Setting Sail – Sailing the high seas on Maine’s tall ships

Last summer, the Whitlocks of Pennsylvania took two of their children and six grandchildren on a 4-day cruise aboard the Timberwind, a member of the Maine Windjammer Association. With friends who had sailed aboard Maine’s Tall Ships time and again, the Whitlocks decided a cruise specially geared for families with young children would be ideal. “We’ve always liked sailing and thought it would be something we’d like to do with the family,” said matriarch Elizabeth Whitlock. For Mrs. Whitlock, being able to stop at different places each day in addition to the congenial atmosphere was a real bonus. She encourages other families to plan on plenty of relaxation and when asked if she would do it again, said, “Yes, we would.”

Frank Henry of New Hampshire took all 17 members of his family aboard the Stephen Taber, also in 2000. He was clear that he wanted to charter the entire boat so that he could bring the youngest members of his clan. Ranging in ages from 4 to 75, the Henrys appreciated the food most. Mr.Henry said, “It was good sailing. I know the area well and so I knew where I wanted to go. (Captain) Ken Barnes was very accommodating. But the food! The food was outstanding.”

Henry’s advice to other families is to find a captain and crew that match your family’s personality by interviewing them before coming. The Henrys declared the crew aboard the Stephen Taber as “Outstanding! They were all so wonderful. They had just one rule-when under sail, kids under 12 must wear life jackets. They were safety conscious, and wonderful with the children.”

Mr. Henry would like to take his family again and said, “It’s more than just sailing. It’s a wonderful social experience.”

Contact Maine Windjammer Association, 1-800-807-WIND (9463);