Schooners with their tall masts and multiple sails catching the wind are a common sight on Penobscot Bay, and each year over Labor Day weekend Camden, Maine’s Windjammer Festival celebrates the area’s maritime heritage. Many of the big ships are open to the public and you can get a feel for what life on one would be like. Of course, their across the ocean sailing days are over, and most operate as day sailers taking people out for two hour cruises. There are those, however, that cruise the midcoast islands for five to seven days. After seeing the quarters, I’m not sure that’s for me. Take a look below deck and decide for yourself if this is where you’d like to spend a few days.Down the ladder to the galley where everything is compact and efficient. How in the world does the crew prepare meals for a large group in such confined space? Somehow they manage, and word is that the on board food is quite good.
Here’s the bunk with its very thin mattress on a wood frame and to my nose a lingering odor of mildew. Anyone expecting cruise ship luxury is in for a real surprise!
Despite the close quarters and lack of luxury, many people are drawn to these excursions as the long-term cruise schooners seem to always have passengers looking, I guess, to have that great adventure. Considering the beauty of Penobscot Bay and its many islands, I doubt they are disappointed. One thing’s for sure: the passengers are scruffier on return than when they left and never have I heard any complain even when the weather was less than perfect.