By Becky Garrison
|Isaac H. Evans (Annie Higbee)|
Under Captain Brenda’s expertise, she used the wind and tide to plot out a course for each day and supervised her three-person crew, as she guided us through the vacation of a lifetime. In addition to helping to hoist the sails every morning, I took my turn at the wheel, gave morning hellos to porpoises and harbor seals, and climbed aloft the boat’s rigging for a literal bird’s eye view of Penobscot Bay.
Each cabin aboard the Isaac H. Evans features amenities like chocolate coins, shampoo, body lotion, coffee cups, and an embroidered mainsail balsam pillow air freshener handcrafted by Capt. Brenda natural air freshener. While these cabins are not luxurious suites they were more comfortable and private than some other accommodations I’ve experienced aboard other historic schooners. Also, features like hot showers and electric heads makes this outdoors experience definitely more comfortable than camping outdoors. I’m generally not a sound sleeper on trips but after the first night, I was able to doze off for 6 hours of sleep. Even though I’m a committed night owl, I found myself hitting the hay by 11 p.m. at the very latest and rising up at 6 a.m. to catch the misty sunrise.
During the week, our group read and relaxed, as we feasted on a hearty New England dishes cooked on a classic wood-burning stove. Our meals featured New England delicacies such as Maine scallops L’orange, Boston baked bread, and blueberry pancakes with Maine blueberry syrup. Our snacks included Maine favorites Jack’s zesty toe jam (spicy halapeno) or sweet red pepper jam (Maine) and cream cheese with crackers. Other afternoon snacks included a special sushi buffet featuring uni (sea urchin roe), mackerel, and scallops that guests caught diving or fishing and steamed crabs caught in the boat’s lobster pot. Through the schooner’s arrangements with the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, guests are guaranteed the freshest fruits and vegetables.
|Hauling (Jeff Greenberg)|
While pets are not permitted aboard the Isaac H. Evans, the boat does have a pet goldfish. As Capt. Brenda says, no one is allergic or afraid of fish. Other “pets” include the boat’s collection of rubber duckies and a giant stuffed lobster that a guest found washed up on the shore.
One of the trip’s highlight’s was the annual Wooden Boat Sail-in. Our group rowed over to the town of South Brooklin, where we were treated to steamed mussels, the sounds of a steel drummed band, and self-guided tours of the WoodenBoat School. Later Capt. Brenda took some of us on the yawl boat named appropriately Tug ‘n’ Grunt for a tour of the other Maine windjammers that were docked for the celebrations.
Later that week, we rowed over to Buckle Island, a mystical moss covered island for a late afternoon lobster bake. As the crew prepares the lobster bake, we participate in an ‘island clean-up” â€” a fair trade-off all you can eat lobster for helping keep Maine pure and pristine. All guests on Maine Windjammer cruises are instructed on the “leave no traces” behind policy that is intended to minimize the environmental impact on our visits to these isolated islands. After our feast, I hiked along the unspoiled, hiking trail, where I stumbled upon fairy houses â€” small shell, bark and moss huts where supposedly the fairies live.
|Sunset (Fred LeBlanc)|
For more information, contact the Maine Windjammer Association at P.O. Box 1144P, Blue Hill, Maine 04614, 1-800-807-WIND or check out the website at www.sailmainecoast.com.
Following is an example of the type of delicacies Queen Eileen serves during a Windjammer cruise.
Eileen’s Peach Cobbler
Approximately 8 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
2 or 3 1/2 pints of blackberries. Strew fruit in well buttered 13″x9″ pan
Stir together and then sprinkle on top of fruit:
1/2 to 2/3 C sugar, depending on sweetness desired
1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together and spoon atop fruit and sugar the following dough:
1 3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 C sugar
4 to 6 Tbsp shortening or butter (or a combination). Cut into flour mixture, biscuit method
1 C milk added and stirred into above.
Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 1/2 hour or until fruit bubbles and biscuit topping is browned.