The Great Schooner Race is hailed as “the largest annual gathering of traditional schooners in America”. While we motor along to Chase the Race on beautiful Penobscot Bay, you will be spending this remarkable day with other photographers, shooting, discussing images, networking, sharing camera gear tips, and more.
Fri. July 5, 2019
Fee-$265, includes boat, captain, & photo leader
Payment is by cash, check if you are registering early enough, or if you prefer the convenience you can book online for an additional fee. Contact us to make sure that there is space available. See cancellation policy for this tour at bottom of this page.
What to expect
Hop aboard a comfortable motorboat for a chance to photograph
the Great Schooner Race. Your photo opportunities are sure to be spectacular with an assembly of grand, traditional, tall ships, and vessels as large as 132’, three masts of sail, and breathtaking bay scenery.
This thrilling and rare sight is reminiscent of centuries past during the ‘age of sail’. While on the bay, expect to see spruce covered islands, marine wildlife; seals, ducks, ospreys, bald eagles, and porpoises.
For 41 years, schooners along the eastern seaboard have rendezvoused in Penobscot Bay for a fun day of racing. This year at least a dozen are expected to participate. While there is a large amount of camaraderie among the captains and crews of these grand, tall ships, you can still count on all the excitement of a very competitive race. For more info about the race check out www.greatschoonerrace.com.
Rockport Charters will supply your transportation on the bay. The Harvest Moon is a fast and able lobster cruiser that can take us anywhere in the Penobscot Bay region. Your captain, Rob Iserbyt, is Coast Guard Licensed and has expansive knowledge of the bay and islands. Harvest Moon carries all the safety requirements, has inside and outside seating, heat if we need it (hopefully we won’t), and a marine toilet with privacy. For more info about Rockport Charters please go to www.rockportcharters.com.
Photographic discussion will focus on composition, quality & direction of light, and the visual components of making great images. Camera handling techniques, lens settings, and menu selection will be covered. With our small group size, you can be assured that your individual photographic needs will be addressed. Review of your images will be ongoing throughout the day. While on the bay, expect to see marine wildlife such as seals, ducks, ospreys and bald eagles, and occasionally porpoises. We will tour around some of the islands and have lunch during the quiet times of the race.
The Race: There will be two exciting places along the race route when the schooners are all together; the start of the race where all the boats are jockeying and strategizing their best position at the starting line for when the cannon fires, and at the end when they begin to funnel into Rockland Harbor for narrow victories as they pass the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. The start of the race is staggered every 15 minutes by class for over an hour and a half.
After the race the schooners all tie up at the docks in Rockland Harbor where we can continue to photograph, meet the crews, congratulate the winners, and possibly go aboard a few of these extraordinary, traditional boats.
The Boats: The participating tall ships were all built in boat yards from Florida to Maine, from the 1870’s to 2003. Many were built to move cargo up and down the coast. Some of the newer windjammers were built specifically as cruise vessels. Boat lengths range from a 36’ yacht to an imposing, powerful 132’ ram schooner with towering three masts of sails, the largest in the fleet in Penobscot Bay. Width, or beam as it is known in nautical terms, of the boats are up to 24’ wide.
Once you have registered and as we get closer to the date of the race, you will be given detailed information about how to prepare for your tour. We’ll offer info on packing your camera gear, what personal items to bring along for your comfort on the boat, and we will have a plan for lunch. You will board Harvest Moon in Rockport Harbor, exact time to be determined by your captain. The race starts near Isleboro at 10am.
Cancellation Policy: We will give a complete refund in the event that we need to cancel this tour for any reason. If you need to cancel and do so with 7-days or more notice from the date and time of the start of the tour you will receive a full refund. If you cancel in less than 7-days from the tour date and time a 50% refund of your tour fee will be given.