Sails filled with history
The 52nd Annual Windjammer Days slip into history, leaving traces of the schooner American Eagle, Alert, Eastwind, Lazy Jack, the Lewis R. French, Heritage and Winfield Lash in their wakes. Technically, windjammers are “large sailing ships with an iron or, for the most part, steel hull with between three and five masts and square sails.” Named “windjammers” for their massive sails that seemed to jam the wind but actually propelled them across the globe in early feats of shipbuilding skills and seamanship, these beautiful birds now carry the memories of those voyages. It is that history that Yankee Magazine celebrates by naming Windjammer Days one of the top 20 events in Maine and why the event makes the “Top 100 in the US’ list. For so much of the nation was built on her sails.
From the first encounters along the coast with the Wabanaki who knew these oceanfront woods at Spruce Point to the daring privateers of the colonial navy who harbored in these waters, hiding from the Royal Navy among the reefs and islands of local knowledge, Boothbay is born of the tides. It’s why we are so anxious to share a sail aboard the Sarah Mead, the only wooden sailing lobster boat left on the Maine coast and docked right here at Spruce Point, and welcome sailors to pick up our guest moorings. While our name and our forest remind us of the storied depths of inland Maine, we have to admit our heart is with the ocean and our rocky coast.
Like the Windjammer Days – a celebration of the gathering of the fleet for a sparkling blue summer stretching ahead all along the coast – the reminders of the maritime past here in Boothbay are like appetizers, meant to whet an appetite to learn more, to join authentic experiences only found here. The national experts say it’s worth attention. We say “welcome aboard – the 2014 voyage is just beginning!”