Chase The Great Schooner Race

Hop aboard a comfortable motorboat for a chance to photograph the  Great Schooner Race. Hosted by the Windjammer Association, the race course is from Gilkey Harbor, Islesboro to the Breakwater Lighthouse, Rockland. 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.

chase the great schooner race
Photo by Jim Dugan while on the Schooner Mary Day.

July 9, 2021

9:00am-3:00pm

Fee-$335, 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. We anticipate continuing safe distancing, so space is limited. 

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History

The Great Schooner Race is hailed as “the largest annual gathering of traditional schooners in America” with an assembly of grand, traditional, tall ships, and vessels as large as 132’, three masts of sail. For 44 years, schooners along the eastern seaboard have rendezvoused in Penobscot Bay for a fun day of racing.

schooners during the 2018 great schooner race
The Race, 2018, by Dee Peppe

This thrilling and rare sight is reminiscent of centuries past during the ‘age of sail’.

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, are up to 24’ wide.

Details

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.

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.

Once 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 board Equinox in Rockland Harbor, exact time to be determined by your captain. The race starts near Islesboro at 10am.

Extras

While on the bay, expect to see spruce covered islands, marine wildlife; seals, ducks, ospreys, bald eagles, and porpoises. We may tour around some of the islands and have lunch during the quiet times of the race.  

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. Canceling less than 7-days, but before 48 hours from the tour date and time a 50% refund of your tour fee will be given. Less than 48 hours there will be no refund.

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