In the spring of 1995 I started to look for a vacation for that summer. I decided on a Windjammer Cruise. Not the huge windjammers plying the Caribbean but a small one off the coast of Maine. After studying the ships available I decided on "Heritage" The Heritage is a 96 foot windjammer. It has room for 33 passengers. Now there is no pampering on this ship and you can even join in with the work. I am an early riser and always in search of coffee in the morning. I would go up to get coffee and look at the ocean and sunrise. One morning I was in the galley getting coffee and one of the crew was cutting onions for that days meals. I offered to help and became the onion lady for the week. I did help every morning with the vegetable preparation. One day as we were under sail we came upon a distressed vessel. It was a small boat about 20 ft and very old. In it were 2 men and 1 dog. One of the men was sitting on the bow with an oar trying desperately to paddle the boat and getting nowhere. As we drew in closer we could see the bottom of the boat was littered with about 50 beer cans. These men were inebriated beyond belief!!! The most intelligent being aboard was the dog. We noted that there was no engine on this boat. The captain of Heritage pulled up along side and spoke to the men. We heard them say they went out that morning for a day of fishing. They had been going along, drinking and enjoying the day when the engine just hopped off the transom and disappeared into the ocean. they had been floating and paddling and drinking for hours. The captain of the Heritage tied a rope on to them and towed them to Rockland. I wondered later what was worse, the loss of the engine from their boat or the hangovers they had to suffer when they sobered up!!. All in all this was an interesting cruise, No set itinerary and very informal. The clam bake on the beach was a lot of fun and when we were at anchor we could jump into the ocean for a swim.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“
Sounds like an interesting experience, but not for everyone, especially not for me. A little too much like a camping trip. I, too, like those big stabilizers, lounge chairs, pools, casinos, and frothy drinks.
I have looked into the Maine Windjammer fleet more than once, but , alas, Gram will not do it. As stated above, "too much like camping". We did do a Windjammer Barefoot cruise two years back on the now retired Flying Cloud in the BVI's. Had to wait 15 months to get Gram the one room on the ship she would stay in. While everyone else was "bunked up" we were in a queen size bed, with a couch, private bath and shower , stereo set and a fridge (the honeymoon suite). That cruise was a blast and I would do it again any time. Give me a cup of early morning coffee and a ship under sail, anytime, anywhere.
For all of you with small boats. Chains on your outboard are not to keep them from getting stolen, they are to keep them from going swimming. Losing an outboard off a transom happens a lot more than you think.
Drinking and boating don't go together at all. If you must drink on the water, let someone else drive the boat. (I guess that's why I like cruising, someone else drives while I drink my Corona).