After six relaxing days aboard the schooner Mary Day, we arrived in Camden Harbor on a sunny Friday afternoon, just in time for the 14th Annual Windjammer Weekend.
Crowds of people lined the shore, and we could hear the Mary Day being announced as we came in. "That’s the Mary Day – I’ve been out on her," Captain Jim Sharp said. "She’s as graceful as a dancer."
Of course, all the passengers – including me – agreed. A highlight of the three-day event is the arrival of the tall ships, including the Mary Day. It was even more exciting for us, being a part of it. We also had an awesome place to watch the other ships come in.
After dinner aboard the Mary Day, most of us left to watch the Schooner Bum Talent Show at Harbor Park. Crew members and passengers of the ships were the performers, and we had a special interest as four of our ship's crew members were participants, and we wanted to cheer them on. To our delight, one of fellow passengers, Richard, made an appearance.
After the show, I headed back to the Mary Day for the fireworks. Again, we had a great place to enjoy the display.
The next day, we enjoyed breakfast on the ship, and said our goodbyes. I caught the Blessing of the Fleet earlier, and the Build a Boat Contest, but missed the Chowdah Challenge.
I did catch a boat to the USS Whidbey Island, anchored offshore for a tour.
There were a host of activities scheduled over the three days. Saturday featured an Open House aboard the windjammers, giving people a chance to tour the boats. Later, The Pirates of Penzance was performed at the Camden Opera House, and an Adult Treasure Hunt was held.
Sunday was also chock-full of events, including a Family Treasure Hunt, a Coiling Contest, a Harbor Boat Parade and a free concert.
Windjammer Weekend is the brainchild of Annie Higbee, who continues to organize the festival. She thought it would be a great way for "schooner bums", those who work the sailboats, to get to know each other.
"I used to work on one of the schooners," she said. "And I never got to see the crew members from the other boats."
"I love doing it," she added. "I love bringing people together, and I love contributing to the community."
If you need a reason to visit Windjammer Weekend, which is held annually over Labor Day Weekend, I can give you three good ones. One, it’s in Maine. Two, you get to see lots of windjammers and other boats, all in one place. Three, well, it's a a lot of fun!
To see some photos of Windjammer Weekend, visit Photos.
For more information about Windjammer Weekend, visit the website or call the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce at 207.236.4404.
Annie is looking for sponsors for Windjammer Weekend 2008. Interested parties may contact her by the email address on the website.
Check out this video of Windjammer Weekend 2007!