In Brooklin, Maine
You can learn a lot about Brooklin from a single fact: there are three active harbors within a few miles of each other in this tiny town. Naskeag Harbor, sheltered by Harbor Island, is primarily a harbor for working lobster and mussel boats. Center Harbor, sheltered by Chatto Island, is the home of the famous Brooklin Boat Yard as well as the site for the Center Harbor Yacht Club, both of which are primarily for sail boat lovers. Great Cove, sheltered by Babson and Little Babson Islands, is the home of the renowned Wooden Boat School, which teaches courses in boat building and handling and has a large pier and boat house that are the focal points of the harbor.
Today, by very popular request, we’re focusing on a phenomenon that occurs in Great Cove. But, to avoid a common misconception of those who have never visited here, we first confess that the Cove is not Great in the sense of being large among coves, as a Great Dane is among dogs. We don’t know why it was called Great in the first place; but, for many, Great Cove easily qualifies for the exclamation, “What a great cove!”
Now, for our phenomenon: Great Cove, small as it is, is a hub for schooners. We’ll see 12 that dropped anchor here just in the first three weeks of September.
Part of the attraction is that Wooden Boat School hosts schooner sail-ins and offers passengers opportunities to explore the lovely campus, watch classes, shop in a gift store, and enjoy other amenities. Another part is Great Cove’s classic Maine beauty and its opportunity to host a lobster or clam bake on the beaches and ledges of Babson Island, a tree-and fern-filled uninhabited Island that is part of an environmental trust.
So, in response to the pleadings of some of our avid windjammer watchers, we’re sharing our September schooner sightings. Here, in alphabetical order, are the names of the schooners that we’re admiring and a few facts about the times of their origin (all ports in Maine):
- American Eagle, hailing from Rockland, is 90 feet in overall length (counting bow sprit). She was launched in 1930 when Herbert Hoover was President of the United States and the Mickey Mouse comic strip first appeared.
- Angelique, from Camden, is 130 feet long overall. She was launched in 1980 when Jimmy Carter was President and the U.S. severed relations with Iran due to hostage-taking.
- Grace Baily, from Camden, is 123 feet long overall. She was launched in 1882 when Chester Arthur was President and Jesse James was killed by a shot in the back of the head.
- Heritage, from Rockland, is 145 feet long overall.. She was launched in 1983 when Ronald Reagan was President and McDonald’s introduced the Chicken McNugget.
- Isaac H. Evans, from Rockland, is 99 feet long overall. She was launched in 1886 when Grover Cleveland was President and Coca Cola was first advertised.
- J&E Riggin, from Rockport, is 120 feet long overall. She was launched in 1927 when Calvin Coolidge was President and the Academy Awards were founded.
- Lewis R. French, form Camden, is 101 feet long overall. She was launched in 1871 when the President was Ulysses Grant and the first major league baseball game was played.
- Mary Day, from Camden, is 125 feet long overall. She was launched in 1962 when John Kennedy was President and Bob Dylan released his first album.
- Mercantile, from Camden, is 115 long overall. She was launched in 1916 when Woodrow Wilson was President and Pancho Villa invaded New Mexico.
- Stephen Taber, from Camden, is 115 feet long overall. She was launched in 1971 when Richard Nixon was President and Disney World opened in Florida.
- Vela, from Sedgwick, is 90 feet long overall. She was launched in 1996 when Bill Clinton was President and the first production electric car was introduced by General Motors.
- Victory Chimes, from Rockland, is 170 feet long overall. She was launched in 1900 when William McKinley was President and the first zeppelin flight took place in Germany.
You can join us on the virtual version of our September schooner watch by clicking the link below to see the 42 images, which can viewed in less than 60 seconds. We recommend that your initial screening of the images be a full-frame slideshow. (To make that happen, click on the SLIDESHOW button above the featured [largest] image on the gallery page to which the link will take you. Press Esc to return to the thumbnail gallery.) Here's the link to join us in September schooner watching:
Barbara and Dick