The Maine Windjammer Association includes 8 member vessels that sail from Camden and Rockland on three- to six-day adventures from May to October. Guests are invited to step back in time and enjoy the simplicity of sailing aboard former commercial sailing ships that once numbered in the tens of thousands during the Golden Age of Sail.
Relying on windpower, a windjammer vacation offers guests the opportunity to help sail, if they like, or sit back and enjoy the ever-changing scenery as they explore the coast of Maine. The windjammers anchor each evening in a new harbor or cove where guests may go ashore and explore. Meals are prepared on cast-iron stoves and served family style. One night everyone goes ashore for a traditional lobster bake with all the fixings. Entertainment happens organically: storytelling, scouting for birds and seals, star-gazing, live music, enjoying a paddle or sail in one of the ship’s small boats or taking a hike on a pristine island.
The Maine Windjammer Association’s legendary fleet will sail in company through the Somes Sound fjard on Tuesday afternoon, August 2, from 2:00–4:00. Set against the dramatic backdrop of Acadia’s 600-foot cliffs, spectators on shore will enjoy amazing views of North America’s oldest fleet of commercial sailing vessels.
The fleet honors a proud heritage and is a vital testament to the traditions of bygone days when wooden coasting schooners were plentiful; carrying valuable, much-needed cargo from port to port, fishing on the Grand Banks or dredging oysters in Delaware Bay. A majority of these vessels were built in the latter half of the nineteenth century and are registered as National Historic Landmarks; the “younger” ships in the fleet were designed to carry passengers rather than cargo, but are still fashioned after the old coasters.
Best vantage points for viewing: Acadia and Flying Mountains, Norumbega, Sergeant Drive, Head of Somes Sound. Fleet will anchor in Norwood Cove for the evening.
Visitors may also sign up to sail with the fleet during this special 6-day Acadia Centennial Celebration from August 1-6, enjoying great sailing from Penobscot Bay to the shores of Mount Desert Island. Highlights include shore trips, wildlife sightings, spectacular scenery, and delicious schooner-cooked meals.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to view these historic vessels under full sail as they parade through the deep waters of Somes Sound.