Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pirates and THE MERCANTILE







































This post is not about pirates, although the photo below reminds me of  the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.(Before I saw the Mercantile up close and personal, these visions ran through my head.)















It's about the schooner MERCANTILE, in Camden Maine!
She is one of 3 schooners owned and operated by Captain Ray and Ann Williamson of
MAINE WINDJAMMER CRUISES

Captain Ray




Photo taken by Captain Steve

She is beautiful!
.... and OLD....and BIG























The Mercantile is a National Landmark coasting schooner, built in 1916...the REAL DEAL!
Board planked decks, hempen rigging, canvas sails...."but completely rebuilt, restored, and refitted for comfort and safety".
Here is the interior layout:
We were in cabin #9 (Photo credit by Maine Windjammer Cruises)
Described in brochure as spacious and warm.(quite cozy)






































The three days that were spent on this 115' historic wooden 2-masted schooner will forever be etched in my memory! I'm not real sure what I thought this experience would be...., but I came away with a deeper appreciation for the crew of years ago and the work that they did...day after day after day after day! IT WAS HARD WORK, my friends! (and I'll never complain EVER AGAIN about small bedroom, bathroom, kitchen quarters.....but I would do this again, in a heart beat!). The passengers were encouraged to be a part of the excursion.... and we did!
Make-up?? hahahaha.
Hairdryer? hahaha.
Shower? hahahahaha 
Captain Steve did an outstanding job of navigating, and directing the trip! Steve could spin that schooner around on a dime! HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING!






















































The pirate  crewman  gourmet chef, in charge of the scrumptious meals and snacks was Hunter. He left no stone un-turned.(we even had fresh baked bread!). No microwave or Genn-Air, my friends, everything was cooked with WOOD.

We purchased the cookbook, as we were impressed with the items prepared!

























The other 2 crew members were OBIE, and DAVID....... they picked up the slack, were multi-talented, smart, and knew how to do EVERYTHING! What a sense of humor!
Thanks OBIE for telling me about the corn! (He grew up on a farm. Did you know that each strand of silk on an ear of corn represents a kernel of corn?) DAVID knew so much about the stars and showed us lots of zodiacs in the crisp clear night sky.






























One evening, we anchored and were rowed into shore for a lobster fest! 
Our talented crew knew how to put on a show!


























Our destination was at Fort Pownall, built in 1759, to defend the area from the French in Canada. Would you believe there was another light house there? The light house (Fort Point Light) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

















Our trip, after dinner, back to the schooner was breathtaking!
The stars in the night sky were equally breathtaking.
Several of the passengers slept on the deck in their sleeping bags.




For those of you that may not be sailors, here is a simple diagram with just a few terms!
This is the extent of my sailing knowledge.


















If you ARE sailors, here is an A-Z list of terms that we heard on our outing . Click here---> TERMINOLOGY.
Our course for our trip:
(photo courtesy of Maine Windjammer Cruises)





















Not all days on the Mercantile were picture-perfect sunny.
One day was filled with mist, fog, and a LOT of WIND.
Postcard courtesy of MWC store.




After 3 days on Mercantile at sea, it's OFFICIAL! I'm ...






























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