The American Eagle taken from Eric Klem's sailboat

photo courtesy Eric Klem 


Schooner American Eagle Newsletter
January 2012
In This Issue
Crews News
Cruise News
More old pictures
Nola's Food Shot
Postcards from shipmates
Latest News

Rockland Breakwater Light

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Loons in the cove with the schooner and tug


The loons are back again this winter and the tug is finally in the water.

Crews News


It's a good time of year for shop projects.  Nola, Matt and I have the new fore gaff to varnish coat #5 and the new fore boom on its last day of sanding.  The jaws in the picture are made of purple heart.  The only other piece of that wood on the American Eagle is the mainmast step, down below the sole in the midships cabin.  It will be nice to have some of this beautiful timber in view!  


 American Eagle fore gaff jaws

We're also replacing the fore boom, starting with a douglas fir 8" x 8" x 22 feet, squared up and tapered, 8 sided, and fuss faired to round.

The stick that will become the American Eagle's fore boom 


















American Eagle's fore boom taking shape


Once the iron work has been fitted and bolt holes drilled the stick is pickled with wood preservative.

American Eagle fore boom ready for varnish

Apply a few coats of varnish, put on the hardware, and varnish some more.  We're not planning to have to do this again. 


Meanwhile Logan is off for a six week or so winter trek, from Massachusetts to the Canadian border.  You can follow his adventures on facebook on Long Trail Winter Expedition.  He'll be back in time for outfitting April 1st, no fooling.


Shary spent a few days away from the shipyard office to visit her younger son and his wife in Maryland and to participate in a quilting workshop in Virginia.  Don't expect quilts on your bunks anytime soon, though.  Guinness, her labrador retriever, spent a couple of joyous days at doggy day care while she was away. 


We'll have the whole 2012 crew figured out by the end of next month; I know I'll be captain!

Cruise News


Believe it or not we already have commitments for the 2013 Great Schooner Race Trip and the 2012 Gloucester Schooner Race Cruise is full, so the 2012 Great Schooner Race 6-day is your remaining option for a bona fide race adventure for the near future.


Windjammers rafted together at June Schooner Gam


This year's Great Schooner Race promises to be the most memorable one in quite a while.  Plans are to raft up behind the Rockland breakwater Thursday night and start the all-day race to Camden from there Friday morning.  Aside from the large gathering of traditional working sail vessels, there are several musical groups invited to perform before and after the race.  Once past the finish line we all tie up in Camden Inner Harbor for an evening of awards and celebration.  We're underway early Saturday morning for a sail back to our home dock.


The American Eagle is in the windward (or fastest) class for the race; we've never come in further back than second.  The July 1 Race cruise is your best opportunity for experiencing lively competitive sailing between traditional vessels.  Lend a hand in the race, take a bunch of pictures, and have a lot of fun.


6-day cruise boarding Sunday July 1st

$973 for new guests, $922 for returning shipmates

And a bit of history 


Schooner Elsie
 More pictures purchased on ebay.. the Elsie, built in 1910, is pictured here in October 1921, as she leaves Gloucester for Halifax to compete against the Canadian challenger in the International Fishermen's Races.  In the first race on October 22 the Elsie broke her fore topmast in a good northwest breeze.  There's a photograph of that event by the mainmast down below on the American Eagle.


Capt. Marty Walsh of the Schooner Elsie 


Capt. Marty Welch is on the Elsie's quarterdeck, hoping to duplicate his win the previous year as skipper of the Esperanto.  Marty was from Digby, Nova Scotia, but had fished from the United States for a long time. (Next month we'll come up with a picture of Marty's 1920 Trophy which the American Eagle has won 8 times in the past 20 years.)  Unfortunately the Canadian opponent was the brand new Bluenose, not beaten in a series until the Gertrude L. Thebaud in the Lipton Cup Races of 1930.



American Eagle heading out of Gloucester 1930

And here's a blurry but unique picture of the American Eagle, Captain Murphy at the wheel, heading out on a swordfishing trip in the early 1930's.  It may even be her first trip in June 1930.



Andrew and Rosalie Spring haulout pre-1941
Photo courtesy of Fredrik D. Bodin, Bodin Historic Photo 


Ten years later her bowsprit has been sawed off and a winter house built over the helm.  Here she is hauled out for spring painting when the price of fish went down after Lent. 

Nola's Food Shot 



Here's a project I can help with:  crushing candy canes.  The rest is up to Nola.  


 Yum, Peppermint Cupcakes

 Chocolate cupcakes with peppermint icing 



Postcards from shipmates


The Queen Mary II burns more fuel in a minute than we do in a season (just guessing).  They do, however, carry more guests than we do. 


On the subject of fuel, I guess we're going back to biodiesel this season for our auxiliary engine.  We pioneered the use of it in the fleet eleven years ago and recently found a closer source of supply.  No, it's not used fryolator oil, but it's no longer a day's drive away across the state.

Cunard's Queen Mary 2

And who needs oil when the wind is free, particularly as Winslow Homer described this scene of his "Breezing Up".  Thanks, Bridget, and the National Gallery of Art.  

Winslow Homer's Breezing Up





Latest News 


Space opens up on the New Brunswick cruise! 

This week we found that (owing to someon's change in vacation times) Cabin K  is now open for the August cruise to Canada.  Shary and I are waiting for your call, among others. 

Nine-night cruise boarding Sunday, August 5th

$1,895 for new guests, $1,795 for returning shipmates




The May 29th Senior birthday deal is back!  

And last season's birthday cruise free for anyone older than the schooner (with a full-fare friend) was so popular, what the heck, we'll do it again.  In an unrelated, we hope, update, both Logan and I have recertified as wilderness first responders.  You may be in good hands but take care of yourselves nonetheless. 


Four-night cruise boarding Tuesday, May 29th

$660 for new guests, $625 for returning shipmates

and free if you're 82 or better with a full fare friend




Hope to hear you'll be joining us this year,


John and the crew


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