photo courtesy of Sean Sheppard
Schooner American Eagle
February 2021
Cruise News... Spring into Summer
Even a gray day has its moments out on the bay. Moving quietly before the wind finds us time for a look around us and engage in new conversations.
Sean Sheppard and his better half, Tracy Madigan-Sheppard, provided these images of an early season trip.
Leaving the Rockland Breakwater behind, sails are up, read for lunch soon.
Owl's Head Light abeam to starboard. The lookout forward guides the helmsman around lobster pots ahead.
Asher's out on the end of the bowsprit hoping we'll catch up with the schooner in the distance.
Steamed lobsters have been turned out of the kettle. Tyler, Christa, and Asher are ready to serve, naming each lobster as it goes on your plate.

Sarah's come up with two decorated schooner pies, and another two just out of sight. You can count on blueberry, apple or peach in season, and pecan as well. There are no calories on these cruises owing to fresh air and steady breezes.
I'm fueling up on pie before the row back to the schooner.
Ready for a shore dinner. There were seventeen of us; ten guests and seven crew... and thirty lobsters.
Rounding up to anchor in Pulpit Harbor, North Haven Island. The hayfield to the right is covered with lupine in bloom by mid-June.
Just anchored!
Once the sails are furled and the awnings set it's time to explore in some of our small boats.
Last morning out; everyone helps furl the big mainsail as we head for our berth.

Thank you Sean and Tracy for taking us with you!
Crew's News
Whenever we go beyond our usual cruising grounds we find new friends on the water and ashore. Twice we've been presented with salmon from pens down east, once we were given the last case of sardines packed by the cannery in Lubec, and got two big boxes of haddock at Port Mouton, Nova Scotia; not to mention produce brought by guests who are leaving their gardens for a week to come sailing with us.
Deck to dinner as Chris starts the process.
Salmon with Mango Chutney
Baked salmon with mango chutney and a spinach salad

About fish and fishing over a century with the schooner and her first captain Patrick Murphy. The schooner Emily Cooney referenced in the newspapers was about the same size as the American Eagle.
-The Boston Globe, Wednesday, April 12, 1911
and later probably that same month...
American Eagle heading out of Gloucester 1930
Early 1930's; Capt. Murphy setting out on an early trip swordfishing with his new schooner named after his two kids, Andrew and Rosalie.
Offloading swordfish at the fish market
A big dressed swordfish goes over the rail at theNew England Fish Pier in 1932.. This was an elite summer fishery, reported as fish landed rather than poundage.
Nineteen is an awfully big crew for an eight dory fishermen. Some of these guys must be coming to the "Boston States" for summer work. One of them made the paper below.
found in papers across the country July 1937
I keep a swordfish sword in my bunk on board, just in case.
The Andrew & Rosalie was renamed American Eagle in 1941 by her then owner Ben Pine. By the end of the war she was done dory trawling, modernized with a big winch on deck. For another thirty years she went groundfishing with the Piscitello family out of Gloucester.
When her fishing career ended in August 1983 she had nets on board for shrimp, flounder as well as gear for catching haddock, cod, pollock, as well as blankets, pillows, and socks in the foc'sle.
Bringing in a net-ful of fish aboard the schooner pre-1983
Gus Piscitello runs the winch as the catch is about to be dumped on deck.
Articles, notes, and cards from away
Last month we posted a picture of a polar bear peeking in through a porthole and one more attentive reader (thank you, Ellen!) sent the source. It was taken on the MS Stockholm, a wonderful twelve passenger expedition vessel built in Sweden in 1953 that has been carrying adventurers to northern regions since 1989.
MS Stockholm
Jan-Peter Lahall photo
This season we are limiting guests to a maximum of twenty per cruise, about 70% of our licensed capacity. By that metric some trips are now full. Keep us in mind as you grow more comfortable about traveling as the pandemic begins to fade. Remember, it's an outdoor experience and repeatable.. and fun!
John's closing