The sun is barley above the horizon and the morning fog is still heavy on Rockland harbor as Captain Foss arrives with the tug Cadet to tow the Stephen Taber to the North End Shipyard for her annual haul out.
In 1871, U.S. Grant was president of the United States of America. The Civil War had only been over a few short years. The infamous Dodge City was no more than a sod trading post. 141 years ago, before the invention of the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, computers or the cell phone, the Stephen Taber was launched. The Stephen Taber is today the oldest documented sailing vessel in continuous service in the United States,141 years this year. She was recently designated as a National Historic Landmark. The 68' coasting schooner was originally built to carry cargo up and down the Atlantic coast.
Captain Noah Barnes is a second-generation schooner captain who started sailing aboard the Stephen Taber at the age of 7. His parents, Captains Ken and Ellen Barnes, were at the helm for 25 years, before their retirement after the 2003 season.
Today the Taber was hauled ashore for it's annual inspection and a new coat of bottom paint. In a few days she will return to the water ready to sail the cool blue Atlantic for another year.
To find out more about the Stephen Taber or to book a trip visit: http://www.stephentaber.com