Maine Travels: Aboard the Schooner Heritage

July 7, 2014


Happy Monday, friends! We spent surrounded by water, albeit much colder and less picturesque than the water I’m going to show you today. Hurricane Arthur meant we were bundled up and staying warm and dry with a few driving adventures, and we relaxed with my family with a few festive drinks. Not quite the way we had envisioned celebrating the Fourth of July, but we’re hoping our last week in Maine makes up for it!

A few weeks ago, Michael and I climbed aboard the Schooner Heritage in Rockland, Maine, for two nights and three days of sailing. It was such a special adventure for the two of us, and such a treat to get to do something so adventurous. I hadn’t slept aboard a sailboat since junior high, and Michael hadn’t since college, so we were a little nervous about how we would fare, but I don’t think I’ve slept so soundly in months! All that fresh air and hauling ropes and chatting with the other passengers wore us out, in the best possible way.  schooner_heritage_wheel

The Schooner Heritage is run by Captain Doug and Captain Linda Lee, who built the boat themselves (!) thirty years ago. They are an incredible couple, so charismatic, so talented, and so welcoming to their home away from home. They both regaled us with stories of their adventures sailing over 600 trips in the past several decades. Doug inherited his love of maritime history from his father, and we enjoyed his stories about famous inhabitants of the various islands we passed, and the history of the towns and villages we passed.  view_from_schooner_heritage


We also got to pretend to steer, and spent a lot of time gazing out to sea and looking at the beautiful houses along the shore.  schooner_heritage_charts schooner_heritage

There’s the gorgeous Heritage anchored in Boothbay Harbor for Windjammer Days. We were the biggest schooner in the harbor! She only has three of her six sails up right here, but when she gets them all up, she can really go!  schooner_heritage_morning below_schooner_heritage_cabins

Here’s a little peek at our cabin on the left. Some of the cabins have bunk beds, and all of them have sinks with running hot and cold water. Two cabins have bathrooms attached, but everyone else uses the heads (toilets and a shower) on deck. Michael was a tad too tall for the bunk, but he’s too tall for our bed at home, so that wasn’t new. We tucked ourselves in with the heavy woollen blankets and Heritage monogrammed sheets and slept like logs.  galley_details_schooner_heritage


The galley of the Heritage was so impressive – a giant woodburning stove that powers the hot water for the whole boat and it is used to cook and bake all of the meals for the passengers. I’m realizing now that I only have photographs of Captain Linda working on meals but that doesn’t give you a clear picture of what she was up to all day – hauling lines, giving orders to the crew, singing songs to motivate the crew and passengers to get the sails up, and manning the little boat called Superman that would push the Schooner off the dock. I was in awe of her.

The wood for the stove is stored below deck and they go through 3-4 cords each summer. Each morning, the crew has to get up early and get the stove going to make coffee for 7am.  schooner_heritage_galley captain_doug_schooner_heritage

And here is Captain Doug giving us the lay of the land. He had a great sense of humour and a wealth of knowledge about the Maine coast.  old_ben_working_schooner_heritage strawberry_shortcake_aboard_schooner_heritage

We didn’t give much thought to the food before the trip, although we did stock up on a few snacks since we tend to eat frequently, to say the least. Well, we needn’t have bothered. The food was delicious – homey but better than what you’d make yourself. The first night, we had strawberry shortcake on the deck while watching the sunset over lobster boats. It was bliss.  emily_strawberry_shortcake_schooner_heritage schooner_heritage_port_clyde schooner_heritage_dusk

We had a wonderful adventure and we’d recommend it to anyone – just try to predict good weather, since even hot days on shore were chilly out on the water!

And here’s a little bonus proof that I was at least trying to be helpful with all those sail lines! A little Instagram video of me lending a helping hand.  Thanks so much to the Heritage for having us aboard!


  • Reply Anita July 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Makes me want to go! We always do so much when we go on vacation, and this is a good reminder that we can “vacation” right at home!
    So, can we expect a cameo of you in an upcoming Bill Green episode?

  • Reply Elizabeth July 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    That’s amazing! Hubby and I must plan a time to do that soon!

    • Reply emily July 28, 2014 at 7:54 am

      You should! You’d love it!

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