Schooner American Eagle at anchor
photo courtesy of Ken Martin

 Schooner American Eagle Newsletter

April 2013  


In This Issue
Cruise News
Old Postcard
From Andy in the Galley
Postcards From Shipmates
Crew News
Main Mast at Sunset   
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?


        This scene could be next month;  at anchor in a quiet cove, someone on the pulpit at the end of the bowsprit, the seineboat coming back ashore to pick up a group of picnickers after a lobster bake.  Can't wait because it will also mean that all that outfitting will be done.  Lobsters are already turning up in large numbers west of Monhegan and offshore.


  Cruise News


Little River Lighthouse (Cutler, ME) at Sunrise

Little River Lighthouse at Sunrise

photo courtesy of Little River Lighthouse


        I've asked some friends, Castlebay, to come aboard and entertain us on boarding night for both the Down East Adventure, June 14th, and Music Cruise, August 4th.  Fred and Julia were on the American Eagle for our Seventh Seas Adventures in the 1990's when we took out my wife Kathy's 7th grade classes.  Fred wrote a song, Cappy John's Bride, about the schooner after that.  They also have a good one about Little River Light, one of our favorite destinations down the coast.


         There's a cabin or two still open for the Down East Cruise and a wide choice of accommodations for the Music Cruise boarding August 4th.  Both adventures include our private concert the first night at eight.  The August cruise also comes with a ticket to the Sweet Chariot Music Festival mid-week, a day of whale watching from our deck, and a ticket to the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show when we return to our home port on Saturday the 11th.

Old Postcards and a bit of a shaggy dog story


        The Air and Sea Package has become a convenient and popular way to make your way to the American Eagle from Boston:  intermodal transportation by plane and taxi right to our dock.  Convenience is not a new thing in getting around.  In the late 1800's there was steamer service from the head of navigation on the Kennebec River on the Della Collins connecting with the Star of the East, Capt. Jason Collins, at Gardiner.  Leave Augusta landing at noon on Mondays and Thursdays, board the Star of the East by three, arrive Union Wharf in Boston the next morning. Della was Capt. Collins' daughter.  Fare $2.00



Sternwheeler Della Collins




        For a brief period there was steamer service from Waterville to Augusta.



Lewiston Evening Journal   ~   April 18, 1891 

Lewiston Evening Journal Article from April 18, 1891 


        Which brings us finally to a poem I often read in the galley on a quiet evening, if there's anyone to listen.





Guess I've never told you, sonny, of the strandin' and the wreck

Of the steamboat "Ezry Johnson" that run up the Kennebec.

That was 'fore the time of steam-cars, and the "Johnson" filled the bill

On the route between Augusty and the town of Waterville.


She was built old-fashioned model, with a bottom's flat's your palm,

With a paddle-wheel behind her, druv' by one great churnin' arm.

Couldn't say that she was speedy -- sploshed along and made a touse,

But she couldn't go much faster than a man could tow a house.

Still, she skipped and skived tremendous, dodged the rocks and skun the shoals,

In a way the boats of these days couldn't do to save their souls.

Didn't draw no 'mount of water, went on top instead of through.

This is how there come to happen what I'm going to tell to you.

--Hain't no need to keep you guessing, for I know you won't suspect

How that thunderin' old "Ez. Johnson"  ever happened to get wrecked.


She was overdue one ev'nin', fog come down most awful thick,

"Twas about like navigating round inside a feather tick.

 Proper caper was to anchor, but she seemed to run all right,

And we humped her -- though 'twas resky '' -- kept her sloshing through the night.


Things went on all right till morning, but along 'bout half-past three

Ship went dizzy, blind, and crazy -- waves seemed wust I ever see.

Up she went and down she scuttered; sometimes seemed to stand on end,

Then she'd wallopse, sideways, cross-ways, in a way, by gosh, to send

Shivers down your spine.  She'd teeter, fetch a spring, and take a bounce,

Then squat down, sir, on her haunches with a most je-roosly jounce.

Folks got up and run a-screaming, forced the wheelhouse, grabbed at me,

--Thought we'd missed Augusty landin' and had gone plum out to sea.

--Fairly shot me full of questions, but I said 'twas jest a blow;

Still, that didn't seem to soothe 'em, for there warn' no wind, you know!

Yas, sir, spite of all that churnin', warn't a whisper of a breeze

--No excuse for all that upset and those strange and dretful seas.

Couldn't spy a thing around us -- every way 'twas pitchy black,

And I couldn't seem to comfort them poor critters on my back.

Couldn't give 'em nothing 'bout it -- for I didn't know myself.


So I gripped the "Johnson's" tiller, kept the rudder riggin' taut,

Kept a-praying, chawed tobacker, give her steam, and let her swat.

Now, my friend, jest listen stiddy:  when the sun come out at four,

We warn't tossin' in the breakers off no stern and rockbound shore;

But I'd missed the gol-durned river, and I swow this 'ere is true,

I had sailed eight miles 'cross country in a heavy autumn dew.

There I was clear up in Sidney, and the tossings and the rolls

Simply happened 'cause we tackled sev'ral miles of cradle knolls.

Sun come out and dried the dew up; there she was a stranded wreck,

And they soaked me eighteen dollars' cartage to the Kennebec.


 --from Pine Tree Ballads by Holman Day, 1902






From Andy in the Galley


        Our peripatetic chef has been cooking on the schooner Seaward between California and Mexico this winter.  Here's a quick update he recently sent.


        "We rolled into La Cruz de Huanacaxtle the other day.  I couldn't get over how similar it was to Stonington, Maine.  Same brimming fish market, same farmer's mercado, same carniceria and lordly iguanas.  Okay, maybe there are a few differences, but fishing towns all have a lot in common.  Judge for yourself."



  Manz mercado  


Cruz mercado







Postcards From Shipmates 


National Gallery Postcard  





 Andy's Restaurant Postcard





Greetings from Jamaica 



   And better than postcards:  home made cookies in the mail, just in time for Easter.


Easter cookies before coffee break & after


They didn't last long.  Thank you Bridget!




Crew News


   Katy in the galley


Katie's laughing in the galley, perhaps because she didn't spend most of a day varnishing mastheads and the bowsprit last week as Logan, Johnnie, and Mike did.



Schooner American Eagle at her dock April 2013

Working with the weather: mast trucks painted yellow, mastheads and bowsprit varnished, gull with yellow feet (see mainmast head)



     Until next month I hope,  

John and the crew


Schooner Logo

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