We returned yesterday from our first trip, which was a great success. We had a full boat (30 passengers), all of which were fun or kept to themselves. It was a trip that was a bit overwhelming in learning all of the small details of a certain system, but we will get there. We head out on for our next trip tomorrow at 6:30am, because of the tides. Most of the other schooners are centerboard boats, but we have a deep keel (11.5 feet or so) which means we head to weather better, but we have to leave Camden at high tide. We leave for four days and then I believe have a week or so off due to a cancelled trip. I am not sure quite what to do with myself but I might head down to Boston or do some sort of trip, maybe up north!
The trip from which we just returned was amazing, and I can tell this will be an excellent season. The atmosphere on the boat is great, a combination of a chill Captain and Mate, and also an expectation to work by oneself (find things to do). The first day we averaged 6.5 probably, heading northwest up Penobscot Bay on a broad-ish reach. It was very nice, relaxing, and Sarah our cook maid a killer fish chowder. Wow! We then dropped anchor off Pond Island and rowed people ashore for our first lobster bake. I tried the lobster, but I cannot say I am a huge fan, especially because the smell is so permeating! We cleaned up and then headed over to Buck's Harbor for the evening under power. During this time, I had to furl the maintop, which on Manitou was not physically demanding and the hardest part was to make it look nice. Angelique is a different story. It seems like her maintop is the size of all three of Manitou's headsls combined! Its HUGE! It is also brand new this year so the canvas is still stiff. By the time I got back down to deck (probably 30 minutes) I was sweating and exhausted, but it was finally time to drop anchor for the night. The water was glass and we anchored next to one of Maine's oldest windjammers, the Stephen Tabor, built in 1871.
The next day we did more shore trips to the small town in Buck's Harbor, nothing really there but the people could at least get off the boat and stretch their legs if need be. I was on watch so remained on Angelique, completing some mausings and lashings, good little projects. That day we started sailing under four lowers, as we still do not have our mizzen top (still being made). Angelique carries a lot of sail on her main (The main itself, a main top, a HUGE staysail that used to be an inner/outer jib, the jib and a jibtop) so we need that mizzen top for balance I think until we can set everything. We were sailing south, sheeted in pretty tight, and hit 10 knots! My second day sailing, with four lowers, we hit 10. The way Angelique moves however, you would never guess we were going that well. It is amazing to sail around here because on that sail down we were sailing with the Tabor, and then also sailed past the Lewis R. French, saw the Nathaniel Bowditch and Timberwind. So many tall ships! We had to strike the jib at one point, but then, because it is not a two hour day sail, we put it back up again later! We finished the day anchoring in Gilkey Harbor.
The next day we headed back out into West Penobscot Bay, where we passed the French (Another windjammer built in 1871) and then basically raced the Mary Day down the bay toward Camden, averaging 7 knots or so. The Mary Day is a big schooner, the biggest in Camden, and I suppose she is sort of our rival. We are both about 130 feet, carry a similar amount of passengers, and can move. She is a centerboard boat and so has an advantage downwind, but was having trouble with her staysl, so I think we "beat" them.
That about sums up the first trip, sorry I have no photos. More to come soon!