Cod fish races and pirate dentistry aren’t routine summer events that I offer the children of many generations in my family, but I could with a Maine vacation.
For three years I’ve regaled them with tales of my sailing adventures on a Maine Windjammer. Now I learn about the 52nd annual Windjammer Days Festival in Boothbay Harbor, which provides age-appropriate and unusual events all week for everybody with whom I like to vacation.
Late June is the time to plan. When the kids compare notes about summer adventures as school resumes, not many are likely to have tried these:
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- Pirate apprentice training including cutlass lessons, grappling hooks and flintlocks
- Dressing in oil pants and jackets, plus boots to race cod fish around a course
- Canon lessons
- Lantern walks with seafaring superstitions and pirate tales
Majestic sight I suspect, seeing the full fleet of Maine Windjammers in this harbor; I was stirred watching only half of them in Camden Harbor before I set sail on the Lewis R. French, and a few of the others in Rockland’s harbor where I treated myself to historic inn overnights after my week in Penobscot Bay.
Boothbay welcomes the full fleet early in the festival and waves them off toward the end. Eight schooners are in the Maine fleet and five are National Historic Landmarks.
In between 40 antique boats parade in the harbor and festival visitors meet the captains and peer up close to the vintage vessels from the dock of Rocktide Inn. They’re not the only boats—yacht racing happens too.
Sumptuous meals and snacks distinguished my windjammer sailing time, all produced on a wood-burning stove in the galley so I’m wondering what’s the cuisine during Windjammer Days Festival on the land.
Lobster eating contests involve two lobsters per person and the winner eats the claws, knuckles and tail fastest.
Boothbay restaurants feature $20 entrees with $5.00 benefiting the Festival; seems this community turns out full force to love and honor their festival.
I like meeting local folks when I travel, and encourage my kids to do the same.
Oyster shucking contests on the pier likely to be new experiences too. Suppose any of the Festival eating gives meaning to the pirate dentistry training?
Concerts, art displays, aquarium lectures and games for young children happen all week, including a puppet show with the classic story of Pirates finding buried treasure.
Another unique among the many? Behind-the-scene tours of the Coast Guard station.
2014 dates for the Windjammer Days Festival are June 22 – 28.
For an in-depth look at sailing on a Maine Windjammer, read this story by Blended Family TMOM Christine Tibbetts.