Pre Sunrise at the Shipyard

Schooner American Eagle Newsletter

January 2013


You don't get as good a picture as this unless it's clear and cold.  This morning we had both; the temperature was exactly zero. 

Shary has been busy taking bookings for the coming season here in the nice warm office with Guinness the labrador at her feet most of the time. 

Hard to believe in 132 days we'll be boarding for our first spring cruise....and that it will have warmed up by then.


In This Issue
Cruise News
Summer Cruise News
Crew's News
Old Pictures

Winter morning sunrise with sea smoke 

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Cruise News


         Those of you who have enjoyed sailing around here in summer may wonder what those island landmarks look like this time of the year.  While we're on this winter theme, here are some shots from last Saturday's day trip on the tug Cadet (shown above alongside the American Eagle for the winter) out to North Haven and back.  Saturday was the calm overcast day between strong northerly winds and frequent snow.  Pulpit Harbor, a familiar anchorage in the summer, was populated by a half dozen fishing boats.  Most still set up for lobstering, but the masts and gear suggest some are planning to go scalloping soon.  No birds in the nest on Pulpit Rock, and that's snow, not bird poop.


   North Haven Town Beach and Pulpit Rock


          Brown's Head Light at the western entrance to the Fox Island Thorofare is camouflaged by the winter ground cover. If you look carefully at the Owl's Head Light you might imagine wreaths hung around the upper railing.  It's easier to see the icicles on the ledges below the light.


Brown's Head Light & Owl's Head Light 



Summer Cruise News



           A number of our trips through the season include fleet-wide events, excellent opportunities to witness (and photograph) the windjammers both under sail and at anchor.  It's great to have another historic vessel to swap tacks with and provides all of us an appreciation for what working sail still is here in Maine.  Among those particular cruises several stand out:  Windjammer Days to Boothbay Harbor June 23rd, our Lighthouse Parade July 7th, and WoodenBoat Sail-In September 8th.  Those are the boarding dates; all are six-night cruises.


Schooner Gam 


Crew's News


              While three of last season's crew are in Boulder, Colorado, working and skiing, or perhaps not in that order, Andy has provided us with inside news of his sources for provisioning the schooner's galley.




            As usual, I did most of my provisioning at the local Hannaford's Supermarket, where they take good care of us and have a killer produce department (briefly featuring kumquats and litchis, and great mangos most of the summer) but this year I spent more and more time over in Warren at Beth's Farm Stand. 


 Beths Farm Market


         In  the spring they had fiddleheads and parsnips and as the growing season progressed, the selection got more and more intriguing.  The greens and summer squashes and small tender strawberries came in by June and by July they had four different kinds of tomatoes.  The highlight for me was the Calaloo greens.  They come from Jamaica, where some of Beth's farm hands hail from, and they are much nicer than the beet greens and collard greens I usually buy.  The crew might have gotten a little tired of them over the next three months, but the passengers and I couldn't get enough of them.


Beth's Farm Market, inside and out  


          Though the whole summer they had farm strawberries, switching from breed to breed as the season progressed.  I think I had to buy tough chewy supermarket strawberries just once the whole year.  The month of September was a revelation, what with the brussel sprouts on the stalk and the blue hubbard squashes and sweet potatoes, and the Concord and Niagara grapes.  We made a habit of buying our corn the day before sailing so we could shuck and cut it on land for breakfast or lunch as soon as possible.  We quit just a little ahead of the apple harvest.


Fresh off the Farm  

     I would be remiss not to mention the wild mushrooms I got at Fresh Off the Farm, the hippie market halfway to Camden, or the fascinating Farmers' Markets in Stonington and Castine, where I never knew what I would find.


        Thanks to all the vegetarians, and those lactose intolerants, gluten free diets and whatever other outre allergies who resolved to sail with us this year!  You make cooking more interesting.  Let's do it again next year!


 Postcards From Shipmates


           Harvey, the peripatetic passenger, is in Asia again for the winter and sent this along with an almost indecipherable note on the back.

 Postcard of a Chinese seamboat




 Postcard depicting the coast of Norway

           Becky and Steve sent this card from a summer trip to Norway.  Honningsvag at 71 degrees, 10 minutes, 21 seconds north latitude is the northernmost town on Europe.  I checked the weather there today:  rain and 36 degrees Fahrenheit, which is at least twenty degrees warmer than here at about 44  degrees north.  Time of sunrise and sunset there today..none.  The mail boat service offers considerable discounts for cruises there this time of year, featuring the northern lights.







Pictures -- old and new



          Picture of MacMillan and crew at end of  first voyage   

copy from a news service dated November, 1922 




Donald B. MacMillan, well known explorer, who has arrived in Wiscasset Harbor, Maine from his expedition to Baffin Land, on the schooner Bowdoin.  He has spent fourteen months in the far North and has brought back much valuable information with him.  In traversing the land 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, through the thickly ice-jammed Rox Channel, he has gone further up along the West Coast than any other white man.  He has also brought back with him a corrected map of the land and its surrounding waters which have until now been misleadingly charted.  The object of the trip which was sponsored by the Carnegie Institute were to establish a magnetic station as well as visit the big lakes in the interior.


Photo shows MacMillan and his crew on the schooner snapped upon their arrival. 

Left to right: Standing in back -- Tom McCue; R. H. Goddard.  Seated in front:  Robinson; "Jot" Small; Capt. MacMillan holding See-nul-nuk; Harold Whitehouse.    




Schooner Bowdoin tied up outside Schooner American Eagle 


And here's the Bowdoin about 80 years later alongside the American Eagle, just after launching from her annual haulout on our railway at the Shipyard.





Capt John at the wheel Oct 2009
photo courtesy of M B Rolfe



    Happy New Year,


John and the crew


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