Monday, December 31, 2007
Knitting and sailing? Absolutely! Beth Collins of UniqueOne Sweater and Yarn in Camden, Maine taught me to knit many years ago and suggested the idea of a sailing and knitting cruise when I bought the schooner. We offered the first knitting trip in September of 1999 and attendance was less than I would have liked. Thankfully, the trip grew in popularity and became so popular that we had to add a second knitting trip two seasons ago.
This season, the first knitters trip boards on the evening of June 25th, departs the dock on the morning of June 26th (after a trip to the yarn shop!), and returns to the dock on the morning of June 29th. The second boards on the evening of Sept. 2nd, departs the dock on the morning of Sept. 3rd, and returns to the dock on the morning of Sept. 6th. The fare is $660 per person and includes a full crew and captain, accommodations, meals from breakfast the first day to brunch the last day, on-site parking, and taxes. There are several beverage options on board (lemonade, iced tea, water, fruit juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate) but we do not provide alcoholic beverages or soda. We provide a cooler and ice for any beverages you wish to bring with you.
The daily schedule is very much the same as any other trip we offer....the major difference is that instead of some people talking, some people napping, some people fishing, some people steering and navigating, some people helping in the galley, and some people reading, most guests are knitting! We get a variety of ages but most of our knitting guests are women. We also get a few husbands that come along.
Guests usually gather up what they think they'll need for a few hours when we do the lobster bake. Often they will have a jacket, a camera, and maybe a little pack with a book and other personal items. For the knitting trip everyone totes their knitting projects and it's pretty cool to see everyone sitting about while they knit and anticipate the lobster dinner. Most don't knit immediately after eating the lobster though and wait until they've had a chance to get back to the boat and clean up a bit!
Beth brings a variety of items from her shop (UniqueOne) and I throw in a few items from the Evans' Ship's Store for daily "porthole prizes". Everyone's name goes into a hat and we draw names before meals. Of course, the earlier your name is drawn the more choices you have as to which prize you'd like. There are usually skeins of yarn, books, knitting kits, and organizers as well as Evans hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Everyone gets something and there is always more to choose from than guests so that last person still has a choice and isn't just stuck with the last thing that no one else wanted! Beth is very generous as these prizes are in addition to a 20% store discount and lots of free patterns. It's fun and many of the same people keep coming back year after year!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Greenlight Magazine is an online “guilt-free” one-stop resource for earth-friendly alternatives. In their own words, "greenlight stands for better choices, no matter who they come from. Our philosophy is to support and encourage the efforts of all companies, organizations and individuals who are trying to make the earth a better place.
If a company is making a truly earth-friendly product, we'll tell you about it and if that results in sales growth for earth-friendly products and services perhaps more companies will embrace environmentally and socially conscious practices -- guided by market trends you helped to create."
It could be the ultimate eco-destination: a 120-year-old sailing schooner powered by the wind. No computers, no cell phones. “It’s kind of like camping on the water,” says Captain Brenda Walker (except that you don’t usually sight whales off the starboard bow when you’re in a tent). The vessel mostly explores Penobscot Bay, but for one week each year, it joins the International Coastal Cleanup [www.coastalcleanup.org] project to collect debris “wherever the wind blows us,” says Walker, a member of Maine Businesses for Social Responsibility.
Exceptional onboard meals are prepared on a wood-burning stove (no fossil fuels) by cook Eileen Worthley. Whenever possible, she uses fresh organic produce from local farms and all-Maine products—think maple syrup on your pancakes and fresh lobster for a special feast on an uninhabited island.
Our 2008 sailing season runs from May 31st through October 4th with rates from $550 to $950.
We support our community through sustainable business practices, donations, and volunteerism.
- Each year we start our sailing season with a day sail to benefit a local charity.
- We participate in Community Supported Agriculture.
- We serve locally grown and organic produce, fish, and meats whenever possible.
- Our coffee is fair trade and roasted locally.
- We recycle.
- Our food scraps are donated to a local pig farmer.
- Our fuel consumption is very low...one week we used only 5 gallons of gas for 26 people. We took people off the roads and off the grid and provided three hearty meals a day all cooked on a wood stove!
- We donate to many local organizations (see the web site for links to many of them).
- We were awarded the Maine Tourism Award in 2001.
- We participate in the annual Coastal Clean-up but also collect trash from every island we visit throughout the season.
- We practice the ideals of Leave No Trace and even established a workshop for all the captains in the fleet so we were sure to all be on the same page. The instructor said we could have written the book on Leave No Trace practices!
- We work hard, honor our maritime heritage, and strive to protect our environment, but love to have fun too! It's easy to be mindful of all these things when you love what you do!
Dear friends, Dan left us this morning at 6:00am . He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side. His strength, dignity, and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him.
My most sincere condolences to Jean. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
In Dan's own words:
To each and every man....
I cannot encourage you strongly enough to get a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test EVERY YEAR.
The medical community suggests this for men over 50, but men with a family history of prostate cancer should start getting tested at age 40.
The PSA test is a simple blood test...it only takes a minute or two. The DRE, okay, every man squirms at the thought of this exam, but hey, it too takes only a minute or two, and IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Prostate cancer can be very slow growing or very aggressive, but detected early while it is still confined to the prostate gland, it can usually be treated and cured successfully.
Once it spreads beyond the prostate it is called Advanced Prostate Cancer (PCa). At this point it becomes imminently more life threatening and harder to treat. Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor and GET CHECKED REGULARLY. I promise you, you DON’T want to go through what I’m going through if you can avoid it.
Education and awareness are key, I urge you to follow the link below to the Prostate Cancer Foundation web site and read up on how best to protect yourself and reduce your likelihood of contracting this terrible disease. http://www.prostatecancertfondation.org
So many people knew Dan as a musician. You need only visit http://www.thelivinglegacy.net/wishes.html and read all the condolences to see how he touched so many people with his music. I was fortunate enough to be given a pre-release copy of Full Circle and I remember playing When You're Not Near Me and Reach Haven Postcard over and over and over.
I knew him as a sailor, lover of sailboats, and lover of Maine. I would rarely sail the Eggemoggin Reach without checking to see if Dan was out sailing or if Minstrel was on her mooring. These two pictures (taken by his wife Jean) are how I will remember him....especially him barefoot in Maine aboard Minstrel.
Sail on, Dan!
sailing in Maine aboard Minstrel
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Rachel was pregnant with this beautiful little girl when she sailed with us in '06. She and her husband Carlos were kind enough to send us a photo of her wearing her Isaac H. Evans t-shirt!
"We traveled with you in June 06 when I was pregnant. We so enjoyed the trip and the personal care, especially in my ever-expanding state! Brenda was kind enough to give us a t-shirt for the baby-to-be, and it now fits! We thought we would share a picture of our daughter at 9 months.
I think we just may have a future crew member or pirate on our hands!
Friday, December 07, 2007
Howie and his wife Linda have sailed on the Evans more than once (most recently in '06). Here's what Howie is up to this winter:
"I hired on as a Fire Lieutenant at McMurdo Station for the season. This is an awesome place and everyone here is great. This shot was taken from the site of Vince's cross. Mr. Vince drowned in this vicinity in March of 1902 on one of Scott's expeditions. They arrived on the SV Discovery and just down the hill from here is their hut, it's a revered landmark. Behind me in the photo is McMurdo Station, the main arrival and supply point for most of the U.S. Antarctic research done here by the NSF. It's never dark and it's always cold, but the beauty is mind boggling.
I hope your winter refitting goes smooth for you, and I know we'll be with you again one summer.
So...where do you wear your Evans hat, t-shirt, sweatshirt, or fleece? Send us your photos of you wearing anything Evans. The more remote, exotic, funny, or unique the better. But, hey, if it's just you washing the car or walking the dog...we want to see it!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
So I went online and posted profiles on Match.com, Yahoo Personals, and eHarmony. Desperate times call for desperate measures? No...I don't hang out in bars so I knew I wasn't going to meet someone that way. Most of my friends are married and couldn't think of any single guys to introduce me to. And, quite frankly, the boat and my other interests take enough of my time that reviewing computer generated matches at 3 o'clock in the morning just seemed like the most reasonable thing to do at the time.
I corresponded with a few men, met one, and continued on with my search through eHarmony. It was almost a full year later and I had already decided to cancel my membership because I just wasn't being matched with who I was looking for. I even changed my preferences to a very specific geographic area but continued to receive matches from as far away as India! What were they trying to do to me? I mean, it's great that they think I'm compatible with someone from so far away but then what?!?!? So when they sent me Brian on August 25th and I saw that he was from New York I kind of shook my head in disbelief and frustration. Couldn't they find a nice guy that lives in Maine? But his photo (it was his smile!) compelled me to read his profile. The more I read, the more interested I was and by the end of the profile I was thinking, "Finally!" But there was still the fact that he lived in New York. Geography aside, I sent off my first questions to him. And the rest, as they say, is history....
We had a gap in communication because of my busy sailing schedule but I was ashore a month later for my birthday. I had lunch with my parents and explained that I was sick of looking for the right guy and just may consider trying to have a child on my own. The next morning (Sept. 25th) I sent off a very tardy response to Brian's questions and then he called me. I loved his voice and conversation with him was very comfortable and easy. We made plans to talk that evening after the guests for our next sail came aboard. I was tired that night but we talked for hours...there was so much to learn about one another. We started sending text messages while I was on the next trip (isn't technology a wonderful thing??!!) and I shared details of our trip with him that way.
We had planned to meet a few weeks later as he had previously planned a trip to Castine anyway. He suggested that he swing by Rockland on his way so we could meet and maybe have dinner. But that first week we were talking he decided he didn't want to wait a couple weeks and asked if he could drive up that weekend to meet me. I wasn't sure that was a good idea at first...it seemed so quick and I was still sailing and had to prepare for the next group of guests. But after careful consideration (and Margi's good advice...thanks Margi!) I decided it would be better to meet sooner to find out if there was the same comfort in person as there seemed to be on the phone and via email.He drove to Maine on Friday after work while we anchored in Clam Cove....a small anchorage visible from Route 1 and not far from Rockland for our return to the dock the next morning. I told him where we were and he drove there to catch a glimpse of the boat late Friday night. He was almost immediately greeted by the police as the small rest area near the cove is closed after dark and they asked him to move along. The next morning he sent a text saying that he could see us and Margi and I got the binoculars out to see if we could see him. By that time it was obvious that something was "up" and I let the guests in on what was going on. Everyone gathered to the port side of the boat for a big wave and we yelled in unison, "Hi, Brian." The breeze picked up and we decided to set sail for the short trip back to the dock. Everyone helped hoist the sail and I over heard someone say, "Do it good...Brian is watching." I had a lot of thoughts running through my head and I was anxious to get to the dock to meet him but was also anxious to enjoy the beautiful morning on the Bay. We headed off toward Islesboro before jibing back toward Rockland. Once inside the Breakwater, we tacked around the harbor and made our final approach just after 10 o'clock. We came in a little fast so it wasn't a perfect docking but the first interaction that Brian and I had was him passing me the stern line!
And the cool thing is that we have something that most couples don't have....22 witnesses to the first time we met as well as photos to document it! When all our lines were secure and I made my final thank-yous, everyone chimed in with their best pirate voices, as rehearsed, "Arrrrr you Brian?" and I stepped to the dock for our first hug.
He is currently working in a job he loves as the purchasing manager for Atlantic British. He has let them know that he is leaving and will be moving to Maine in February. He has already started to contribute to the business as much as he can from a distance and side-by-side with me when he is home on weekends. We both look forward to when he is home full time. If you sail with us this summer, you will meet him as we will be sailing the Evans together. I know you'll love him too!
Wedding Countdown Timer provided by Bridal GuideAfter a wonderful weekend in New York that included meeting his mom, step-dad, brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, nieces, a nephew, attending a soccer game that his nephew was in, ice skating, throwing a baseball around, swinging on swings at the playground, a walk in the park at sunset, dinner, a movie, and a myriad of other things, Brian proposed late Sunday night and I accepted! He gave me a Lady Captain's ring and I am simply the happiest woman on the planet...I've finally found the love of my life!