland that weekend.  It's a wonderful show, from new and restored boats in the water to their nationally recognized boatyard dog contest. 
A double rainbow is less common, but easier to photograph.


Double Rainbow on Starboard

Photo courtesy of Su Wood



You can get here from there


Transportation options have changed since this picture of the steamer May Field was taken in Rockland Harbor in the 1880's.  (Our wharf is in the distance where you can make out a schooner tied up.)  This vessel was built in 1875 up the Penobscot River in Brewer for Capt. Samuel Barbour, sold in 1881 to Vinalhaven, and carried passengers on daily runs to Port Clyde, Clark Island, Spruce Head, High Island and Rockland.  In a reversal of the career (to date) of the American Eagle,  the May Field went from carrying passengers to being a fishing vessel. When she was wrecked in 1896, a section of her deck structure became an addition to someone's house in Port Clyde.


Capt. Barbour's grandson came sailing with me on the Lewis R. French several times.  As a boy, he went summers on his grandfather's steamers and made one trip to Boston on a sidewheeler from Bangor.  He got the last cabin aboard, next to the paddle boxes and said rest was almost impossible from the noise of cascading water, "like trying to sleep under Niagara Falls."

Back to modern transportation:  with four dollar gas and a summer berth reserved on the schooner, options from Boston to Rockland include Concord Coach's two trips a day for $36 one way or the thrill of one of Cape Air's five daily flights in their nine passenger twin engine plane for $75 including taxi to the dock.  The old airport building serving Rockland which was made of two used modular classrooms (trailers) has now been replaced by this brand new terminal dedicated last fall. 

New Knox County Airport
And on Cape Air if you're the first passenger to board, you get to be the copilot!



Crews News


The crew cleans up for Friday night dinner in summer.
     Dressed for dinner
    Brad and Gerard and spaghetti
(The two fellows are bulking up to sand the new bowsprit.)
                                              --Photo courtesy of Alan Pease


Something new on the tug Cadet
  bow chock / anchor davit
Here's the bow chock / anchor davit socket fabricated by Zach Feld.  Nice work in stainless steel.  The davit should be in place by the end of the month.  Launching this nine-winter project? Maybe next fall, maybe not.


Ralph's Food Shot 

Rolls hot from the oven

Photo courtesy of Ralph Smith


Mmmm... Nola must have made these.





Here at the shipyard guests and crew send us pictures of snow from other places.  Could be worse.  They could have sent us the snow;  we had plenty this winter.

Nepal Post Card

Kelly has gone around the world again.




Antartica Penguins

Judy and Renate sent this from the bark Europa, built in 1911 and ice certified.



Fundraiser for the ELISSA


Long Memorial Day Weekend Cruise -- 4 nights, boarding Thursday evening, May 26th, returning Monday morning, May 30 -- $595
You may recall I have been spending some time in Galveston Texas since 1999 working on the iron barque Elissa, built in Aberdeen Scotland in 1877.  While the American Eagle gets a full day of maintenance and repair for every sailing day, the Elissa is cared for by a big crew of volunteers who contribute tens of thousands of hours every year to keep her open to the public and ready for sea trials.  The key words here are "spending" and "contribute."  The story follows:
ELISSA off Pelican Island

Photo courtesy of the Texas Seaport Museum

 When hurricane Ike went through Texas 2 1/2 years ago, the ship made it through with minimal damage, although her dock and shop were pretty much destroyed.  The volunteers rallied and put things right.  At her periodic drydocking and inspection this January, it turned out that stray electrical currents have corroded her bottom -- she won't be sailing again until a lot of hull plating is replaced. 
And here's the pitch:  for the Memorial Day weekend trip on the American Eagle, all proceeds will go to her restoration. I'll try to get some of the Elissa volunteers to come as extra crew to help tell her story.

Happy almost spring,
 John's signature
Captain John Foss, Schooner American Eagle

Schooner Logo

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