courtesy of Fred LeBlanc
Schooner American Eagle Newsletter

November 2018


In This Issue
Crew's News
Cruise News
Postcards from away

Jayne Phair photo
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check our sailing  schedule
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Sorry to not get one out last month. Kathy and I snuck off for a quick trip to Campobello and St. Andrews when I wasn't puttering around the schooner and the shipyard. We're very lucky to live here and have good friends, family, and shipmates.

Crews News

                                                                                courtesy of Shary Fellows

That's me up on the staging, shingling our dock building for the second time. Capt. Doug and I have been picking away at the water side of the building as weather permits for the last month. Cedar shingles only last forty years, so it was time. When we did this the last time we also made the shingles with Doug and Linda's old belt driven mill, which they sold before any of us lost fingers. In the 1970's we nailed them on; this time we used stainless steel staples and an air stapler.

Working out on the face of the dock has been instructive as lobster boats come in, unload their catch, take on bait and fuel, and warm up the late fall breeze with conversation.  It's late enough in autumn now for  loons to settle into a territory for the winter and one or two have been watching us most of the day between diving for crabs and small fish. This week was also the annual Maine loon count: 3200 or so, twice the number when the count started in 1984.

Two more days of usable weather and we can go on to some other shipyard off- season projects, such as building a shed over our second thirty-inch thickness planer. We're not moving this one inside the shop, it weighs nearly 6000 pounds.

Meanwhile, Sarah has let three seasons of pie making on board cool and has been restoring her house in Washington, Maine. She has enough sense here to work indoors most of the time, varnishing the rigging blocks and soon starting on the schooner's small boats. She has also helped with our railway this fall, hauling and launching the  Lettie G. Howard and presently the  Laura B the Monhegan mailboat.

Christa is carpentering up around Sugarloaf and starting yoga classes and getting ready for another winter of ski instructing when she isn't running a small coffee shop.

Matthew is baking in Portland at the Standard Baking Co.; worth a visit if you're in the city by the bay. And Shary here in the office even took some time off!

Cruise News

Once again Carol Douglas will be aboard for a painting workshop, watercolors on the water. She provides materials and guidance, ideas and a sense of fun as well as attention to works in progress; all on a cruise highlighted by our annual schooner gam and raft up. See our 2019 schedule for dates and rates.

Carol and Captain discussing the complexities of Art
as the crew arrives with the last of the guests from the schooner

This time of year Beth's Farm Market nearby in Warren, Maine, is decked with greens  of a less edible variety than those Matthew and Sarah had sourced to create a  summer salad for one of our underway on-deck lunches

photo courtesy of MB Rolfe

Deer around home are starting to nibble on the evergreens in the woods now that hunting season has wrapped up, which brings me to... the new engine! We have gone from the until recently reliable Detroit Diesel to a smaller, more modern, cleaner, quieter, more powerful John Deere. If the old engine was called Allison  (from the name of the company that built it) what should we call the new one? Come up with the best suggestion by December 15th and I'll send you a hat.

For the technically minded, here's a comparison of the five generations of auxiliary engines that have beaten calms since 1930.

Cooper-Bessemer four cylinder, air start, 100 hp 1930-1938

Cooper-Bessemer six cylinder, air start 150 hp 1938-1962

Caterpillar D 353 six cylinder, air start, 380 hp,  9200 lbs. 1962-1984

Detroit Diesel 6 V -71, electric start, 193 hp., 2870 lbs  1985-2018

John Deere four cylinder, electric start, 225 hp,  1975 lbs., 2019-

here she is!

And in the neighborhood, we had the  Lettie G Howard here for a couple of weeks both on the railway and alongside the  American Eagle . She had spent the summer on Lake Erie with educational programs, did her fall refit with us, and left an hour after I took this picture, headed for Gloucester and from there as far south as Pensacola, Florida, her home port while red snapper fishing.

First built by Arthur D. Story in Essex, MA, in 1893,  rebuilt in Florida  in  about 1920, 
and in New York in about 1990.   Lettie Howard herself was born in Maine, on Deer Isle.

Postcards from away....

The places some people go for work, for example if you are a flight attendant.

Jim Decker photo

I hate to admit it but it does rain once in a while on a cruise. 
Helps one look intrepid, this rain gear.

  John and the crew

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Schooner American Eagle
P O Box 482 
Rockland, ME  04841
(800) 648-4544