Friday, January 30, 2009

Escape on the Evans...even for just a couple minutes on You Tube!

Bob Selwyn created this short video clip and posted it on You Tube. Our trips are summarized in less than three minutes and the focus is that we are kid-friendly and that people love to join us year after year. The kids look like they're having a blast and that's me serving the hand-cranked ice cream. Yes, I say "I'm Capt. Brenda Walker" but this was filmed before Brian and I got married.

Check it out and tell us what you think!

Roz B. and Constance L. are both from Colorado and are interviewed in the video. Listen for Roz playing "Rolling Home".

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Maine Invites You - 2009 Travel Planner

Brian and I recently attended a training session conducted by the Maine Office of Tourism. Each year we attend travel shows in Boston and/or New York. The Maine Office of Tourism has developed a wonderful new booth that we will assist in manning...representing the entire state of Maine and answering questions from visitors particularly interested in coastal activities, lighthouses, and windjammer trips. So we participated in a few hours of training to learn how to best help visitors to the booth that ask questions not necessarily within our realm of expertise.

We were thrilled to learn that the Schooner Isaac H. Evans is, once again, featured on the cover of the Maine Invites You travel planner! That's us, bottom center, sailing by the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. We're thrilled that everyone requesting the 2009 planner will immediately see a windjammer!

Watch for details as we plan to attend the Boston travel show. We'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rest In Peace, Dear Friend

12/21/34 - 1/19/09

It has been an historic week, a week of renewed hope, and a sad week started with the loss of my friend "Cowboy" Mike. There have been tears of grief in response to the loss, smiles at fun memories (one shared by my Mom who remembered Mike taking home the drumstick from the Thanksgiving turkey two years ago. He wrapped it in tinfoil and stuck it in his pocket!), and cheers as our country looks to the future under the guidance of a new president.

According to his wishes, after a service on Friday celebrating his life, Mike's ashes will be scattered in Rockland Harbor.

Mike was a dear friend and he will be missed. His obituary:

ROCKLAND (Jan 21): Michael Joseph Levinthal, 74, died Jan. 19, 2009, surrounded by his family at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

He was a lover of sports, horses and, most of all, Rockland, Maine. Michael lived his 74 years of life on his own terms.

Born Dec. 21, 1934, in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of Alfred and Pearl Levine Levinthal.

At the age of 4, he moved with his family to Rockland where he found his true home. He was a 1953 graduate of Rockland High School, during which time he was a star baseball and basketball player.

Following high school Michael’s passions would take him all over the country. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served with honor during the Korean War. Returning to New York following his discharge, Michael worked in the hospitality industry at several prestigious hotels such as the Waldorf Towers in New York City. Michael later moved to Florida where he managed the exclusive Doral Country Club.

In the 1980s he moved back to New York where he would find his true calling, riding horses. It was at the Rocking Horse Ranch in New Paltz that Michael fostered his life-long love of horses and his career as a professional cowboy. For more than 15 years he served as the barn foreman and a wrangler.

Michael’s next adventure was in Santa Fe, N.M., where he became head of the Professional Rodeo Association. While living in New Mexico, Michael always stayed in touch with the happenings in his beloved Rockland by receiving a copy of the Courier-Gazette by mail, and speaking regularly with high school colleagues and relatives.

Michael returned to Rockland in 2002 to “end where he started his life." Since 2002 he was very active in Rockland. He was a member of the Rockland Historical Society. He could often be found at his favorite local eatery, The Brass Compass, having breakfast and telling cowboy stories with his large group of friends.

Most recently Michael’s last employment was ironically in the building that brought his family to Rockland in the first place, the Rockland Bookland and CafĂ© in the former Van Balen-Heilbrun building, where his father worked.

Michael is survived by his mother, Pearl Levinthal of Middletown, N.Y.; his son, Aaron Levinthal and his wife, Julie, of New York City; his sister, Deborah and her husband, Dr. Barry Pariser, of Middletown, N.Y.; as well as nieces and a nephew.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. at Adas Yoshuron Synagogue on Willow Street in Rockland. Rabbi Amita Jarmon will officiate.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Religion and Politics

We usually try to avoid the topics of religion and politics on the boat. After all, you're on vacation! Last summer was interesting, though, as the presidential campaigns were in full swing and the upcoming election was on everyone's minds. On several trips a spontaneous "vote" was held, each time initiated by a guest. Little slips of paper were distributed, votes were written (most just an "O" or and "M"), and then counted. Obama won each time . . . although "Capt. Brenda" did get one vote!

So here we are on the last full day of Bush's presidency and Barak Obama will be sworn in tomorrow morning. We all hope for good things . . . we all need some positive change.

CBS news reported that as of March 11, 2008, Bush had taken 879 days of vacation time at his Texas ranch "clearing brush". That's roughly one third of his time in office.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

We've been experiencing a blast of arctic air this week and that makes it hard to get anything done. Our motivation levels are at an all-time low but we forced ourselves to go for a walk yesterday and then we went bowling. Anything to get moving on a cold Friday night!

The official low temperature reading at Aqua Maine's facility off Route 17 in West Rockport Friday morning was minus 16. Holly Anderson took this photo of a thermometer in Camden. Yup, that's minus 20!

One of the neat things that happens when the air temperature is this cold is sea smoke. The ocean ends up looking like a steaming cauldron and, at sunrise, it's particularly beautiful. What is sea smoke? Sea smoke (arctic sea smoke) is evaporation fog or steam fog which is formed when water vapor is added to air which is much colder than the vapor's source; most commonly, when very cold air drifts across relatively warm water.

The water temperature just outside Rockland, according to the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System ( buoy "F", is 35 degrees F! When that 35 degree water vapor hits the minus 20 degree air, this is the beautiful result:

These two photos of Rockland harbor were taken by Ron Hawkes.

Interestingly enough, we heard from a guest from Alaska that reported they are experiencing what she called a "mid-winter thaw" with temperatures in the 40s!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Save More Than Just Dollars!

It's a lot of work to keep a wooden boat like this alive.

Even though the Evans is not a non-profit business, much of the money you pay to join us goes right back into preserving her. We are honored to be the current stewards of this National Historic Landmark and hope to pass her on one day to owners, crew, and guests that share the same love for her that you and I do. We're in the business of making memories, providing both relaxation and adventure, and continuing historic preservation.

We care about our way of life and we welcome visitors to share this special place with us. We believe that tourism, planned well, can provide a unique and memorable vacation experience and can make important economic contributions to communities like ours. Windjamming supports local businesses, farmers, and charities while removing cars from crowded roads, exploring the beauty of the coast of Maine using the power of the wind rather than fossil fuels, teaching ecological responsibility and respect for our ocean and islands, as well as keeping maritime traditions alive.

Our reasonable fares are all-inclusive, so you'll save more than just money, you'll save this national treasure!

All the work is definitely worth it!

Offer Expires: Never!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Spring Outfitting

I had an idea to post some spring outfitting pictures and I came across this one. This is the elation we experienced last spring after finishing several long days (mostly sunrise to sunset) while we were on the railway. Starting with me and going counter-clockwise, there's Brian, Aiden, Ria, John (obscured by my left arm), Bob, and Mike. There's an "Easy" button in my right hand which is an on-going joke because a lot of what we do is anything but easy. We keep an "Easy" button by the anchor windlass too...sometimes it just makes us feel better even though we know it's not easy!

We keep the schooner in the water all year except for an intensive period of about a week where we haul her out of the water for Coast Guard inspections, sanding and painting of the topsides, replacement of all the zincs, servicing of the thru-hulls, and scraping and painting the bottom. There are other fun projects during this time including cleaning the bilge and replacing caulking. This spring we will be replacing the jib boom. Winter is flying by and we'll be working on those projects before we know it!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fun With (nautical) Words!

Happy New Year!

I love words and each year I have a word-of-the-day calendar. This year's calendar started out with "skylark" and I was surprised at the definition...

\ski-,lark\ (long i, and umlaut over the a) v 1: to run up and down the rigging of a ship in sport 2: to frolic or sport

As far as we know, people were skylarking at sea before they were larking on land. "Skylarking" was originally used by seamen for scampering about on the rigging of ships. The first known use of the word in print is from 1809, although it was part of the sailor's vernacular before that. "Lark," meaning "to engage in harmless fun or mischief," didn't get jotted down until 1813. Whether or not the meanings of these words came about from the song and/or behavior of birds is uncertain.

Dana Teufel sailed with us twice last summer and took this picture of John skylarking.