The Schooner Bowdoin serves the students of Maine Maritime Academy and the educational community of new England with a broad range of programs in seamanship and ocean studies.

Bowdoin was originally built for Arctic waters in 1921 and is one of the strongest wooden vessels ever constructed. Commissioned by explorer Donald B. Macmillan to facilitate his work in the high northern latitudes, Bowdoin has made 28 trips above the Arctic Circle.

Design: William Hand
Launched: 1921,Hodgdon Brothers shipyard,East Boothbay, Maine
Rig: Grand Banks Knockabout schooner
LOA: 88 feet
Beam: 21 feet
Disp.: 66 tons
Sail Area: 3000 square feet
Hull: White Oak
Sails: Oceanus
Crew: 16

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2005 Season's End Report

December, 2005

The venerable vessel logged 3,600 miles this year. Our travels took us from remote and picturesque Bay D'Espair, Newfoundland, to the Piscataqua River, with high school students, Academy mariners and community members aboard for a variety of trips-- all designed to teach seamanship and promote the Academy story.

Schooner Bowdoin Day April 15, 2005, on the waterfront brought a wonderful turnout from students, staff and the community. Captain Loustaunau presided at the grill, with burgers and all the fixings. Staff children took a turn at the buffing wheel, producing brilliant shines on everything brass, and a good time was had by all.

Auxiliary Sail Cruise Program This ambitious pilot program brought 10 students together for a trip to Newfoundland. Over the winter semester, the group worked on various projects, including customs requirements, medical equipment and preparation, and port permissions. During May, under the direction of Captain John Worth, the students devoted about eight days a week to outfitting the schooner for the trip ahead. They lived in dorms, and had meals at Compass House, with Margaret Hardy serving as cook.

Spring Haul-out We took Bowdoin to Rockland for an early yard appointment and returned on May 4.

New Sails In mid-May, the students bent on Bowdoin's new suit of sails. A shakedown cruise proved that the new sails fit perfectly.

Newfoundland On June 1, Bowdoin headed north, under the direction of Capt. Andy Chase. See the report on this trip, produced separately. A highlight, however, must be mentioned here. Off the Island of St. Pierre in heavy seas, Bowdoin hove to for the arrival of the TS State of Maine. Capt. Larry Wade posted photographs of that memorable meeting on the Academy's website. Those photographs have traveled far and wide.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire Alongside in Castine on the Fourth of July, Bowdoin saw a quiet evening. Early the next morning, crew boarded for departure to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Aboard were a group of high school students from Mt. View High School in Thorndike, Maine. With their teacher, they'd studied celestial navigation in preparation for the trip. Also joining us, on each leg of this trip, were Academy friends and supporters who'd won the chance to ship with us in a raffle. Organized by Dave Fenderson, MMA grad, the raffle generated funds for the Portland Harbor Museum and the Casco Bay alumni chapter. At Portsmouth, the Seacoast Chapter of the Academy's alumni association prepared a warm welcome for vessel and crew. Bowdoin hosted open houses and a day sail. On our trip from Portsmouth to Portland, although the weather plagued us, all had a great time.

Portland Harbor. Bowdoin was fortunate to have a berth and a welcome from Portland Yacht Services. Casco Bay alumni chapter members met us here, and we undertook day sails to raise funds for the chapter and for the Portland Harbor museum. After four days, in sunny, breezy Portland, we started back to Castine. For this leg, another couple, raffle winners, joined us.

Community Sails Bowdoin continued her tradition of offering a variety of sails for groups and community members. For example, on July 23, we hosted area Cub Scouts and Sea Scouts for a half-day sail.

Windward Passage We set sail on Monday, July 25, with a collection of teenagers organized by Pam Scott of Castine. The program allows an introduction to Maine Maritime Academy and traditional sailing, and is growing in popularity. The group spent four nights aboard, standing anchor watch, taking turns at the helm, in the galley and at the nav table. On Friday, July 29, we hosted the Academy Class of 1950 reunion for an afternoon sail. The next day we welcomed the Marlboro, Maine, Yacht Club, and on August 1, we filled our roster with a community sail. We hosted a group from John Bapst Memorial High School on August 3, before departing for East Boothbay the next day.

East Boothbay Boatbuilders Festival We made good time, transiting from Castine to East Boothbay on Thursday, August 4. We welcomed members of the Ned Andrews Chapter of MMA alumni aboard for several events over the next three days. President Tyler hosted a sail and cocktail party, which all felt was successful. Bowdoin was fortunate to have a berth alongside at Hodgdon Brothers Boatyard, where our guests and crew were made most welcome. Our open house, as part of the Boatbuilders Festival, was a popular spot, and our crew was kept busy with visitors, young and old. After our return to Castine on August 8, all hands turned to for preparations for the annual Small Vessel Ops cruise to Nova Scotia.

SVO to Halifax Professor Don Ely and Capt. Worth staff this annual trip. Bowdoin's crew was bolstered by the addition of Capt. Rick Miller of Camden, who sailed as chief mate for this trip. Terri Dennison served us well as cook. The weather cooperated and we made it to Halifax for the first time in several years. Some of our students took the opportunity to ride along on the Halifax pilot boat. We accomplished all of Prof. Ely's requirements for the students' successful course completion. We returned from Nova Scotia on August 25, and welcomed alumni, in town for class reunions, the next day for a sail. On August 27, the area Big Brothers-Big Sisters organization came aboard for a development event and sail.

Schooner Crew With the start of the academic year, Schooner Crew started up again. This group has become a backbone of Bowdoin life at the Academy. A solid and reliable group of students walk down the hill two or more afternoons a week, for maintenance, repairs and improvements, and afternoon sails. Rick Miller deserves much credit this year, as he kept the group productive, kept the sessions educational, and kept the vessel sailing. We took Schooner Crew students to Camden over Labor Day weekend for the industry's annual Windjammer Weekend. Again Bowdoin was made welcome alongside at Wayfarer Marine, and we appreciate the prominent location. The weekend was a success. As always, as soon as our lines were made fast, Bowdoin crew hoisted our big blue Maine Maritime Academy banner, and spent time talking about MMA with interested passers-by and visitors.

In September and October we took out community members for eight afternoon sails. As well, we hosted the Navy League, local elementary school children, Academy dorm resident advisors, homecoming celebrants, and family members over family weekend. Schooner Crew staffed these sails, under the direction of Capts. Worth, Miller and Jergenson.

SVO Weekends Over September 23-25, and October 7-9, Sailmaster Eric Jergenson captained Bowdoin for required Small Vessel Ops cruises. This year he took along the Schooner Puritan and the sloop Morningstar, with additional Academy students crewing each. The three vessels sailed in company each day.

MacMillan Crew Reunion In late September, with the support of Susie Loustaunau from the development office, we were delighted to welcome five Bowdoin crew members from the MacMillan era to Castine. They'd earlier visited the Peary-MacMillan museum at Bowdoin College. They brought many stories aboard. Our students and crew felt privileged to participate in this historic reunion. Each of the five gentlemen described the experience of sailing with "Capt. Mac" in 1948, and each related the life changes precipitated by those cruises. Dr. Ed Morse and his wife Inga Morse joined us for this sail; they'd earlier made the trip from Castine to East Boothbay, and as always our students enjoyed the chance to talk with these two wonderful Bowdoin enthusiasts and supporters.

Auxiliary Sail Weekend Capt. Chase took the helm for this traditional weekend, over October 14-16, filled with several series of drills for safety and seamanship. Bowdoin's last couple of community sails featured brisk winds and chilly seas. Starting on October 28, we downrigged the schooner and she was fully covered by the second week in November. At this writing, Bowdoin's main mast sports a Christmas tree with colored lights.

The vessel's decks under her sheltering cover are fairly quiet these days. Schooner Crew work continues, however. The students have undertaken a variety of projects, sanding, painting and varnishing deck boxes and other equipment moved ashore for the winter, and making small repairs.

The schooner will be ready for spring, 2006. Academy staff have started planning for an auxiliary sail cruise to circumnavigate Prince Edward Island. We hope, as well, to continue to make Bowdoin a useful tool for Academy development and recruitment programs.

Respectfully submitted,

John W. Worth
Captain, Schooner Bowdoin