A little adventure and a whole lot of relaxation

Dick Loehr Schooner

                              photo by Dick Loehr
Schooner Heritage
P O Box 482
Rockland ME  04841


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Remember those great days of sailing...
 Oh my!  It's still the dead of winter!  Hello everyone, where are those warm summer breezes?  Remember those great days of sailing when the sun was warm and the days were long?  Can't wait to sail away again.  Here are a few of our favorite days from last season.
 Carol Latta 3
photo by Carol Latta
How about the Boothbay Harbor Windjammer Days trip of June 22nd.  We left Monday morning with the wind blowing from the northeast, overcast with occasional showers, not usually a good sign.  Actually the wind was so strong that we had to tuck in a reef, something we don't usually do on the HERITAGE, but it was a fair wind to Boothbay.  So let's go!  Oh yes, I seem to remember a slight problem with the yawl boat motor and we had to anchor in the harbor to straighten that out ... a little tense there for awhile.  Eventually off we flew down the Muscle Ridge Channel and on our way.  Forty miles later found us anchored in Pemaquid Harbor at suppertime.  What a great day!  Forty miles on a Monday when we didn't get out of the harbor until after noon was an extraordinary run.
Lobster Bake 
photo by Dick Loehr
Then there was that great Thursday during the week of July 6th.  We had anchored the night before in quiet deserted Pretty Marsh Harbor on Mount Desert Island.  After breakfast there wasn't much wind and it was a nice morning, so we made shore trips to the nearby beach in Acadia National Park and some went for a stroll in the woods.  Later in the morning we got underway as the sea breeze came up the bay to greet us.  With a fair tide to help us, we tacked all the way down Blue Hill and Jericho Bays and sailed to anchor at "Party and Party On" Islets.  Then it was all ashore to build a fire on the beach and enjoy lobsters, maybe a hamburger or hot dog too and don't forget the s'mores.  As the sun was setting and the breeze dropping we made our way back aboard the HERITAGE for a quiet sunset and desert pie to finish the day.  Well almost... later the stars rushed out to fill a perfectly clear night.  With no lights visible anywhere around it was magical.  We all stayed up too late that night.
Bill Fleet
photo by Bill Fleet
We love those long warm summer days.  Like the Monday, August 3rd, when we left the dock and sailed across Penobscot Bay and out towards Isle Au Haut with a gentle southerly breeze.  Later we turned the schooner about and ran up to Northwest Harbor on Deer Isle where no other schooners seem to anchor (and we're not going to tell them about it either).  We had supper while we were still sailing and some ate on deck and watched the sunset over the western hills.  As the HERITAGE ghosted into the harbor we were greeted with a full moon rising over the bow.  Now it just doesn't get any better than this and what a beautiful spot. 
Bill Fleet
photo by Harry Sandler
Of course we couldn't forget the exciting sail of the summer.  It happened during the last week of August on one of our four day sails.  Again we found ourselves anchored in Pretty Marsh Harbor.  The weather report that Saturday morning was for very strong easterly winds.  But under the shelter of Mount Desert Island, life was good. There wasn't any wind at all.  By the time breakfast was over and the galley was secured, we could see the sky changing and the wind starting to puff up now and again.  We started to get a little concerned.  Maybe that offshore forecast was going to come inshore...uh oh.  Wasting no time, we secured the topsails as they weren't going to be needed and got going at once.  We had to move right along as we were due back the next morning.  Rockland was a long ways away even with an easterly, which would make it a downwind run.  Off we went down Blue Hill and Jericho Bays with the wind steadily rising and the weather deteriorating.  The crew said, "This is pretty exciting!" as we charged through the Deer Island Thorofare and by Stonington Village, in a blur.  It was raining and the wind still increasing as we shot across Isle Au Haut Bay towards the Fox Islands Thorofare making 10.5 or more knots.  Blowing too hard to jibe the mainsail, we had to tack the schooner around several times in order to sail through the islands and out into Penobscot Bay.  Still under sail, we reefed the mainsail in the lee of Vinalhaven, what lee there was...  Now we were in fighting trim and boldly struck out across Penobscot Bay heading optimistically towards Islesboro Island, where we could anchor and be in a good position for the next morning.  By now the wind had shifted to the northeast and it was blowing too hard to make much against it.  We were taking a terrific pounding.  Well we were... but the HERITAGE was just going out for another day's sail and dragging us along too!  Finally we had to give it up, as it was now blowing a gale and raining so hard that you couldn't see much of anything.  It was decided to run off in a more comfortable direction towards the shelter of Rockland Harbor.  That was a good idea until we approached the Harbor's entrance and realized we were going to have to come about right into the teeth of the gale... blowing at least 40 mph.  After we got squared away the HERITAGE tacked just fine and we screeched in on the starboard tack, towards the anchorage under the lee of the breakwater.  We joined a number of other vessels already anchored, some of which hadn't even left the harbor that day.  One captain who watched us emerge out of the storm and race into the anchorage said we were 'a sight to behold'.  It was good to get both anchors down and breathe a sigh of relief.  What a day!  What a sail!  And maybe a nice nap before supper looks like a good idea.  We may have been the only schooner to go out for a sail that day and we had gone over 55 miles! The National Weather Service had a name for it....Hurricane Daniel.
Contrary to what you might think we haven't been just sitting around here at the shipyard.  Shary's been handling all your calls and Captain Linda's been very busy running the winter part of the business.  Some of the crew are still here working on the small boats and other little projects just to get a jump on spring outfitting.
Dock 12
 photo by Capt. Douglas K. Lee
As a little surprise we had a gale on December 3rd and another on the 9th that did a lot of damage to the wharf.  The HERITAGE started surging back and forth at her dock and managed to break some of the wharf pilings and it seemed as though she might tear down the whole dock.  A little investigating revealed that a number of the pilings, which were put in back in 1983 when the HERITAGE was first launched, were rotten and many were badly deteriorated by marine worms.  As a result our neighbors, Prock Marine Company, moved a giant crane in and their crew replaced 16 pilings.  They'll do the remaining four from a barge later this year.  At least we are breathing easier now.
Dock from spring line
 photo by Captain Douglas K. Lee
From the galley...
 Some of our best memories come from the galley.  We always enjoy that hot, hearty, lunchtime soup while we're sailing along.  So here's the recipe for Captain Linda's veggie soup.
Vegetable Soup 
We're looking forward to the 2010 season and lots of wonderful adventures.  We hope you'll join us. If we've been holding a cabin for you, we need to hear from you soon. To reserve your special cabin give Shary a call in the office, 800-648-4544.