Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BEST OF 2013: The Maine Windjammer Project

The Maine Windjammer Project was created to preserve a photographic record of the golden age of the Maine windjammer for the generations to come.

The golden age of sail is long gone, but, on the coast of Maine the golden age of the Maine windjammer is at its height. Imagine if you could know ahead of time the important moments of history and be there to photograph that moment. So many historic moments have gone by unrecognized by those present and only later realized the significance of that very moment.
There was a time when sail was king on the coast of Maine. The lime trade, granite & marble, lumber from virgin forests, ice and the fishing trades all employed sailing craft to move their products. The lime trade alone employed over 200 two masted schooners in Rockland and the surrounding coastal Maine towns.
Steam powered vessels were making some of the longer trans-Atlantic runs and the passenger trade up and down the coast. However, for coastal trade and the hundreds of islands located just off the coast of Maine sail is still king.
On any given day, the coastal waters would be filled with these two masted schooners delivering cargo to and from all the coastal towns. They are the lifeline for those living on the islands, delivering everything from lumber to butter and even your grandfather’s new Sunday suit.
Today only a handful of the sailing vessels remain. Many of them were simply used until they were worn out and replaced by a new one. During the Great Depression, thousands of these boats were just abandoned where they stood and left to rot.
There is, however a place where during the summer and fall you can still see these historic vessels sailing the clear blue waters the Atlantic much the way they have for the past 200 years. Penobscot Bay is located on the coast of Maine and on any given day in the summer you may be able to see as many as 15 or more of these proud sailing vessels, known as windjammers. Many of these boats have been sailing for over 100 years! They are truly living history.

The Maine Windjammer Project started in 2007. It is an ongoing project to document the modern history of the historic windjammers on the coast of Maine. Many of these boats are over 100 years old two are over 142 years, launched in 1871. This unique photographic history covers from 2007 to the present, sailing, haul out and the special events, such as The Great Schooner Race 2010 to present.

This extensive archive is available to maritime and American history museums and those doing research on these last surviving boats.

The Maine Windjammer Project: www.mainewindjammerproject.com

For additional information contact Doug Mills at: dougmills@shootmainestudios.com

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