Out With a Bang

Summer comes late and leaves early in Maine.  Most folks say the season is from July 4 through Labor Day.  That’s not very long!

Windjammer FestivalHere on the midcoast, Camden says good bye to summer with the Windjammer Festival when schooners from the area join Camden’s fleet and take over the harbor.It is a fun filled weekend with activities and displays of all kinds.

Windjammer FestivalNothing brings more cheers than the lobster crate race, definitely for the young and nimble!

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Some schooners are available for cruises on Penobscot Bay, always a favorite adventure for visitors.  With all sails up, the windjammer is a majestic sight,  a symbol of a bygone era.

Other schooners host an open house to give folks an idea of what it’s like to live aboard.  It’s pretty close quarters, and one has to have a real sense of adventure to enjoy a week long stay.  From what I’ve heard, the food is quite good so that’s a real plus!

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Yes, summer goes out with a big bang on Maine’s midcoast, but except for giving up my white jeans I’m going to enjoy it until it’s officially fall.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

 

Out With a Bang

Windjammer FestivalSummer is a very short season in Maine.  July 4 marks its beginning, and when Labor Day comes it’s pretty much over. Summer does go out with a bang at least in Camden where it’s Windjammer Festival weekend, and crowds gather for the last big events of the season.

The midcoast of Maine is home to a number of these beautiful old boats, and many of them come sailing into Camden Harbor.  Some will take passengers out for a sail on Penobscot Bay

while others allow visitors to come aboard to get a feel for what it would be like to live aboard for several days.

windjammerThis year I joined friends on their boat in the harbor to view the windjammers as they came in.  What a sight they are.  In the distance, their sails catch the wind,

but as they near the harbor entrance sails are dropped.

P9021179.jpgKeep in mind these ships have no engine so they are met by a small boat called a pusher that aids them in safely navigating the harbor.

One by one the magnificent ships pass by with excited passengers aboard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand maybe a ship’s dog taking it all in.

The schooners may be the main attraction, but there’s plenty more activity for people of all ages.  I get a big kick out of the lobster crate races.  The key to success here appears to be youth and light weight.  Me, I’d be right in the water before getting started!

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No festival would be complete without fireworks that illuminate the sky and draw shrieks of delight from the crowd.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow I enjoy all that is so quinticensial Maine.

I’d love to know how the end of summer is celebrated in your area.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Not With A Whimper

Sadly, Labor Day marks the end of summer in Maine. It doesn’t leave with a whimper in Camden, however, as the town fills with people who come to enjoy the Windjammer Festival.

WindjammerCamden is home to the Maine coast’s largest fleet of windjammers, and during Labor Day weekend others from nearby Rockland, Belfast and North Haven dock at the harbor.  Most of these grand old ships are over a hundred years old, and some have been given historical recognition.

WindjammerI love seeing their tall masts and complex rigging outlined against the sky.

WindjammerWindjammerWindjammerSpeaking of rigging, sometimes it needs checking for adjustments, and today, it was a young woman who had the task.  Watching her shimmy up the rope ladder gave me a little heart flutter as the top of that mast is a long way up!

Windjammer FestivalMost of the windjammers are day sailers, meaning they take passengers out for 2 hour cruises, but some go out for several days at a time giving guests opportunity to experience life on an old sailing vessel .  Keep in mind, these are not luxury liners and quarters are tight, about the size of a closet.  Best not to have claustrophobia here!

Windjammer FestivalHeads are as tight, and it doesn’t take long for passengers to decide showers are not a must!  I’m thinking traveling on Pipe Dreams is much more comfortable but without some of the adventure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile windjammers are the main attraction of the weekend, there’s lots more entertainment.  A crowd favorite is the crate races where mostly lightfooted kids compete.  Too much weight on the crates sends the participant right into the water which is more than a little chilling!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike me, many people capture images with a camera while others set up easels on the dock to sketch and paint.  Certainly, there is lots of subject matter.

windjammerAs activity winds down and the weekend draws to a close, people and windjammers depart for their respective homes taking with them memories of summer’s farewell.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

The Last Hurrah!

Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer in Maine, and it goes out with a bang on the midcoast with the Windjammer Festival in Camden.    On an absolutely perfect weekend most of the area schooners moor in Camden Harbor providing a real treat for crowds of people who enjoy the festivities.

Never been aboard a schooner?  Well, come on, let’s go below.  This vessel goes out for two or five day overnights and can carry twenty-four passengers.  This is where you’d sleep.  As you might guess, it’s a good idea to travel light.

Two bathrooms, or heads as they are called, are shared, and you won’t be enjoying a long leisurely bath.

Food is prepared in a small galley where efficiency is a must.  Considering how good I’m told the food is, it makes you wonder how it happens.

With space below being very tight, passengers spend most of their day topside lending a hand to the crew and enjoying the midcoast’s beautiful scenery.

A highlight of Windjammer weekend is the lobster crate races which attract a huge crowd.

Even this furry guy gets a kick out of the event.

Boys and girls attempt to run the crates in two minutes.  Some last that long, some don’t.  

When someone hits the water, there’s a collective AWWWWW from the onlookers.  Definitely, the lighter contestants have the best chance of staying erect because they don’t submerge the crates as much.

After lots of fun, food and ice cream, the weekend ends with a bang.  Crowds go home, traffic lessens and we bid farewell to an all too short summer.

i so appreciate your visit, and the comments you leave behind

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