CAMDEN, Maine-- Maine sailing legend schooner Mary Day celebrated her fiftieth birthday this weekend at the Camden Windjammer Festival. On Sunday, Captains Barry King and Jennifer Martin hosted a party for the vessel, inviting previous passengers, media, and the windjammer community. Throughout her 50 years, Mary Day has brought over 20,000 guests along Maine's schooner coast, sailing over 150,000 miles
|Captains King and Martin pose with the crew aboard Mary Day following her celebration.
The 90-foot schooner was designed by Havilah "Buds" Hawkins, Sr. as the first schooner built exclusively to carry passengers along Maine's coast. When Mary Day was first designed, most windjammers were former commercial vessels that
Captains King and Martin are the third set of caretakers of the Mary Day. Mary Day is one of the 13 vessels in the Maine Windjammer Association that carry passengers for three-, four- or six-day cruises up and down the Maine coast between Rockland, Camden, Rockport, and Mt. Desert Island.
"I know I wouldn't be here was it not for all of the people who keep this entire fleet alive. This fleet really has something quite remarkable going on. Nowhere else in the world is there a fleet like this and the other vessel owners... There are a whole lot of people who give this whole coast a definition that doesn't exist anywhere else and Mary Day only has context within the context of the fleet," acknowledged Captain King on Sunday's event.
David Andrews from the South Bristol Historical Society set the stage by explaining the historical context during which Mary Day was both designed and built. Hawkins' sons and former owners of Mary Day, Haddie and Ronnie Hawkins, were present at the event and spoke about the family heritage and the windjammer business. Former owner Steve Cobb also shared several words about the windjammer fleet and how Captains King and Martin have continued to honor Mary Day's rich history.
New Jersey native and Mary Day passenger Curt Watts was the final speaker for day. Watts and his wife have been sailing aboard Mary Day since 1995. With plans to pursue only one trip, and then to "cross it off the bucket list and move on," Watts has yet to move on and has sailed aboard the legendary schooner every season since.
Watts shared, "The fact that Barry and Jen asked me to get up here really speaks highly of how they prize the passengers; the boat is so important and yet they take time to recognize all of the people that have had the privilege and honor of sailing on the Mary Day."
The event concluded with Captains King and Martin unveiling the surprise fiftieth anniversary present for Mary Day, a six-foot, hand-carved eagle attached to her transom. The eagle was carved by Don Dodd of South Blue Hill, Maine, and gilded by Captain Martin and her crew. The eagle was christened "Belle" after John Haley Bellamy, a wood carver from Kittery who made "Bellamy eagles."
For more information, visit www.schoonermaryday.com.
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Captains King and Martin pose with the crew aboard Mary Day following her celebration.
About the Mary Day:
Established in 1962, Coastal Cruises is one of Maine's oldest windjammer firms. With room for 28 guests, Mary Day is the first coasting schooner built specifically for the windjammer trade. Captains Barry King and Jennifer Martin rebuilt and refurbished the vessel in 2000, maintaining the absolute comfort of the cabins and main saloon. With no inboard engine, the schooner is powered only by sail, creating a continuously peaceful ride. For more information, visit www.schoonermaryday.com.
The Mary Day was recently featured in outlets such as NBCnews.com, The Huffington Post, and numerous papers nationally, for her unique and relaxing sailing experience and entertaining crew and captain.